Foreigner murdered in Tallinn in early July identified as trans Black woman

Tallinn's Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats). Photo is illustrative.
Tallinn's Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats). Photo is illustrative. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

A foreigner found murdered in an apartment in Tallinn's Town Hall Square earlier this month has been identified as Sabrina Houston, 37, a trans Black woman from Jamaica, Estonian online news portal Delfi reports.

The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) confirmed on Monday that the foreigner found murdered on July 9 was a trans Jamaican citizen, the online news portal reported (link in Estonian).

The police declined to comment on the motive, as the investigation is still in its early stages.

Local resident Kirill Lukin, 23, was arrested on July 12 and has not denied murdering Houston.

A second local man, 32, initially detained together with Lukin, was later freed; evidence collected thus far proved that while the two men had been spotted by cameras moving around together, the second man had not committed the murder, explained Kelly Kruusimägi, senior prosecutor at the Northern District Prosecutor's Office Department for Drug-related, Grave and Organized Crimes.

Trans victim misgendered

Anette Maletjärv, cooperation officer at the Estonian LGBT Association, tweeted about Houston's murder on Monday, sharing screenshots of the public message posted by Houston's cousin Aryelle Freeman Hopelezz confirming the victim's identity as well as expressing their dismay that the Estonian media had misgendered Houston in earlier coverage.

"On July 9, a young Black trans woman was murdered in Tallinn," Maletjärv wrote in Estonian. "This is a terribly tragedy and I am in shock. I haven't heard of a single case of an LGBT person being killed in Estonia before. The murder victim's gender identity has not been reported correctly in the media."

Deadly stabbing in Old Town

Police were notified at midday on Saturday, July 9 that a body bearing signs of violence had been found in a rental apartment in Tallinn's Old Town; Lukin and the second man were detained in connection with the murder around 1:30 p.m. the next day.

According to the allegations, Lukin repeatedly stabbed Houston, a casual acquaintance, in the apartment that same morning.

The court to issue his arrest warrant highlighted that a hoodie and shoes found in the victim's apartment resembled those seen worn by Lukin prior to his arrival at the apartment in footage captured by a municipal security camera.

The court also noted that while Lukin had no prior record of violent crime, he had just completed a probation period for drunk driving eleven days prior to Houston's murder, providing further grounds, in addition to the details of the murder, to believe that the suspect "favors the use of violence in unpleasant situations" and thus poses a significant threat if allowed to go free.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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