ALLENDALE COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — The murder of a transgender woman is under investigation. It’s the second one in South Carolina in recent weeks.
“They have hurt us in the worst way, the very worst way,” said the victim’s aunt, Rhonda Doe. Family members of Ernest “Dime” Doe Jr., 24, are trying to make sense of it all after learning of the death.
“He’s always been a friendly person to everyone. He’s the joy of anyone’s life,” Barbara Kolberg said. “To him, family was most important. Family meant the world to him, both sides. The family was his life,” Rhonda Doe added.
Details surrounding the death are not known. Family members say Dime’s body was found inside a car in a driveway off of Concord Church Road in Allendale County.
“This weekend coming up is supposed to be his second cousin’s birthday, which is my son, and I was going to give a party and have him bring up some of the family members and he’s not here to do that for me. He’s not here,” Kolberg added emotionally.
Kolberg and Doe said they are not sure what would have caused someone to take the lifeline of their family away. “Especially like that, I don’t know. All I know is I love him and I miss him and I’m very sad,” Kolberg stated.
Phone calls to the Allendale County Sheriff’s Office were referred to state police. Phone calls and emails to SLED Wednesday afternoon went unanswered.
“I’m just wondering why the investigation is taking such a slow process with giving [Dime’s mother] information that other sources are getting, that we are seeing on Facebook or other websites that have articles and stuff about him that I’m just not fond of,” Doe said.
This has been the second death involving a transgender woman in South Carolina in recent weeks — the fourth known since 2018.
WCBD-TV reports North Charleston police found 29-year-old Denali Stuckey on the side of the street near the 2700 block of Carner Avenue on July 20. She was dead from an apparent gunshot wound. The Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA) stated that Stuckley identified as transgender and her name was Denali Berries Stuckley.
The group issued the following statement in response to Doe’s death:
I’m devastated by the news of Dime Doe’s murder in Allendale County. While our community is still reeling from the murder of one of our transgender sisters in North Charleston just two weeks ago, we now learn that a second black trans woman has been murdered not even one hundred miles away. We are sounding the alarm— We are in an absolute state of emergency for black transgender women.
While the motives of Dime’s murder aren’t yet known, we do know that often, the crimes against trans women of color are fueled by anti-LGBTQ prejudice, racism and misogyny. Black trans women live at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities, are too often treated as disposable, and are experiencing epidemic levels of violence. We are at a crisis point that demands the nation’s attention. At this moment, there is no sense of peace or security for our transgender community— and there won’t be until their lives are truly respected and valued by society.
Today, we stand in solidarity with Dime’s family and friends. We lift up her name as she would have wanted to be remembered and we call out for justice for Dime and for all of the black trans women who are known to have been killed in South Carolina since 2018: Sasha Wall, Regina Denise Brown, Denali Berries Stuckey, and LaDime Doe.
Friends and family of Dime Doe have taken to Facebook to express their disbelief of what could have happened. “All the love and support they give us on Facebook, they need to support and let us know what’s going on. Somebody knows something,” Dime’s cousin Leslie Chisolm said.
The family is asking anyone who knows anything to simply come forward.
“Time doesn’t heal all wounds as it’s stated,” Doe said. “You just learn to manage. You’re always looking for him, wondering where he is, knowing that he’s not coming back.”
Funeral arrangements are incomplete right now but the family is accepting donations. You can contact Dime’s mother, Debra Sabb, at 803-295-2834.
Meanwhile, if you have any information about this murder, you’re asked to contact your local law enforcement.