PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The search is on for a killer wanted in the grisly murder of a transgender woman. An arrest warrant has been issued for 36-year-old Akhenaton Jones. Police say he killed Dominique Fells.
Her body was found on the banks of the Schuylkill River last week, and now Fells’ family is speaking out.
The family is asking anyone who knows the whereabouts of their loved one’s killer to just do the right thing and turn him into police.
They’re preparing to bury Fells Thursday while her killer is still on the run.
Police say Jones is considered armed and dangerous. He’s wanted for the brutal murder of Fells, a 27-year-old transgender woman whose dismembered body was discovered last week, discarded in the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia.
“We were always concerned about her. Whenever we saw her we’d say, ‘Listen, be careful, make sure that you’re safe, because we knew that there’s a lot of hate out there for transgender,'” Fells’ aunt Germyce Williams said.
Fells’ family is beyond devastated.
“We accepted her as who she identified as and we just wanted the best for her,” Williams said.
Germyce and Roland Williams say Fells had a promising future in cosmetology and had a personality that could brighten any room.
“Dominique has been full of life. She’s always been very charismatic, very outgoing, outspoken,” uncle Roland Williams said.
There’s an arrest warrant out for Jones. Detectives stopped by his home at 3927 Powelton Avenue where they found several things, including a hazmat suit, blood stains and a grinding tool with blood.
“Turn him in! This was a gruesome death. How anybody could do this to another human being is just so heartless and cruel. No mother should have to go through this, and I’m speaking for my sister-in-law,” Germyce Williams said.
The family is grateful for the outpouring of support from across the country. A GoFundMe started for Fells has already surpassed $120,000.
Now the family is hoping an arrest comes quickly.
“If one person can do that to another human being, what else is he capable of? In my eyes, if you’re able to do that one time, you can do it again,” Roland Williams said.
A march for Fells is set for Saturday in West Philly. The march will begin at 1 p.m. at 56th and Chestnut Steet and will end at Malcolm X Park.
The march is being organized by human rights nonprofit group New Voices.