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Tru Starlet, former Miss Lewis County and Miss Olympia, victim of homicide

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Tru Starlet — Photo by Trubble Hill Expressions
Tru Starlet — Photo by Trubble Hill Expressions

Rikkey Outumuro, known to many as Tru Starlet, was the victim of a brutal homicide in her home in Centralia, Washington. She was 39 years old.

Her boyfriend, Cristopher Allen Gaudreau, 28, has been charged with her murder and is being held at the Lewis County Jail without bail.

"The Lewis County Prosecutor's Office has filed charges against the suspect in this case," Scott Jackson, senior deputy prosecuting attorney for Lewis County, told the SGN on Tuesday. "The defendant has been charged with murder in the first degree. We cannot comment further about a pending case."

Gaudreau's arraignment was scheduled for Nov. 4 in Lewis County Superior Court.

Photo courtesy of Rikkey Outumuro / Facebook  

Outumuro had been crowned the first-ever Miss Gay Lewis County in 2008 and was once the reigning Miss Gay Olympia, according to her friend Jadys Diamond. "She was one of the most recognized members of the Olympia LGBTQIA community," she explained. "I am heartbroken and crushed to find out that she was brutally murdered."

Diamond and Outumuro performed together many times in Olympia over the last 13 years at Jakes on 4th, The Urban Onion, and the Eagles Club of Olympia. Outumuro also performed as Tru Starlet during the Capitol City Pride's virtual event in June.

"Rikkey always loved to be glamorous and to make people smile," Diamond said. "She really loved to sing karaoke and spend time with her friends in Olympia.

"I want people to remember her as the glamorous woman she was, who brought joy to all of those who were around her."

Diamond offered up several memorable moments, but her fondest memory of Outumuro was during the Olympia Downtown Association's Christmas Parade a few years ago, during which they sang Christmas songs and handed out candy canes to children while walking with Capital City Pride.

"She was a loving drag sister to us queens from Olympia," Diamond said.

Anna Schlecht, Outumuro's "adopted Gay aunt" said she met her when she was an eight-year-old "budding drag queen," because she was pals with the daughter of her girlfriend at the time.

"For fun, the kids would run over to the food co-op free box to play 'dress-up drag queen' and put on shows in the neighborhood," recalled Schlecht. "I was deeply moved when Rikkey's mom approached us and said, 'Thank you for befriending Rikkey. She needs strong, Gay role models that love her.' That's when Rikkey adopted me as her Lesbian aunt. Later, we worked together when she performed in the Olympia Pride events. This past summer, she was the one who called me in the middle of the night to say that Lisa, an old girlfriend, had died."

"Rikkey had a big heart and a giant smile. She leaves a huge hole in the heart of our community," added Schlecht.

Kelly Kaanaana was a friend of Outumuro since sixth grade. She was the hostess of her dating-game show in high school. She also was her hair stylist as an adult. She told the SGN on Wednesday that Outumuro "made Centralia a better place for those who didn't fit the cookie-cutter norm."

"She was a trailblazer and so well loved," said Kaanaana. "Before her, people were afraid to come out as Gay, Trans, or the like. There's many, many more people whose life she touched as well."

Gina Smivaer, a cousin of Outumuro, said she was in shock that Outumuro's life was cut short before her time. She added that the pair had exchanged direct messages on October 15 and were discussing Halloween treats she was making and described Outumuro as "very creative and crafty," with a "fun loving personality."

"I am in utter shock and disbelief," said Smivaer. "I am just so emotionally sick about all of this. I still can't believe it is true, even though I know it is. My heart is broken and my soul just aches for her mom."

Photos courtesy of Cristopher Gaudreau / Facebook  

The suspect
According to a court filing in Lewis County Superior Court, Outumuro's mother, Hope Schumacher, called 9-1-1 to report that Gaudreau had come to her residence with their six-year-old child and told her that her daughter was dead and had "blood coming from her mouth."

Centralia Police responded to Outumuro's home in the 800 block of S. Gold St. at 8:20 a.m. on October 31. They found Outumuro laying on the couch with her hands in a defensive position, with both arms covering her face. The Lewis County Coroner's office determined she was shot five times in the chest, with one bullet traveling up her neck and exiting through her head. It is believed she died late at night on Saturday, Oct. 30, or early Sunday, Oct. 31.

