Lisa Woods: What Happened to Nikki Kuhnhausen’s Mom?

Image Credit: 48 Hours/YouTube

A tragic turn of events in June 2019 left Lisa Woods with the devastating realization that her kind, loving daughter was in grave danger. When Nikki Kuhnhausen went out one night early that month, she never imagined it would be her last night alive. CBS’ ‘48 Hours: The Life and Death of Nikki Kuhnhausen’ and Hulu’s ‘How I Caught My Killer: Social Media? Yeah, it was her thing’ delves into the story behind Nikki’s murder and how Lisa was a constant presence at the culprit’s trial. 

Who is Lisa Woods?

Lisa Woods was quite close to her daughter, Nikki Kuhnhausen, who was a transgender teen. She called her a “rainbow of light” and said, “To be honest, the word ‘transgender’ never entered our house because it was just Nikki.” After coming out in sixth grade, the youngster was thus able to evolve into a confident young woman with dreams of becoming Nicki Minaj’s makeup artist. But a life full of promise was tragically taken away in 2019.

Nikki had been staying at a friend’s house in Vancouver, Washington when she went out to meet David Bogdanov but never came back. When she initially went missing, Lisa feared the worst. She said, “I’m so afraid of the outcome. But at the same time, it’s tearing us up. The wondering, questioning, not knowing.” While the investigators worked towards finding Nikki, Lisa did her part by attending vigils and working with LGBTQ+ communities to put the spotlight on violence endured by transgender people.

Nikki’s remains were then found in December 2019, and it was confirmed that she had been strangled to death. Evidence then pointed towards David being the killer, and the authorities believed that he killed Nikki after learning she was a transgender person. During David’s hearing, Nikki said in court, “He (David) took her from us for no other reason than hatred. He could’ve just walked away. Nikki Kuhnhausen had so much potential. She will never graduate from high school, feel the sun on her face or celebrate her 18th birthday. We live with this every day.”

Lisa Woods Has Now Passed Away

Lisa Wood’s active role in highlighting the risk faced by the transgender community is one of the reasons behind the passing of a new law named after her daughter in Washington. This law bans homicide defendants from claiming they panicked upon learning the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. In effect, this claim could not be used as a legal defense for perpetrators to essentially walk away with a slap on the wrist.

Image Credit: Lisa Woods/Facebook

Lisa said, “I don’t want anyone to think that it’s okay to murder someone because of their gender.” In the end, she felt that David got what he deserved when he was sentenced to almost 20 years behind bars, but she also conceded nothing would ever be enough because it wouldn’t bring her daughter back. Unfortunately, from what we can tell, she herself passed away around August 2022, mere months after losing her husband as well.

Read More: How Did Nikki Kuhnhausen Die?