Transgender Activist Zoraida Reyes Was Choked to Death by Randy Lee Parkerson: Prosecutors

Zoraida Reyes, R.I.P.
Zoraida Reyes, R.I.P.

UPDATE, OCT. 9, 5:21 P.M.: Randy Lee Parkerson met transgender immigrant rights activist Zoraida "Ale" Reyes, choked her to death and kept her body in the trunk of his car before dumping the corpse behind a Dairy Queen, according to prosecutors.

The morbid disclosure is contained in an Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) arraignment statement for 38-year-old Parkerson, who was charged today with one felony count of murder. If convicted, the Anaheim resident faces up to 25 years to life in state prison, according to the OCDA.

Currently being held on $1 million bail, Parkerson had his scheduled arraignment continued to Oct. 31 at the Central Jail in Santa Ana.

Referring to Reyes by her birth name and gender, the OCDA alleges:

On June 10, 2014, Parkerson is accused of meeting with 28-year-old Cesar Reyes and murdering him by choking him. Parkerson is accused of placing the victim's body in the trunk of his car for one day and dumping the body behind a fast food restaurant in Anaheim.

Noting the ongoing Anaheim Police Department investigation, the OCDA added no further information will be released at this time.

ORIGINAL POST, OCT. 8, 4:38 P.M.: Anaheim Police have made an arrest in the murder of Zoraida "Ale" Reyes, a 28-year-old transgender immigrant rights activist whose body was found near a Dairy Queen in June.

Randy Lee Parkerson, 38, of Anaheim, was booked on a murder charge Tuesday morning in his vehicle in the 200 block of East Katella Avenue, according to Anaheim Police Lt. Bob Dunn.

The only other information about the case the department spokesman released this afternoon was that Parkerson is being held at the Anaheim Police Department Temporary Detention Facility in lieu of $1 million bail.

Remembering Transgender Immigrant Activist Zoraida Reyes

Details were also sketchy when Dunn announced the suspicious June 12 death of the immigrant transgender activist who fought against deportations that break up same-sex couples. Her body was found in the parking lot behind a Dairy Queen in the 200 block of North State College Boulevard, and the cause of death was not immediately revealed.

Upcoming Events

Zoraida Reyes, Transgender DREAMer Activist: Death Deemed "Suspicious;" Vigil Held

Reyes was a well-known community activist who worked with Orange County Dream Team, DeColores Queer Orange County and Familia. She was born in Michoacan, Mexico, attended high school in Santa Ana and became an activist while at UC Santa Barbara. Her death sparked a memorial procession down West Fourth Street in Santa Ana the evening after the news broke.

Remembering Zoraida.
Remembering Zoraida.
Photo by Aimee Murillo/OC Weekly

Kevin O'Grady, executive director of The Center OC, told my colleague Gabriel San Ramon at the time, "Unfortunately, this brings home to Orange County what happens across the nation everyday. Transgender women are subject to murder, violence and attack. What I hope it does is bring the rest of the LGB community behind in support of the transgender community and that everybody stands together."

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

Upcoming Events

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >