The body of Elise Malary, a transgender woman who has been missing for more than a week, was found Thursday evening.
NBC Chicago reported that officials responded to Garden Park in the 500 block of Sheridan Square at approximately 4:30 p.m. to find the body of a Black woman by the rocks. Malary had been missing since March 11.
Malary had been an activist for LGBTQ rights and used to work for the Illinois Attorney General’s civil rights division.
“Elise was a valued member of our Civil Rights Bureau who, as a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ community, was passionate about her work,” Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said in a statement. “Her kindness and infectious smile will be missed by those who worked with her. The Attorney General’s office has lost a member of our family, and as an office, we are heartbroken.”
The Brave Space Alliance (BSA), a trans-lead community center on the Chicago South Side, has started a funeral fund to pay for final expenses.
“Elise’s work to advance the interests of trans people in Andersonville with the Chicago Therapy Collective has touched countless lives, and helped make Chicago a better place for trans people to live, work, and thrive,” the BSA said on Facebook. “Chicago has now lost two Black trans women in the span of 24 hours, the other being a woman named Tatiana. Black trans women deserve better, and our systems, our governments, and our communities fail them over and over.”
Equality Illinois remembered Malary in a tweet on Saturday.
Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Straton also remembered Malary on social media.