Updated 8:30 p.m. Feb. 1, 2015
A 25-year-old man wanted for questioning in the apparent stabbing and arson murder of a transgendered woman in a Van Nuys apartment turned himself into police on Sunday and was being questioned by detectives, authorities said.
The stabbed body of a woman who called herself Yazmin, but who formerly was a man named Michael Vash Payne, was found in a burning Van Nuys apartment building Saturday.
Los Angeles Police Department homicide Detective Robert Bub told reporters at the scene that neighbors heard arguments and what sounded like fighting coming from the apartment.
The man sought for questioning, identified by police as Ezekiel Dear, turned himself into the LAPD’s 77th Street Station about 3:30 p.m., said station Sgt. Neil Wank. He was accompanied by a local pastor, the sergeant said.
Firefighters were dispatched at 5:06 a.m. Saturday to the 14600 block of Saticoy Street, made entry and quickly put out a small fire in the rear bedroom of the apartment unit.
The 33-year-old victim was found lying on the floor of the kitchen, according to a police statement.
She had suffered multiple stab wounds, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives were able to recover the murder weapon at the scene, the statement said
Friends held a vigil for Payne on Sunday evening.
A vehicle possibly connected to the case was located Sunday in the area of 52nd and Figueroa streets in South Los Angeles and impounded, 77th Street Station Sgt. S. Vera said.
Dear was at the station tonight being questioned by homicide detectives from the LAPD’s Van Nuys Station, Wank said.
Anyone with information about the case was urged to call investigators at (818) 374-0040.
— City News Service