Teenagers charged over murder of 21-year-old trans man Alex Franco

Three teenagers have been arrested in relation to the murder of Alex Franco, who was reportedly abducted and killed on March 17.

Photo of Alex Franco, wearing a black t-shirt with his hand over his heart. The transgender teen was abducted and murdered on March 17.

Content warning: mentions of transphobia, violence and murder.

Friends, family and the LGBTQ+ community are mourning the tragic loss of Alex Franco, a 21-year-old transgender man who was killed in the US state of Utah on Sunday, March 17.

Alex was reportedly abducted on Sunday afternoon, with video footage showing him getting into a 2000s Jeep Liberty vehicle. Investigators believe that Franco knew at least one of the people in the car and entered the vehicle willingly. Franco’s girlfriend, Alyssa, told KUTV News that “friends of friends” were planning to give Franco a lift to a nearby park.

Witnesses described hearing gunfire as the jeep drove away, and it is believed that Franco died from a single gunshot wound. His body was found in a “remote desert area” on Tuesday, March 19.

Taylorsville Police confirmed that two teenagers aged 15 and 17 were arrested on Wednesday and charged with multiple felonies in relation to the homicide. Another 17-year-old was taken into custody early Thursday morning. Those charged over the death of Alex Franco are set to appear in court on March 27.


Alex’s grandfather shared a Facebook post on Tuesday remembering his grandson: “Alex took care of Me when I couldn’t walk, brought Me the Best ice water ever,” he said.

The man also shared that he was “so happy” when Alex came out as transgender and became the person he always should have been.



A memorial fund was organised for Alex Franco’s family to help with funeral expenses and support his grieving siblings.

Many of Alex’s friends and family left condolence messages describing him as a happy, brave and passionate young man who had a heart of gold and loved animals and people unconditionally.

Several people described Alex as one of their best friends, with one sharing: “I will never forget his infectious smile and silly humor he had…Alex your memory will live on and you will not be forgotten…I will always, so much respect that about you. Rest easy friend.”

Another said, “we met in fifth grade, i remember seeing you at recess and thinking you were so cool. i was so scared to talk to you and then you approached me and made me feel like i was the only person in your world. you had a way of doing that, you lit up every room and made every person feel so special.”

Someone else added: “I wish I had more time with you, I don’t know what I’m going to do without you.”

Many shared that even though they didn’t know Alex personally, they were impacted by his loss.

One person shared: “We did not know you, but know that your courage was inspirational, your example of leading an authentic life will be lasting and your presence in the world will be missed.”

Alex’s death follows a recent increase in anti-trans rhetoric and legislation in the US, which many say has translated to an increase in transphobia and far-right violence.

In 2023, the US introduced 600 anti-trans and anti-drag bills and ultimately passed 87 of them. Additionally, 531 anti-trans bills have already been proposed in the first three months of 2024.


If you have been affected by this story or are looking to reach out to someone for support, advice or just to talk, there are numerous services available for LGBTQ+ people, listed below, and many offer instant messaging support.

National LGBT+ Helpline
The Switchboard
Dublin Lesbian Line
Belong To
Pieta House
Mental Health Ireland
Garda Confidential Line

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