A memorial service for a transgender woman found dead of an apparent homicide in San Francisco last week will be held today at the service center where she volunteered as an advocate for the transgender community.
Mariah Qualls, 23, was found dead Dec. 9 inside the Golden Eagle Hotel at 402 Broadway, a residential hotel in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. A neighbor reported last seeing her two days prior.
Police declared the case a homicide, after the medical examiner determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head.
Qualls volunteered for and was a member of Trans:Thrive, a drop-in center at the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood. She also worked for the group’s peer support program for transgender youth of color.
According to the center, Qualls’ friends described her as easy-going, fun and down to earth. She enjoyed giving back to her community and was also working toward her GED, they said.
“We are grieving the loss of someone we care about while we are also reminded of the continued importance of our work,” Trans:Thrive program supervisor Luke Woodward said in a statement today.
“As we remember and honor Mariah, we renew our commitment to ending all violence against transgender people, including hate violence and intimate partner violence,” Woodward said.
Police have not discussed a possible motive for Qualls’ killing, and no arrests have been made.
The memorial service will take place at 5 p.m. today at the center’s office at 815 Hyde St., Suite 201.