Suspect arrested in murder of transgender girlfriend in Van Nuys

VAN NUYS, Calif. (KABC) -- A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murdering his transgender girlfriend in their Van Nuys apartment, Los Angeles police announced Monday.

Ezekiel Dear, turned himself into the LAPD 77th Station at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday. He was initially called a person of interest. Officers later arrested him.

His girlfriend, Yazmin Payne, 33, was found stabbed to death on the kitchen floor at the scene of a fire in a Van Nuys apartment on Saturday.

A vigil was held Sunday evening for Payne. She is the the third transgender woman who has been murdered in Los Angeles in the last four months, the National LGBTQ Task Force said in a statement.

Anyone with information about the case was urged to call investigators at (818) 374-0040.

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