A body found last month in an Ohio pond has been identified as 20-year-old Carl Edward Acoff, Jr., who police say self-identified as a woman.
She was identified earlier as Cemia Acoff, but friends say she went by the name Cemia “Ci Ci ” Dove.
Acoff was found wearing three black bras, a red Betty Boop tank top, light black hooded jacket and was nude from the waist down. Her body had been stabbed numerous times and tied to a steel pipe and a block of concrete before being dumped into a retention pond in Olmstead Township.
No stranger to police, Acoff had been previously arrested for assault, inducing panic and disrupting public service. According to The Plain Dealer, Acoff’s death marks the end of a “long fight for acceptance”:
In November 2010, RTA police said they were checking bus riders for proof of purchase when “we came across a female later identified as Carl Acoff. . . . Acoff gave us verbal information stating that he was a female.” Acoff later acknowledged that legal documents listed his identity as a man.
Six months later, RTA police again stopped Acoff, who was carrying drugs and hormones used to treat low estrogen in women, according to a police report.
The Plain Dealer‘s coverage of the story, however, has been denounced by GLAAD, which released a statement calling for them to respect Acoff’s gender identity.
“You can’t judge nobody by what they’re wearing or none of that so what, he dressed like a girl, whatever,” Acoff’s cousin Nicole Cantie told Cleveland’s Fox 8. “He ain’t deserve to die like this. They didn’t have to do him like this.”
Acoff was reported missing in Cleveland on March 27. Authorities say she was stabbed to death and may have been killed some time ago based on how badly the body was decomposed.
Olmstead Township Police Chief John Mineck wouldn’t provide many details as the investigation is still ongoing and would not say if there are any suspects in Acoff’s murder.
TransOhio is taking donations to assist Acoff’s family.
Photos: Fox 8
(h/t: Gay Star News)