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Woman Found Dead After Blaze

The 22-year-old, whose body was in her apartment, had been stabbed, police say.

June 12, 2003|Jose Cardenas | Times Staff Writer

A 22-year-old aspiring model was found stabbed to death after firefighters extinguished a small blaze in her Los Angeles apartment Wednesday.

Neighbors heard a confrontation in Trayana Davis' apartment in the 800 block of West 42nd Place about 3 a.m., said her aunt, Denise Davis.

"She was hollering, 'Please help me!' " the aunt said.

The neighbors told relatives that they had heard one or more people running from the two-story complex, which is about a mile south of USC, and speeding away in a car. When neighbors arrived at the apartment, they found the front door open and flames in the living room, the aunt said.

Firefighters found the body in the hallway of the small studio, Los Angeles Police Det. Kevin Jolivette said. Davis had been stabbed, he said.

Police have no suspects and don't know whether the fire began during the struggle or was set to conceal the killing, authorities said.

Relatives said Davis had cash in her apartment that she had planned to spend on a Lexus. Police wouldn't say if they found cash but said robbery didn't appear to be a motive.

A graduate of Crenshaw High School, Davis worked as a telemarketer and security guard. Recently, she had photos taken and planned to enroll in modeling classes.

"She was very pretty, so she had a lot of friends," Denise Davis said.

Years ago, people had said that Trayana Davis "was blessed," her aunt said, after she survived a drive-by shooting. She had been in her mother's arms when the bullet struck her stomach. She was 14 months old.

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