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Jai Bornstein, 19-year-old missing teen, found dead in Hart Park

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Posted at 2:29 PM, Dec 31, 2016
and last updated 2017-01-02 02:50:22-05

Members of a search party found the body of a missing 19-year old girl Saturday afternoon, according to the girl's family.

A member of the search party reported that Jai Bornstein had been found dead in Hart Park on Saturday, and the Bornstein family confirmed the news via their GoFundMe page

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Borstein Family Statement: 

Bornstein was last seen on Tuesday; family says that the funds donated to the GoFundMe account will now be used for "burial expenses and supporting trans youth."

We want to thank all of you who have aided in our search for Jai and all of the love and support the community has given us. This week through our efforts to find Jai, we have shown what is possible when we all come together and respond as a community. Now, our family appeals to our friends, neighbors, and fellow community members to not allow Jai’s death to be the end of the story.

Please think of Jai every time a family member or friend comes out as LGBTQ and/or gender non-conforming, when you hear the topic on the news, or when there is a ballot initiative about bathrooms. During conversations at the office or at the dinner table, remember that activism starts with dialogue. Remember how loving and passionate an activist Jai was. Remember how hard she worked to encourage people to hear the stories and needs of trans people. We can honor Jai by creating space for the LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth in our lives, in our schools, in our homes and in our hearts.

Additionally, we want to recognize the complexity of Jai's person and her struggle as a Jew living in a place where where the majority of people belong to a different faith. To be different in a world where difference is often not embraced is a challenge that many of us may never truly understand, and all we can do is work to ease that struggle for others. Together we can make this world safer and softer for youth like Jai by treating everyone we meet with dignity and respect no matter how different they may appear.

With love and solidarity, 

The Bornstein family