Vigils planned across Texas for slain lesbian couple

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James Larry Cosby.

Vigils are planned for Wednesday in several locations in Texas in memory of Crystal Jackson and Britney Cosby, the 24-year-old girlfriends slain earlier this month. Their bodies were found on March 7 in a dumpster near Galveston, Texas.

The women had been together for about two years and were raising a daughter.

Cosby's father has been arrested in connection with the case and there have been reports that the women were killed at his residence. There also have been conflicting reports as to how the father, James Larry Cosby, was dealing with his daughter's sexual orientation and relationship with Jackson. He was taken into custody for allegedly tampering with evidence in the case but authorities have said charges could be upgraded to capital murder.

Detectives in Galveston are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man in a composite sketch who was last seen with the women and may be driving Cosby's silver 2006 Kia Sorrento. The vehicle is considered a key piece of evidence in solving the killings.

Activists planning the vigils reminded authorities and the public that in 2012, in a park in Portland, Texas, someone fatally shot Mollie Olgin and seriously injured her girlfriend, Mary Kristine Chapa. The crime hasn't been solved.

C.D. Kirven, an LGBT activist and member of the Dallas LGBT Taskforce, said, "We want to celebrate the way Britney and Crystal lived and not the way they died. They were a part of a community, an LGBT family, that mourns their loss."

Tiffani Bishop, co-state lead organizer for GetEQUAL Texas, added, "The tragic murders of Britney and Crystal are truly heartbreaking. To discover that Britney's father is suspected of committing these crimes is difficult to wrap my head around. It is beyond time that our community begin an open and honest dialogue about violence against queer women of color."

Said Patrick Fierro, co-state lead organizer for GetEQUAL TX, "Let us come together as a community and celebrate the lives of Crystal and Britney. Let's continue our fight to protect our sisters and the LGBT family from violent acts against us. Love conquers all so, let's love one another."

The vigils are set to take place on March 19, but plans are still coming together. Some early details:

• Austin Vigil at 8 p.m., MCC Austin, 8601 South First St..

• Corpus Christi Vigil, 7:30 p.m. The Water Gardens, 1902 N. Shoreline.

• Dallas Prayer Vigil at 7 p.m., Living Faith Covenant Church, 3403 Shelley Blvd, Dallas.

• Fort Worth Vigil at 8 p.m., Rainbow Lounge, 651 South Jennings Ave, Fort Worth.