Mother, friend remember trans woman killed in Pennsylvania; suspect identified

KNWA

"Her move to Pennsylvania was supposed to be a new start for her," a close friend said.

UPDATE: Late Friday night, police also released the name of the suspect, 33-year-old Juan Carter Hernandez, of Campbell, Ohio.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Police in New Wilmington say they found a man beating the woman Thursday in broad daylight.

They identified her as Chyna Cardena.

Officers say the man ignored orders to stop the attack so police shot and killed him.

Family and friends of the victim say she identifies as Chyna Carrillo. She later died at a hospital.

Those close to Chyna described her as a beautiful soul. News of her attack has left everyone in shock.
They want her to be remembered for not how she died but how she made others feel.

“I love my kid with all of my heart and now she’s gone,” Lilia Carrillo said. “She’s not coming back.”

Chyna would’ve turned 25-years-old on March 3rd.

“I’m going to be celebrating a birthday with an angel in heaven,” Carrillo said.

Lilia Carrillo says she heard about her daughter’s deadly attack from Springdale police Thursday evening.

“They said well something happened, I said is my kid okay and he said no,” Carrillo said. “I knew she was gone.”

Carrillo says Chyna was born a male but identified as female.

“She was crying because she didn’t know how I was going to react, she was expecting the worst,” Carrillo said. “I looked at her and said don’t ever forget, no matter what, I’m going to love you forever – forever.”

Chyna lived in Springdale before moving to Pennsylvania. She used to work for a local hospital and nursing home where she met Patrick Irish.

“Whenever I was around Chyna and I knew I was working with her, it just felt like my world would light up,” Irish said. “Her move to Pennsylvania was supposed to be a new start for her. I was really excited to see that for her, and to see that someone decided it was her time it’s been so painful.”

Both want Chyna’s story to remind people to be more accepting and to show compassion.

“It’s so hard to see people with so much anger, you didn’t know my kid, I knew my kid, this was my child and you’re talking about a kid that’s already gone,” Carrillo said.

At last check, Pennsylvania State Police are still investigating the attack. Troopers have not released a motive yet.

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