7:48 AM PDT, October 5, 2021
The family of a transgender woman who is missing in Ohio are reaching out for help. Sacoya Cooper, 33, was last seen Aug. 31 in a Black Ford Fusion around 11:30 p.m., according to reports. Her friends and family told The Columbus Dispatch that Sacoya left to go to the store, but she reportedly never made it there. Her family also said it’s not like her to just disappear and that her cell phone has been turned off.
Her family have been putting up flyers and working with the Columbus Division of Police to try and get answers. She is described as 5 feet, 5 inches, 145 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair in lemonade braids.
Columbus police Deputy Chief Tim Becker told the paper that a detective has been assigned to Sacoya’s case, and they haven’t uncovered any evidence of foul play thus far.
Charlie Stewart, an organizer with the Black Queer & Intersectional Collective (BQIC), an organization that is helping search for answers in Sacoya’s case as well, said there were a lot of missteps taken in the case, including that Sacoya wasn’t added to the national missing person database until Sept 22.
“It’s unfortunate that there were a lot of missteps taken, but that seems to be a repeated song for our community,” said Stewart. “…Black trans women are subjected to so much violence…Every second that she’s away from her home is being away from safety.”
In the wake of Gabby Petito’s disappearance and how much media attention the case received, BQIC and those in the LGBTQ+ community are questioning why Sacoya’s case isn’t getting the same attention.
“It’s getting to a point now where the family is having little hope each day, and that’s really breaking my heart,” Stewart told The Columbus Dispatch.
Anyone with information about Sacoya’s whereabouts can contact her family at 614-797-3388 or 419-276-3445, or call the Columbus Police Missing Persons Unit at 614-645-2358.