Maria Jose Rivera Rivera

Maria Jose Rivera Rivera publicly provided by facebook. Graphically enhanced for artistic purposes by author.
Preferred NameMaria Jose Rivera RiveraCityHouston
Other Names UsedMaria Fair or FerStateTX
Age22Gender IdentityTranswoman
RaceLatinoDate of Death01/21/2023

Crime Category: Domestic Violence | Weapon Used: Gun

On January 21st, 2023, in Houston Texas, Maria was found dead along with her unnamed partner. Police say both died from gunshot wounds in what appears to be a murder-suicide.

Report: “Upon their arrival, they could smell the odor of what they believed a body coming inside the residence,” Det. James Wallschlaeger said.

A neighbor reported having smelled a foul odor and noticed mail outside the unit that had been there for quite some time, HPD said.

HPD said the two adults were reportedly in a dating relationship. Investigators say the cause of death appears to be from a gunshot. According to investigators, no motive has been determined as the investigation remains ongoing.”

Report: Jorge Espin, neighbor: “Espin said the other person found dead with the victim was aggressive.”

No details have been released about the partner.

Location: 10110 block of Forum Park Dr. near Sugar Branch Dr, Southwest Houston TX, at around 1:30 p.m.

Personal Information:

Cristian Sanchez, Rivera’s immigration lawyer and Supervising Attorney at RAICES Texas: “Maria Jose was a joy to work with. I always looked forward to speaking with her,” Sanchez wrote. “She was lively, funny, and dynamic. My heart hurts from her loss.”

Her sister was on the scene at the report of the crime in the video above and stated Maria’s body would be returned to El Salvador for burial.

Sanchez spoke of Maria in an interview.

Recalling meeting her at 18 when she was in an argument with two older, and drunk, transwomen, he said, “She had this kind of attitude of ‘You can’t touch this’ or ‘I’m above it,’”

Maria had fled El Salvador after being rejected by her family. She joined an LGBTQ asylum seeker’s group called, La Comunidad. She spent over a year in the South Texas ICE Processing Center during 2019.

“Rivera stood out with her hair in space buns, wearing a smocked over-the-shoulder yellow top, paired with olive green flowy pants and her Barbie pink bag.

“It did not look like she had been in detention,” Sánchez said. “She was also the only person to come out of that center wearing sunglasses!”

She moved to Houston Texas to begin her asylum process, “She struggled with the people she lived with, so she often moved housing abruptly and changed phone numbers, making it difficult for Sánchez to stay in touch.”

Last Public Update: 07/23/2023

News Timeline: 01/21/2023 | 02/23/2023 | 02/27/2023 | 02/28/2023

2 adults found dead in SW Houston apartment complex after neighbor smelled foul odor, police said – Maria Jose Rivera Rivera. (2023, January 21). ABC13.

Ali, J. (2023, February 28). Maria Jose Rivera Rivera: Trans Latinx woman killed in apparent murder-suicide. Pink News.

Ballard, M. (2023a, January 21). 2 found dead in possible murder-suicide after welfare check in SW Houston, HPD says – Maria Jose Rivera Rivera. Click2Houston.

Denny. (2023, July 27). When You Were Here: Maria Jose Rivera Rivera. Reckon.

FOX 26 Digital. (2023, January 21). Two bodies found dead in apartment after welfare check, possible murder-suicide police say – Maria Jose Rivera Rivera. FOX 26.

Kerr, S. (2023, February 24). Latina Trans Woman Maria Jose Rivera Rivera, 22, Killed in Houston. PGH Lesbian Correspondents.

KPRC 2 Click2Houston. (2023, January 21). Couple found dead in possible murder-suicide after welfare check in SW Houston, HPD says – Maria Jose Rivera Rivera. Youtube.

Lhant, V. (2023, February 23). Remembering Maria Jose Rivera Rivera, Latina Transgender Woman described as “Lively, Funny, and Dynamic”. Human Rights Campaign.

Riedel, S. (2023, February 24). Maria Jose Rivera Rivera, A Trans Immigrant “Looking to Build a Life in America” Found Dead in Houston. Them.

Ring, T. (2023, February 27). Latinx Trans Woman Killed in Houston in Apparent Murder-Suicide – Maria Jose Rivera Rivera. Advocate.

Images are publicly available through public sources, personal posts, family members and information websites as well as stills from cited videos and news websites. Images are digitally enhanced for artistic purposes. All information is accurate to the best of the author’s knowledge at time of publishing. Updates will be made as needed.