The family of a transgender woman who went missing from DFW Airport said they are concerned for her safety due to recent suspected hate crimes against LGBTQ people in Dallas.
Pauline Norberto del Mundo was last seen at a terminal in the airport waiting for a flight on Sept. 14, a spokesman for the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport said.
The woman’s sister, Yolanda del Mundo, said Pauline del Mundo was supposed to be flying to Cozumel, Mexico, but she called another sister and said she wanted to return to Tampa, Florida, instead.
Pauline del Mundo seemed confused, disoriented and afraid on the phone, Yolanda del Mundo said.
The family is also concerned for Pauline del Mundo’s safety due to recent attacks on transgender women in Dallas. At least three transgender women have been attacked, two fatally, in Dallas since May 18.
“The issue of her being transgender is another cause of alarm at the height of ‘hate crimes’ perpetuated in Dallas,” Yolanda del Mundo said via email.
Video surveillance showed Pauline del Mundo walking around the airport on Sept. 14, her sister said. While the cameras do not show the entire airport, Yolanda del Mundo said her family is fairly certain Pauline del Mundo did not leave the airport premises.
Detectives do not believe that Pauline del Mundo left the airport through Uber, taxi or bus, or on board an airplane, Yolanda del Mundo said.
“What is puzzling is, where can she be within the airport premises? It remains to us a mystery,” Yolanda del Mundo said via email.
DFW airport police are working with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department in Florida in the search for Pauline del Mundo.
On Sept. 23, a transgender woman was shot multiple times in Dallas. On Wednesday, a man was arrested in connection to the shooting. The man hurled homophobic and transphobic slurs at the woman before shooting her, and Dallas police called the attack a hate crime.
At least two transgender women have been fatally attacked in Dallas in 2019. Muhlaysia Booker, 23, was found shot dead in Dallas on May 18. Chynal Lindsey, 26, was found dead in a Dallas lake June 1.
Kendrell Lyles, 34, was arrested and charged with Booker’s killing as well as in the deaths of a man and woman. Ruben Alvarado, 22, was arrested in June in connection with Lindsey’s death, CNN reported.
In 2018, at least 28 transgender people were killed in the U.S., according to data gathered by CNN. All but one of the victims were transgender women, and all but one were people of color.