Man Arrested in Connection With Fatal Stabbing of Transgender Woman

A 25-year-old man wanted for questioning in the apparent stabbing and arson murder of a transgender woman in a Van Nuys apartment surrendered to police Sunday and was booked on suspicion of murder, a police official said.

Ezekiel Jamal 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.

He was questioned by detectives and then booked at the Van Nuys Station at about 9 p.m., said Police Services Representative S. Ball.

The woman, who went by the name Yazmin Payne, was stabbed in the torso, and police found the weapon she was killed with at the scene, Los Angeles Police Department officials said in a statement.

Firefighters were able to extinguish a small fire in the rear bedroom after forcing their way into the apartment in the 14600 block of Saticoy Street at about 5 a.m. Saturday, police said. They found Payne's body in the kitchen.

Police ask anyone with information about the slaying to call 818-374-0040 or 818-374-1999.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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