Transgender activist Cecelia Cranko was found unresponsive and pronounced dead in her South Orange NJ home early Friday morning.
Firemen found Cranko while responding to a fire in her home.
In 2007 Cranko reported being assaulted in her home. No arrests have been made in that case and as of yet, police haven’t linked the two incidents.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, South Orange Fire Chief Daniel Sullivan and South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll have announced that authorities are investigating a fatal fire that occurred in South Orange, NJ early this morning (7/5/19).
At approximately 2:39 a.m., units from the South Orange Fire Department were dispatched to a report of a fire at a residence at 231 Ward Place. Arriving firefighters observed an active fire at this location. As firefighters entered the structure, they located an unresponsive female on the third floor of the single-family residence.
The female was pronounced dead at the scene.
The victim has been identified as Cecelia Cranko, age 48, who resided in the residence, according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas S. Fennelly of the Prosecutor’s Homicide Unit. No one else was injured as a result of the fire.
This incident is being investigated by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigations Bureau. The origin and cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to Fennelly. Anyone with information is asked to call the Prosecutor’s Tips Line at (877) 847-7432.
In 2017, Cranko told WABC-TV that a man broke into her home on Ward Place and beat her violently before running out the door.
“He just ran for me,” she then told the TV station “I tried to get upstairs to my room, to lock the door, but he caught me before that, and he just attacked me. He tried to pull my clothes off, and I screamed and kicked.”
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigations Bureau is investigating both the origin and cause of the fire, Fennelly said.
Anyone with information should call the Prosecutor’s Tips Line at 1-877-847-7432.
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