She was a well-known figure in South Florida. Her death is the 37th fatality of a trans person in the U.S. this year
Trigger Warning: The story has details of trans violence and death that readers may find disturbing
Yunieski Carey Herrera, professionally known as Yuni Carey, was a transgender woman popular in South Florida as a salsa dancer, model, and LGBTQ+ activist, She was stabbed to death by her husband on Tuesday reports PEOPLE. She was 39. Herrera was married to Ygor Arrudasouza, 27, also a dancer from Brazil. The two shared a condo in a Miami apartment complex, where the murder took place. According to police records, Arrudasouza pushed his wife on the bed and stabbed her with a fork and a knife in a fit of jealousy whilst being under the influence of meth. He called 911 and told the responding officers he ruined his life due to meth, and that he murdered his wife. The cops found Herrera dead in her apartment. Her death is the 37th fatality of a transgender from violence this year in the country according to Human Rights' Campaign.
Transgender Beauty Queen Is Allegedly Stabbed to Death by Husband in Their Miami High-Rise https://t.co/RY6bV4M5fZ— People (@people) November 19, 2020
Local 10 reports that Arrudasouza told police he had stabbed his wife "multiple times until he realized what he had done." He also allegedly said he "deserves the punishment that comes to him." The victim had told Arrudasouza that "she had a better man" than him which caused him to go into a jealous rage. The accused appeared before the Miami-Dade County court on Wednesday and was in tears. He was charged with second-degree murder. Tributes and condolences poured in for the model who is originally from Cuba. She would regularly perform and compete in beauty pageants for years.
#Transgender activists in Florida and around the country are mourning the death of Yunieski “Yuni” Carey Herrera, a #trans woman who was murdered by her boyfriend in their Miami apartment on Tuesday. @valdes_yariel has the details for the @LosAngelesBlade https://t.co/x1lYGn9Xti— Michael K. Lavers (He/Él) (@mklavers81) November 19, 2020
During an interview with a blogger back in 2015, Herrera spoke about how she started. "I started back in 2004 when I was asked to model for a local fashion show here in Los Angeles and I just got addicted!!! And I had to do it more lol lol. I enjoy pageants more; it has become my passion in life." As for the difficulty of being transgender in the U.S., she added, "In America, we still till today have been subject to discrimination and hate crimes towards our Community... People are not educated enough in order to understand who we are! Everything is about labels, and no matter what we are still men to society! And that breaks my heart." Herrera had a number of plans for her future which was cut short. She said, " I see myself winning Miss Continental in Chicago. Married with a happy home!"
So Sad: Transgender Beauty Queen and Performer, Yunieski Carey Herrera, Allegedly Stabbed to Death by Her Husband https://t.co/B68bmY5T3n— Queenie’s Blog (@queeniesblog) November 19, 2020
She added, "Hopefully in Cuba since that's where I would want to spend the last days of my life... Not rich but with no worries or stress! I would want to be a role model to the next generation of transgenders ... To show them that no matter where you come from or what you go through in life, we make it and we survive! We just have to be strong and believe in a better tomorrow." Raul Griffith, Herrera’s friend said he loved her like a sister and hailed her as a graceful star who was popular among the LGBTQ community. He added she was loved and admired by all. "Besides being strikingly beautiful, she was kind and she was good and she cared as much about others as she would about herself. She was a very special person for many people," said Griffith.
TW: trans-related violence and murder— Bernardo Sim (@simbernardo) November 18, 2020
Miss Trans Star Cuba 2019, Yunieski Carey Herrera, was stabbed by her boyfriend 37 times in Miami on the morning of Tuesday, Nov 17, 2020. She was 39 years old and used the stage name Yuni Carey. She was found dead in her apartment. pic.twitter.com/GyjyiE9Q9z
Arianna Innuritegui-Lint, the chief executive officer of Arianna’s Center that works to empower the local trans community called Herrera "amazing" and "sweet." She said Herrera was always willing to help others since she made her dreams come true. Innuritegui-Lint stated, "She had a perfect life. She was in love." Arrudasouza has had problems with the law before. According to records of the Miami-Dade County court, he was arrested in January on three charges of battery. He was out on a felony bond at the time when he committed the murder according to the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation records. He is presently lodged at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center and being held without bond.