Picture of couple on left, sketch of suspect to the right
A lesbian couple from Houston were murdered last week in Galveston County in a possible hate crime attack. Their bodies were found Friday morning next to a convenience store dumpster in Port Bolivar, Texas, but are believe to have been driven there once after being murdered. The victims have since been identified as Britney Cosby, 24, and Crystal Jackson, 24.
Relatives say the couple had been together for two years, and were visiting Galveston for Mardi Gras. Officials in Galveston County ruled the deaths as homicides on Monday, but the motives behind the killings are still not known. While sexual orientation is part of our federal and state hate crime laws, it is still not clear yet whether their murders will ultimately be considered a hate crime. Autopsies performed on the bodies show Cosby died of blunt force trauma and Jackson was shot to death.
Detectives handling the case are asking anyone that recognizes the man in the sketch to contact the sheriff's office tip line at 866-248-8477. Anyone with information is also encouraged to call Galveston County Crime Stoppers at 409-763-8477.
Updated 2:32pm: James Cosby, father of one of the victims, has been arrested in connection with the murders. He is being charged with two accounts of tempering with evidence in the deaths of his daughter and girlfriend.
Read the statement issued by Equality Texas below the jump.
March 11, 2014 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chuck Smith, Executive Director
Equality Texas Statement on Murder of Texas Lesbian Couple
Murdered Couple found outside Fisherman's Cove store in Port Bolivar
AUSTIN, TEXAS – Equality Texas urges the Department of Justice and local law enforcement in Port Bolivar, Texas to continue investigating the deaths of a young lesbian couple. The couple, Britney Cosby and Crystal Jackson, both age 24, were found early Saturday. KHOU reports that “Detectives believe the women were killed somewhere else and dumped at the store.” The motive of the shooting remains unclear.
“Equality Texas is deeply saddened by this murder and our hearts and prayers are with Ms. Cosby's and Ms. Jackson's family and friends during this difficult time,” said Equality Texas executive director Chuck Smith. “For many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community this is a stark reminder that nearly a third of Texas' hate crimes are motivated by bias against sexual orientation. A report issued last year by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that 73.1% of all anti-LGBT homicide victims in 2012 were people of color.”
“I have faith that the Galveston County Sheriff's department is working hard to bring closure to this senseless tragedy and will work with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Department of Justice to fully investigate,” Smith said.
Suspect in Texas Lesbian Couple's MurderDetectives are asking for the public's help in identifying the suspect in the composite drawing and tracking down the couple's car: a silver 2006 Kia Sorrento with paper tags. Anyone with information regarding the victims' deaths or the stolen vehicle is asked to call the Galveston County Sheriff's Office tip line at 866-248-8477.
Equality Texas advocates and lobbies for the elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.