Police investigating the murder of Dominique ‘Rem’mie’ Fells, a Black trans woman found dismembered in a suitcase, have arrested a suspect.
Fells’ dismembered body was discovered in a suitcase on the banks of the Schuylkill river on June 9. Both of her legs had been severed mid-thigh and there was evidence of trauma to the face and head.
The 27-year-old was an aspiring fashion designer, dancer and an artist, and was described by loved ones as a “vibrant person” following her brutal death.
Police promised that her murder would be “rigorously investigated” following her death, and weeks later, an arrest warrant was issued for Akhenaton Jones after investigators discovered blood, a weapon and dismembered limbs at a residence.
Jones, 36, has finally been apprehended and is currently waiting to be extradited to Philadelphia, according to local media reports.
Writing in a fundraiser for Fells’ funeral costs following her death, younger sister Dior Edmonds said the family was in “utter disbelief” following her shocking murder.
“Dominique, who often went by the name Rem’mie, was truly one of a kind,” Edmonds wrote at the time.
Dominique ‘Rem’mie’ Fells remembered by family, friends and the Black LGBT+ community.
The death of Dominique ‘Rem’mie’ Fells was also mourned by Philadelphia’s office of LGBT Affairs, who said it had learned of her death “with deep sadness”.
“The pain of such a loss is always difficult, but it is especially deep as we are in the midst of Pride month – a season typically filled with joy and celebration for many in our community,” the office wrote on social media at in June.
Fells was later remembered at a candlelit vigil organised by the city’s Black LGBT+ community on July 31, where a sea of people chanted the words “say her name” while laying candles and flowers beside a mural bearing her name.
Speaking at the vigil, Fells’ uncle Roland Williams said: “The support is tremendous. It’s something that we couldn’t think of.”
He continued: “Rem’mie was just always having a good time and laughing. We have a lot of family get togethers, she loved being around her cousins, uncles and aunts. She likes to eat and have a good time.”
“She was great at sewing, great at taking old clothes and making them into something fashionable for her. The sky was unlimited for her. Unfortunately, it was cut short,” said Williams.
At least 34 trans or gender non-conforming people have been murdered in the United States in 2020 so far, according to the Human Rights Campaign, making it the deadliest year on record for trans people.