A man wanted in connection with the murder of Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells was arrested in Los Angeles on Monday night. Police initially issued a warrant for the arrest of Akhenaton Jones this past June, after Fells’ body was found on the banks of the Schuylkill River near Bartram’s Garden.
Trans activist Deja Lynn Alvarez confirmed Jones’ arrest in a Facebook post. A spokesperson from the Philadelphia Police Department told PGN that they have yet to release further details regarding the arrest.
“With Trans Day of Remembrance literally on the horizon, this could not be better news for the community,” said trans activist Kendall Stephens, who was friends with Fells. “As a community, we’re all relieved that he was caught and look forward to him being brought to justice.”
Stephens also underscored the importance of carrying trans murder cases to completion.
“Hopefully this is the beginning of a healthy trend of finding those who harm us, who murder us,” she said.
A staff member from Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs acknowledged Jones’ arrest in a Facebook post. The statement reads in part, “We are grateful to the members of law enforcement in Philadelphia and Los Angeles who have pursued justice for Rem’mie, resulting in this arrest. We cannot afford to allow the crisis of violence against our transgender siblings to persist any further.”
Within the trans community, Black trans women are at particularly high risk of experiencing violent, fatal attacks. At least 34 trans people have been murdered in the U.S. in 2020, most of whom were women of color.
Fells had a talent for fashion and hair styling, which she planned to study in college in tandem with business. She was the kind of person who could light up a room, Stephens previously said.
“She was funny,” Stephens added. “She was a beautiful person inside and out. To know Rem’mie was to love [her.] She had that kind of magnetic force.”
In an attempt to facilitate Jones’ arrest, Stephens said that she posted his photo and reward info all over Philadelphia, and tried to disperse those details throughout trans communities across the country.
“We are going to honor Rem’mie’s memory, and all the other trans sisters, brothers and others who have fallen to violence from hateful people,” she said. “This is why Transgender Day of Remembrance is so important, because we use this opportunity to let the world know that we have not forgotten about our fallen and never will.”