• Jacksonville police release sketch of suspect in transgender murder, father of victim speaks out

    By: Danielle Avitable , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    It has been a month and a half since Donald James, who also went by Cathalina Christina James, was killed in a Baymeadows hotel room.

    Since then, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office released surveillance video of a car related to her death.

    On Thursday, police released a sketch of the possible suspect and told Action News Jax that they were able to get it from a witness.

    The victim’s father said he thinks his daughter was targeted.

    “Because of the situation that’s going on in Jacksonville, now I really think she was being targeted at the time,” the father, Donald James, said.

    RELATED: Advocate calls for community support, inclusion after murder of transgender woman in JacksonvilleTransgender community worried for safety after third Jacksonville trans woman shot, killed

    According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 16 transgender people have been killed nationwide in 2018 and three of those murders happened in Jacksonville.

    James was a transgender woman from South Carolina, and her father said she was in town visiting friends for LGBT Pride Month when police said she was shot and killed.

     “She would do anything for anybody to help anybody out,” James said.

    Action News Jax reached out to Crime Stoppers and was told that they have received three tips on her murder but all were cleared by police.

    Now with video of the car involved and the sketch of a possible suspect, JAmesis hopeful his daughter’s killer will be off the street soon.

     “I’m not going to sleep until this is over with and I won’t have this swept under the rug,” James said.

    If he could say one thing to the suspect, it would be, “Why take a life that you can’t give?"

    Anyone who knows anything about the suspect or where the car could be is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers. 

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