Burned Torso Identified as That of Missing Transgender Detroit Teen

A burned torso left near a freeway in Detroit has been identified, the Detroit Free Press reports:

HilliardHenry Hilliard Jr., 19, also known as Shelley or Treasure, was last seen at 1:20 a.m. on Oct. 23 in the 900 block of Longfellow, wearing a silver dress. The 19-year-old had several piercings and tattoos, including one of cherries on the upper right arm.

Chief Investigator Albert Samuels of the Medical Examiner's office was able to connect the cherry tattoo to the information provided by police to make a match, said spokesman Dennis Niemiec.

Police said they're investigating Hilliard's death as a homicide.

Hilliard went missing on October 23:

A cab driver that Hilliard often used for rides dropped Hilliard off at a home where three men were waiting for her, his mother, Lyniece Nelson, said today.

But Hilliard immediately called the driver back, voicing concern about the situation, Nelson said.

The driver "started to hear her say, 'What are you doing,' then scream out loud 'No,' then her phone dropped, a few muffling noises, then the phone went dead," Nelson said. "By the time he got back around the corner, there was no one in sight."


  1. BEAHBEAH says

    Was she a prostitute? The entire situation sounds fishy, being dropped off at a home with three men.

    Either way, nobody deserves such a grisly end. I hope they capture the sociopaths who did this.

  2. Rich F. says

    Detroit Free Press needs to get their pronouns straight. They alternately refer to Hilliard as “he” and “she.” If Hilliard was actually trans, then they should have consistently used “she.”

  3. G.I. Joe says

    @ Rich F: No, “he” refers to the cab driver. His mother is telling the story (I don’t get why it’s not him speaking directly)

    Anyway, that’s disgusting. And I don’t know why the first thing that should come to the mind of people is “sounds fishy, she was probably a prostitute”. Make her a gay man or any other person, and certainly that wouldn’t be the first conclusion you’d jump to.

  4. Christian says

    Disturbing. Though I have to wonder why the cab driver didn’t call the police. Hearing someone say “What are you doing?” and “No”, muffled noises, etc. seems like it would warrant a call to the authorities, especially if Hilliard and the men had vanished when the cabbie turned the corner.

  5. Rin says

    As someone FROM Detroit–NOT the suburbs–this is not at all surprising. It was more violent when I lived there because a) more people, b) more people taking drugs, and c) more people taking drugs who could also afford guns.

    Seeing as how this is also Detroit my observations are:

    1) it could have just been a robbery, a snitch incident, someone got mouthy, didn’t like the color of the dress, happened to look the wrong way, said that the Lions should pull Shepherd, etc

    Sometimes in Detroit you just get killed. There is always some BS reason for people to kill you in Detroit.

    2) The Detroit Free Press is not politically correct. If you want them to be…give them money to hire better writers.

    3) My prediction is that this will not end up being a hate crime and will end up being about criminal activity gone wrong.

  6. Hollywood, CA says

    I’m so sorry that no one was there to protect you, little one. I wish eventual peace with yuor family and friends… Shame on you, Detroit.

  7. says

    Man is anyone else noticing that the death/attacks against the LGBT community has increased by like 300% in the past few months? This is really alarming and scary, they said it was a burnt torso, does that mean she was burnt so bad that they couldn’t recognize her? How did she die?