A Washington state man killed a transgender teen he’d connected with on Snapchat after she told him she was born a male, police said.
David Bogdanov, 25, was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder in the death of Nikki Kuhnhausen, a 17-year-old transgender girl who was last seen alive in early June, KATU reported.
After linking up with the teen on Snapchat, investigators believe Bogdanov asked Kuhnhausen to meet him on June 6. Bogdanov later asked her to leave when he found out she was transgender – and claims he never saw Kuhnhausen again.
The relationship between the pair is unclear.
“We suspect that there was probably some interaction where – and by his own admission – that he determined that, somehow found out during conversation that she was transgender and he stated that he – that was offensive to his culture and he asked her to get out of his van,” Vancouver police Lt. Tom Ryan told the station.
Bogdanov told detectives that Kuhnhausen walked away after the pair “had a conflict.” Her body was later found on Dec. 7 in a remote area on Larch Mountain in Clark County, KATU reported.
Cellphone records show that Bogdanov was in the same area on June 6 as where Kuhnhausen’s body was later found, according to the station.
Bogdanov, who is being held without bail, is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, The Oregonian reported.
Authorities have not yet released Kuhnhausen’s cause of death, according to the outlet. But “some evidence” shows that the teen may have been strangled, Ryan told KATU.
LGBTQ advocates said the case highlights the “life-threatening amount of transphobia and homophobia” that still exists in northwest Oregon and southwest Washington, Cameron Whitten of Portland’s Q Center told the station.
“There are people who will want to cause violence to you because of who you are and who you love,” Whitten said.
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