A fading tattoo on Cynthia Macandrew’s chest says David. The heart was inked for David J. Andrews, 66, a man she met at 18, married and with whom she had a child.
Macandrew cried Tuesday as she talked about David, later Reena, a transgender woman who is suspected of shooting and killing a transgender man before committing suicide. Reena Andrews’ body was found Saturday at the Rosebrook Inn, a former motel converted to apartments at 304 W. First St. in Cheney. A man returning movies to an apartment unit there found two people dead: One was Andrews, and the other the unit’s tenant, Erin M. Bailey, 46.
Bailey was known by friends as Roman and was undergoing testosterone therapy, according to social media accounts. Bailey died of gunshot wounds to the chest, and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating his death as a homicide.
Andrews died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Investigators believe the deaths were a homicide and suicide, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said, but they’re still trying to piece together what happened leading up to the fatal confrontation in Bailey’s apartment, two doors down from where Andrews lived.
Andrews was in the process of transitioning to a woman, Macandrew said, but hadn’t undergone sex reassignment surgery.
Now 55 years old, Macandrew said she and Andrews divorced about 25 years ago but lived near each other and talked frequently. She had not seen Andrews since Wednesday, when they got together to drink beer and look through old photos.
She described Andrews as an Army veteran who fought during the Vietnam War and previously taught scuba diving in Florida. Andrews moved to Spokane about two years ago to be closer to family.
She had cancer, according to another family member, and had been depressed since the deaths of her son and mother, Macandrew said.
“She was a loving, caring person – as a woman and a man,” Macandrew said.
They grew apart after she had Andrews’ child, Macandrew said. David became Reena shortly after and found peace, Macandrew said.
“She picked the name out of the blue and it fit her,” Macandrew said. “She wanted to experience the whole thing as a woman.”
Macandrew is cleaning out both apartments.
Macandrew said Bailey’s family in Montana declined to come to Spokane.
Bailey was described as a positive and friendly person by Sevan Bussell, who spoke on behalf of Spokane Trans People, a support group for transgendered people.
Bailey was part of the online Spokane community of transgendered people but stopped attending support groups a few years ago, Bussell said.
He began his transition to become a man about three years ago and was documenting the changes online.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.