Fort Bliss soldier, 21-year-old Anthony Michael Bowden was arrested Tuesday after police say he killed a transgender woman.
El Paso Police are not yet saying how he allegedly killed Erykah Tijerina. The body of the 36-year-old was found inside a housing complex on the 200 block of Libson last month. Police say they suspected foul play but no other details were ever released.
Meanwhile, Tijerina's friends say they can rest easy knowing an arrest has been made, they say they will always remember the lively woman.
"We would get together and just laugh, music, she was a big music lover," Chyna Fierro said.
Tijerina's body was found in August and for the past couple of weeks, her group of friends have been living in fear.
"Scared that a man was going around killing transgender girls and it really, really scared me," Fierro said.
While police have yet to say how Tijerina died or release a motive, the fact that an arrest has been made, brings a sense of relief
"I cried," Fierro said.
She describes Tijerina as big-hearted, and sometimes too giving.
"She was really funny, she was really giving, if she liked you, it was let's go out, she was going to pay for everything, but if she had a vibe about you, that was it, she would keep away from you," Fierro said.
Which is why Fierro says she knows her best friend fought to stay alive.
"Something went wrong, and Erykah is a fighter, she always has been and growing up transgender, you become a fighter, you get bullied, a lot."
She says she doesn't understand why Erykah's life was taken but is grateful for the time they had together.
"It took awhile to understand that but she had a big heart."
Fort Bliss officials say the murder suspect, Anthony Bowden, was assigned to the post in January 2014. He was a patriot missile crewman with the 11th air defense artillery brigade. Bowden is being held under a $750,000 bond.
Abc-7 called the medical examiner's office and learned the autopsy report is not ready yet.