Philadelphia police say that a man has been arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly killing 27-year-old Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, a transgender woman, in June.
Fells’ mutilated body was pulled from the Schuylkill River, near Bartam’s Garden, a botanical garden on Philadelphia’s southwest side by police on June 8. She had been stabbed multiple times and both of her legs were severed.
Several people close to Fells had told police and local media outlets that they had seen her fighting with a male acquaintance days before she was murdered. Police did not say whether they believed the crime was motivated by anti-transgender bias.
Police issued an arrest warrant for 36-year-old Akhenaton Jones shortly after Fells’ body was pulled from the river. Officers had been alerted to the smell of decomposition coming from a home in the 3900 block of Powelton Avenue. They found dismembered legs, dried blood stains, trash bags, and a knife with blood on it inside the house, reports CBS3 Philadelphia.
Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells – Photo: Human Rights Campaign.
Police are waiting for Jones to be extradited to Philadelphia, where he will face charges for his role in Fells’ death.
This year, at least 34 transgender individuals, mostly trans women of color, have been killed in the United States in 2020 thus far — a record number since people began keeping track of anti-transgender murders. At least seven transgender women have been killed in high-profile murders in Philadelphia over the past seven years.
Fells’ friend, Kendall Stephens, told Philadelphia ABC affiliate WPVI that Fells had been going through a transitional period, “trying to put some distance between an old life and a new one” when she was killed.
“We were always concerned about her,” Fells’ aunt, Germyce Williams, told local media outlets in June. “Whenever we saw her we’d say, ‘Listen, be careful, make sure that you’re safe, because we knew that there’s a lot of hate out there for transgender.'”
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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com
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