Man charged with murder of transgender woman in Milpitas

Bay Area

MILPITAS, Calif. (KRON) – A Union City man has been charged with the murder of a 24-year-old transgender woman.

According to the Deputy District Attorney, 22-year-old Elijah Cruz Segura stabbed Natalia Smüt Lopez on April 23.

“She cared about everybody. No matter what they did to her she always forgave everybody. That was my best friend. We did everything together,” cousin Kiara Ohlde said.

The two had been dating for several months.

Segura called 911 after stabbing Smüt multiple times. She was taken to the hospital where died.

Officials said Segura “had visible blood on both of his hands” and was arrested at the scene.

Segura will be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.

If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Smüt’s family says she was a beloved drag artist who entertained mostly in San Jose but also did shows throughout the Bay Area.

The family has been raising funds to help pay for funeral expenses. 

Prosecutors have not given any motive in this killing.

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