FONTANA (CBSLA.com) — San Bernardino County detectives are searching for two suspects in the murder of a transgender woman in Fontana.
Domonique Newburn was found Tuesday beaten to death in her apartment in the 7900 block of Bennett Avenue. Neighbors reported hearing screaming and investigators found signs of a violent struggle.
Officials are looking for suspect Dantjier Powell, an 18-year-old black male who lives in San Bernardino, and his alleged accomplice, Jamie Nicole Cotton, a 25-year-old black female who lives in Highland. Cotton is believed to be Powell’s girlfriend.
Detectives said they were led to the suspects through Newburn’s car, who witnesses had allegedly seen after the incident being driven by a shirtless black male.
The vehicle, a black Mercedes, was later recovered about 13 miles from the crime scene.
Detectives served search warrants at two residences in San Bernardino Thursday. Several subjects were detained and some evidence was also collected.
Three years ago, Newburn appeared in the TV reality show “Houseboys,” where she openly talked about undergoing gender reassignment surgery.
Investigators don’t believe the murder was a hate crime.
“We’re not quite sure how the victim and the suspects met. We’re not sure if they were just friends or if there was any other type of relationship that may have been the catalyst for this whole thing,” said Fontana police Lt. William Megenney.
Powell is possibly trying to leave the state, maybe on a bus. He is described as a black male, 5 feet 8 inches tall and about 155 pounds with an average build and dark complexion. Cotton is described as 5 feet 8 inches, about 150 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
Police consider Powell and Cotton extremely dangerous and are warning the public not to approach them. Any information regarding their whereabouts should be directed to Fontana Police at (909) 356-TIPS.