Arrest in Case of Transgender Woman Found Murdered After Fire

Arrest in Case of Transgender Woman Found Murdered After Fire
The victim via CBS Los Angeles/YouTube

A man turned himself in after the body of a transgender woman was found following a fire that damaged a Van Nuys apartment over the weekend.

Police at the scene of a vigil for victim Yazmin Vash Payne last night confirmed that suspect Ezekiel Dear went to the 77th Street Division of the Los Angeles Police Department earlier yesterday to speak to investigators.

Authorities reportedly booked Dear on suspicion of murder.

The fire was reported at 5:06 a.m. Saturday at a two-story apartment building in the 14600 block of Saticoy Street, according to the L.A. Fire Department and police.

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"Firefighters made entry into one unit and quickly extinguished the flames," said LAFD spokesman Erik Scott. "Sadly, one person was found inside and was determined dead."

Cops said the blaze was in a rear bedroom. The body of 33-year-old Payne was found "lying on the floor of the kitchen," the LAPD stated.

Paramedics pronounced Payne dead at the scene.

Detectives sent to the apartment said she was stabbed "multiple times," according to the LAPD. The weapon was recovered there, cops said.

Deputy executive director Darlene Nipper of the National LGBTQ Task Force, which helped to organize last night's vigil outside the apartment building, said:

The National LGBTQ Task Force is outraged by the ongoing murders of transgender women taking place all across the country. Three transgender women of color have been killed in the last four months in Los Angeles and there seems to be no end in sight to these tragic homicides. The level of violence against transgender women in this country is unconscionable and has no place in our society. Together as a nation, we must continue to stand up against the ongoing systematic violence and educate the public about the real harm caused by hate and discrimination.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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