Fontana, CA — Authorities have issued a $1 million arrest warrant for the man suspected of killing transgender YouTube star Domonique Newburn last week.
Newburn was one of the stars of the series Hollywood Houseboys, a “docu-reality series that opens the doors behind the daily lives of four gay friends, their relationships and how they form their own limelight into Hollywood.” The 31-year-old was found beaten to death in her Fontana apartment last Tuesday. Her body was found near a window in what authorities believed was a final attempt to get away from the killer.
Witnesses said they saw a “bare-chested” African-American man in his late 20s or early 30s leaving the apartment in what was believed to be Newburn’s car. However, police later said that her car, which was found 13 miles away, had been there “for some time.”
Police identified the suspect as 18-year-old Dantjier Powell of San Bernardino, who they said may have left the state by bus with his girlfriend, 25-year-old Jamie Nicole Cotton.
Powell’s father pleaded with his son to turn himself in.
“I wouldn’t be saying this if I didn’t love you,” Loueadry Powell told KTLA. “I’m coming out from my heart and my soul. Everybody’s here — your brothers, your sisters. We all agree, you should come on, turn yourself in…. Come home. Just turn yourself in and we’ll take care of it.”
Detectives served search warrants on two San Bernardino homes last week, and detained several people before identifying Powell as the suspect. Police said Powell may have had a relationship with Newburn, who changed her name from Daymond Watford in June 2010.
“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,” Hollywood Houseboys producer Ryan Hope said in a statement. “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 said Domonique Newburn’s family declined to comment until her killer is caught.