Prosecutors: Man Murdered Woman After She Told Him She Was Transgender

Jennifer Keiper
June 17, 2020 - 1:21 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- An 18-year-old Chicago high school student is now behind bars, charged with murdering a transgender woman in her Southwest Side apartment last month.

Selena Reyes-Hernandez brought Orlando Perez to her Marquette Park home on the morning of May 31.

Perez was allegedly so upset after finding out Reyes-Hernandez was transgender that he killed her, the Sun-Times reports.

Even after shooting Selena Reyes-Hernandez twice, Orlando Perez told detectives he went back to her Marquette Park home a second time so he could shoot her again, Cook County prosecutors said Tuesday.

Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office identified Reyes-Hernandez by her birth name, but prosecutors said she preferred to go by the first name of Selena.

Police said Perez shot the victim multiple times in the back and head inside of her home in the 3300 block of West 71st. Street.

Orlando Perez
Chicago police

CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said the defendant gave a confession.

"The two met up on the street. How they actually met - was it through a phone, an app, or anything like that - we don't know yet, but we do know they met up at about 5:30 in the morning, and they went back to the victim's residence. We don't know specifically how they met," he said.

But Deenihan said "based upon the information we have, it appears they kind of just met up. This was not a long-standing relationship."

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Perez was arrested at about 3:15 p.m. Sunday at his in the 3300 block of West 72nd Street, police said. He faces a charge of first-degree murder.

Perez has no other criminal record and has had summer jobs at a factory in Chicago that makes jelly, the assistant public defender said.

Judge Arthur Wesley Willis ordered Perez held without bail.

Deenihan said it goes to show how difficult these cases are.

"So the victim - they just met this person, even though the murder happened inside, obviously there's no witnesses and there is no information for the detectives to go off of. And if they just met someone, it makes these cases very, very difficult to solve. But once again, the technology, the video, and eventually some information from the victim's own phone is what solved the murder."