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    Mystery deepens in unsolved death of trans woman

    By Kevin S. HeldChris Hayes,


    STE. GENEVIEVE COUNTY, Mo. – Earlier this month, detectives with the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office said they were trying to identify a man wearing a bra who was found dead in the Mississippi River.

    On May 13, authorities identified the individual as Darris Moore, 23; not a man, but rather a trans woman named Darri.

    “She’s always just been a confident person. She loved herself. She loved people around her,” said Izzy Baker, who grew up with Darri.

    Baker remembers seeing Darri within the last few months and wants to ensure her friend’s voice is not lost. Baker is involved in LGBTQ advocacy groups like the Metro Trans Umbrella Group and the Community Wellness Project.

    “We want justice, if justice needs to be served,” Baker said. “If someone hurt her, Lord forbid.”


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    Darri’s mother, Melinda Jones, declined to talk on camera but described Darri as “just a loveable child, full of life.”

    “I can’t see my baby just walking into a river. That’s not acceptable,” Jones said.

    Darri’s cause of death remains a mystery.

    “We also want to find the answers for the family because they need to have that closure as well, because right now, the family is unknown on how the individual is deceased and what happened there, and it would be great to get that information for them,” Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff Major Jason Schott said. “We’ll try to follow those leads until we can get that information.”

    Sheriff’s detectives said Moore had no wallet or I.D. and was identified through fingerprints. A private pathologist found no obvious outward signs of trauma but is examining further and awaiting toxicology results. Investigators could use the public’s help to determine where and when Moore was last seen, as there was no known missing person’s report.

    “That might help us narrow down a time frame,” Schott said.

    This death comes less than one year after the shooting death of Moore’s 17-year-old brother, Makao Moore, who died after a mass shooting on Washington Avenue last June.

    “Now they’re losing another loved one. To a crime, maybe an accident; we’re not sure, because we don’t have any answers,” Baker said.

    While friends and family pray for those answers, they will celebrate Darri’s memory as a memorial written by the Community Wellness Project states, “We honor and respect her true identity.”

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