Gaudreau's Facebook page was full of images of guns and pictures of himself holding weapons. One image he posted stated he was "pro-Trump, pro-military, pro-police, pro-gun, and pro-God. He wrote: "DON'T FORGET PRO FREEDOM."

"She asked me to friend [Gaudreau] on [Facebook], but that was a few years ago," said Smivaer. "We did, but [over] the last several months, I was turned off by some of his posts and — although we remained [Facebook] friends — I quit following [Gaudreau].

Police recovered a 9mm carbine rifle, a semi-automatic assault-style shotgun, and a .22 revolver. He also owned a 9mm Zigana pistol that police believed was the murder weapon. He told police he had "misplaced" the gun after changing his pants that morning. It was later located in a tool chest in the back bedroom.

Igman 9mm Full-metal-jacket bullets were found in the home. Gaudreau had admitted to purchasing them online. They matched the bullets recovered in and around Outumuro's body.

The affidavit of probable cause states that Gaudreau's 9mm Zigana had been seized by police after he was arrested on August 15, 2021, for unlawfully discharging the weapon. However, the case against him was dismissed, and the gun was returned to him three days before the murder.

Outumuro's relatives stated that he would "put his hand on his hip like a gunslinger" and that was how he "would deal with someone that was doing something wrong or that he didn't like." They also said that Gaudreau's son, who the couple was raising together, had previously stated that "daddy was going to shoot mommy in the head" but that Outumuro would "cover" for him.

"[I] can't believe Rikkey was with [Gaudreau], but she loved the little boy so much," said Smivaer. "[She] has been his mom for almost seven years. He will be seven in January."

Gaudreau told police that the couple had gone out to the Limit Bar and Grill and the Hub Tavern to drink. He said that despite only having two drinks, he blacked out at the Hub Tavern and could not remember anything after 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 30. A neighbor, David Anderson, later reported to police that he had contact with the couple at about midnight, after he observed Gaudreau's car pulling into the driveway. He added that Gaudreau fired more than one shot at him as he approached, because he thought he was "a homeless person." Anderson stated both of them were "extremely intoxicated" and that Outumuro was being verbally "provoking."

According to Gaudreau, he woke up on his living room floor because their son was playing video games. He found that Outumuro was deceased and found bullet casings on the floor. He said he put the bullet casings on the table near her, which police described as "lined up." He found he had wet his pants and changed them. He said he told their son his mom was dead and took him to Schumacher's residence nearby. Police stated they did "not observe any emotions coming from him" as he recounted what happened.

Other deaths
Outumuro is at least the second Transgender or nonbinary person to die by violent means in Washington state this year and the 45th this year across the United States, according to the Diversity Alliance of Puget Sound (DAPS).

Zoella "Zoey" Rose Martinez, a 20-year-old woman from Maple Valley, Wash., was the 38th such person to die in the US. She had also been shot five times, and her body was found in a Seattle alleyway. Both were Latina, although Schlecht said Outumuro didn't like "labels."

There have been five Transgender or nonbinary deaths in the Pacific Northwest alone. The others are: Ollie Taylor of Oregon, 17, #28; Jessi Hart of Oregon, 42, #43; and Jo Acker of Idaho, 26, #44.

"Constant attacks from our government and communities allow for sanctioned hate crimes against us and result in loss of life. We are now at 45 lost, but we know that number is much higher because it doesn't include suicides, US territories, or all those who are buried under their deadnames or never found at all," said DAPS Board Chair Oliver Webb.

"This year, our list is different for the Pacific Northwest. We have five names on that list... To have so many from our region and from our state is unheard of and terrifying. What is thought to be one of the safest parts of the country now makes up 11.11% of those lost this year."

Capitol City Pride is collecting funds to aid Outumuro's family with the funeral expenses and to support her son. Just over $3,000 had been raised toward the $5,000 goal, as of Wednesday afternoon. To donate, visit the Capitol City Pride Facebook page or https://www.facebook.com/donate/2961499287433080