A Mankato resident, whose experience as a victim of sex trafficking was part of a national story in 2012, was shot dead Monday in Minneapolis, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Tamara Ann Vandermoon, 41, died in Hennepin Healthcare hospital of a gunshot wound to the back. She was shot about 7 a.m. Monday in south Minneapolis.
Police responded to 911 calls reporting a downed person in the street on the 2700 block of Longfellow Avenue, a Minneapolis Police Department press release said.
The death was ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner’s report released Saturday.
The Minneapolis police department is investigating the incident but said little information is clear about who was involved or what happened.
No arrests have been made.
The homicide is Minneapolis’ 93rd in 2021.
Vandermoon told CNN for a June 2012 child sex-trafficking report that her father had abandoned her when she was young. Angry at her mother, Vandermoon ran away at age 12.
That was the first year of her life in which she traded sex for money and gifts. Soon she was prostituting herself dozens of times a night, she said.
“I just wanted to be accepted and loved. I was told how beautiful I was and if you do this I’ll get you this ... and I’ll make you mwy girlfriend,” Vandermoon told CNN.
At the time of the article she was 31 and preparing to free herself from sex trafficking after two decades. “When the universe gives you a new beginning, don’t repeat the same old mistakes,” her Facebook profile cover photo reads. “Write a new story.”
The state Department of Corrections listed Vandermoon as a wanted fugitive as of Oct. 29. In July 2019 she was sentenced to 39 months of prison in Shakopee for a felony conviction of selling narcotics.
Vandermoon listed that she is from Mankato on her Facebook page, confirming information in the medical examiner’s report.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips may be submitted electronically at www.CrimeStoppersMN.org. All tips are anonymous and persons providing information leading to an arrest and conviction may be eligible for a financial reward.