A Salisbury woman is facing a second degree murder charge after she allegedly performed an unlicensed plastic surgery procedure that led to the death of a transgender teen.
Media outlets in the teen’s hometown of Fayetteville were reporting the procedure was silicon butt injections.
Salisbury Police say Eugene Jones II, 19, died after receiving silicone injections from Kavonceya Iman Cornelius, 42, also known as Kenneth Rudolph Cornelius, who is not licensed to do such procedures.
Jones died Jan. 12 in Fayetteville from complications blamed on the procedure, police say. A GoFundMe page set up to offset the cost of Jones’ funeral said “a bad silicon injection...cut her lungs and caused internal bleeding. Also, the silicon consisted of a substance that poisoned her bloodstream.”
On Monday, a warrant for second degree murder was served on Kavonceya Cornelius, police said. The Salisbury Post reported Cornelius turned herself into authorities. She was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under no bond. A first appearance was set for March 22.
WTVD in Raleigh was reporting Monday that Jones was transgender, and in the process of transitioning from male to a female named Symone Jones. She started her transition a year ago, beginning with breast implants done by a licensed doctor in Miami, family members told WTVD.
Jones' family says she began reaching out to a “concierge service” working on behalf of what Jones believed to be a licensed medical facility in Charlotte, WTVD reported.
On January 5, Symone received silicone buttock injections in a Charlotte hotel, WTVD reported, but two days later ended up in a real hospital due to an inability to breathe.
Investigators say they learned of the unlicensed clinic on Feb. 13, after receiving a tip from another patient that had become ill after receiving silicon injections from Cornelius, police said. “As a result, the victim now has very serious health problems,” police said in a statement. That patient has not been identified.
Police say the investigation found Cornelius had been conducting these medical procedures with non-medical grade silicone.