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Transgender YouTube star's suspected killer may try to flee state

August 23, 2013|By Joseph Serna and Robert J. Lopez
  • Dantjier Powell, left, and Jamie Nicole Cotton are wanted by Fontana police in connection with the slaying of Domonique Newburn.
Dantjier Powell, left, and Jamie Nicole Cotton are wanted by Fontana police… (Fontana Police Department )

The suspect in the death of a transgender YouTube reality show star may try to leave the state, Fontana police said Friday.

Authorities identified Dantjier Powell, 18, of San Bernardino, as the suspect in the killing of Domonique Newburn, who was found dead in her apartment Tuesday afternoon.

Powell was believed to be with a 25-year-old Highland woman named Jamie Nicole Cotton. He may be trying to leave the state on a bus, said Sgt. Doug Imhof.

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Police described Powell as black with an average build, about 5 feet 8 and 150 pounds.

The body of Newburn, 31, was found near a window in her apartment, possibly in a last attempt to escape her attacker, police said.

Witnesses had called police reporting a disturbance.

Detectives told KABC-TV that Newburn’s front door had been boarded up, and blood stains and a hole in the wall next to the front door indicated there was a struggle.

Newburn’s vehicle -- which authorities initially believed had been stolen by her killer -- was found in a park 13 miles and two cities away. It had been there “for some time,” police said.

Earlier this week, detectives served search warrants on two homes in San Bernardino and detained several people before identifying Powell as the suspect, NBC4 reported.

Newburn had her name changed from Daymond Watford in June 2010, according to San Bernardino County records. A month later, she appeared under her stage name Domonique Duffy in the premiere episode of “Hollywood Houseboys,” a Web reality show focusing on a group of young, black gay men trying to make the big time in Los Angeles.

The show’s producer, Ryan Hope, issued a statement to reporters:

"We are all deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our sister, Domonique Newburn. Domonique was an amazing person whose spirit transcended gender. When we set out to document our lives for reality television, we never once wished to make headlines like this. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with her family."

Hope told The Times that Newburn's family has declined to comment until her killer is caught.

Anyone with information may call Fontana police at (909) 356-8477. Anyone who thinks they may have spotted Powell outside Fontana should call 911, Imhof said.


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