A North Carolina woman has been charged with second-degree murder after a teenager transitioning from male to female died of blood poisoning following a silicone injection into her buttocks. Symone Jones, 19, died on 12th January of complications following the procedure allegedly carried out by 42-year-old Kavonceya Iman Cornelius.
Jones, who had identified as a female since a very young age, had already had breast implants at a licensed plastic surgery clinic in Miami, according to Heatstreet. However on 5 January she went to the Salisbury home of Cornelius - also a male-to-female transgender woman - for silicone buttock injections, even though Cornelius was not licensed to carry out the procedure had been warned not to go. Cornelius allegedly used non-medical grade silicone for the procedure.
A GoFundMe page set up to pay for Jones's funeral expenses stated: "She died from a bad silicon injection. Which cut her lungs and caused internal bleeding. Also, the silicon consisted of a substance that poisoned her bloodstream."
Police had been tipped off about Cornelius on 13 February, after another transgender client, Kaniya Eboni Bernard, grew unwell following silicone injections.
Bernard now has serious health problems. A warrant was issued for Cornelius's arrest and she turned herself in.
Cornelius, who was born Kenneth Rudolph Cornelius, has previously been convicted of driving under the influence, soliciting for prostitution, soliciting a crime against nature, maintaining a place for prostitution, larceny, and loitering for prostitution, according to the Charlotte Observer.
There have been a number of similar incidents across the US in recent years, including the death of model Karima Gordon from Mississippi who died after being injected by transgender "nurse" Tracey Lynn Garner. In 2015 Atlanta drag performer Lateasha Hall died after being injected by fake medic Deanna Roberts.