‘Backpacks for Jenna’ will honor the death of a transgender woman a year later

JACKSONVILLE, NC (WNCT) – February marks one year since the homicide of a transgender woman in Jacksonville.

The Onslow County LGBTQ Community Center plans to participate in “Backpacks for Jenna,” distributing backpacks full of supplies to homeless people in the community on Feb. 26, two days after the one-year anniversary of Jenna’s murder. Jenna Franks.

“We’re still a little bit in the dark about a lot of things, which, you know, in an investigation you can’t really give away too much or, you know, word spreads quickly,” the sister said. Jenna, Heidi Crisco.

Jenna’s body was found on February 24 near Ellis Boulevard and White Street in Jacksonville, floating in a nearby creek. An autopsy report released last June says Jenna died from multiple stab wounds. His death is being investigated as a homicide and a potential hate crime by the Jacksonville Police Department and the FBI.

“Mentally, it really, really affected our father. He just hasn’t been well placed since it happened. And then for us, Amber and myself, it felt like we had to be strong,” Crisco said.

The Onslow County LGBTQ Community Center said that since her murder, the community feels unsettled knowing her killer is still there.

“As of February 24, 2021, not only Jacksonville’s transgender community, but also the LGBTQ community have been on heightened alert knowing that someone within our community has been the target of murder,” said the executive director of the Onslow LGBTQ Community Center, Dennis Biancuzzo. .

The family says they were unaware of the backpacking plan until now and say they wish they could be there.

Jenna’s sister adds that the family hopes to have answers one day.

“We just hope that one day we find out who did it and that justice is served and hope that the system can work to find the answers for us and you know, give Jenna the justice she deserves,” said Crisco.

These backpacks will be “survival backpacks” filled with items such as blankets, gloves, hygiene items and non-perishable food items. After distributing the bags, they plan to hold a brief remembrance ceremony for Jenna.

The center said it wanted to honor him in any way possible.

“This murder must be solved. Jenna Frank’s family needs closure and this community needs closure,” Biancuzzo said.

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