Santa Ana Police Make Arrest in Silicone Injection That Killed Transgender Woman

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An arrest has been made in an illicit silicone injection that caused a transgender woman from Santa Ana to die, and investigators said Friday that there may be additional victims who also sought cosmetic procedures from the individual.

Liborio DeLaLuiz Ramos is shown in a booking photo released by Santa Ana police on Feb. 6, 2015.
Liborio DeLaLuiz Ramos is shown in a booking photo released by Santa Ana police on Feb. 6, 2015.

Liborio De La Luz Ramos, 44, was arrested and held on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter, according to a Santa Ana police.

Ramos was believed to have given a silicone injection to a 40-year-old transgender woman some time in December. On Jan. 21, that woman died about three weeks after admitting herself into Kaiser Hospital in Irvine for a respiratory problem.

She died of a “‘silicone embolism syndrome' related to a silicone injection to the buttocks for cosmetic reasons,’” police said in a news release.

Because the injection was allegedly received outside a medical facility, the hospital contacted the coroner’s office, which in turn contacted police.

Coroner’s records indicate Katya De La Riva, 40, died at the time and date indicated by police, and Bertagna confirmed she was the victim. The records described De La Riva's passing as a “death following a cosmetic procedure.”

Katya De La Riva is shown in a photo posted to her Facebook page. She died Jan. 21, 2015.
Katya De La Riva is shown in a photo posted to her Facebook page. She died Jan. 21, 2015.

Homicide detectives’ initial investigation led them to believe the victim went to a “silicone party” in Santa Ana some time in December.

But Police Department spokesman Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said investigators now believe the suspect and victim were alone at the time of the injection, which detectives believe took place in the city of Orange.

“They’re not parties. People would hire this individual to come and inject them,” Bertagna said. “It’s our belief that the victim contacted the suspect and had this individual inject her with silicone.”

Jail records indicated the suspect was booked into men’s intake, but Bertagna said Ramos was part of the transgender community, and the corporal was not certain of the suspect's gender identity.

Ramos was located and booked Thursday night, and a search warrant was served, Bertagna said.

“We want to get this individual’s picture out there. Detectives believe this individual has been doing this for a while,” Bertagna said. “We believe there are additional victims out there. We want those victims to contact detectives.”

The additional injections occurred after De La Riva was hospitalized, Bertagna said.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is researching what criminal statutes, if any, are applicable with regard to administered silicone, the police news release stated.

Ramos was being held on $500,000 bail, with a court date listed as Monday, inmate records showed.

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