A Calumet City transgender woman was found dead the week of February 15 after ingesting poisonous seeds, according to reports.
Lucia Anderson, 22, was found by her mother, Natosha Anderson, after ingesting the seeds of the Cerbera odallam plant, which is also known as the "suicide tree" or "pong-pong tree." Lucia had purchased the seeds from an online source in Thailand for just over five dollars. The seeds gradually release toxins that cause the heart to stop beating and are native to India and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Lucia spent several hours in pain before she died, according to her mother, who discovered her on the floor of the bathroom in their family home. She died hours later at a hospital in Hammond, Indiana.
"I can go online and purchase something for five dollars… and that can literally devastate a family and kill someone," Natasha told ABC 7.
Lucia had recently petitioned to have her name changed and was quite frequently bullied when she was in school, according to Natosha. Lucia was a graduate of Urban Prep Academy, according to a Facebook post from the school.
Officials of the Trans Lifeline helpline, on March 3, noted that ABC 7 had downplayed Lucia's gender identity in favor of details about the seeds, as well as repeatedly used her name and gender pronouns incorrectly. Trans Lifeline also launched a change.org petition demanding an correction.
The petition is at chn.ge/1X5gAdu. ABC 7's story is at abc7.ws/1LKq8Ki.