Police: Transgender Woman Fatally Stabbed, Apartment Set On Fire

VAN NUYS (CNS/FOX 11) - A man believed to be a person of interest in the apparent stabbing and arson murder of a transgendered woman in a Van Nuys apartment was in police custody Sunday, authorities said.

The stabbed body of a woman who called herself Yazmin, but who formerly was a man named Michael Vash Payne, was found in a burning Van Nuys apartment building Saturday.

Los Angeles Police Department homicide Detective Robert Bub told reporters at the scene that neighbors heard arguments and what sounded like fighting coming from the apartment.

The man sought for questioning, described as a possible live-in boyfriend who is black, in his mid 20s, about 5-feet-8 tall and weighing about 150 pounds, was taken into custody about 3:30 p.m. and was at the LAPD's 77th Street Station, said station watch commander Sgt. S. Vera.

Firefighters were dispatched at 5:06 a.m. Saturday to the 14600 block of Saticoy Street, made entry and quickly put out a small fire in the rear bedroom of the apartment unit.

The 33-year-old victim was found lying on the floor of the kitchen, according to a police statement.

She had suffered multiple stab wounds, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives were able to recover the murder weapon at the scene, the statement said.

A vehicle possibly connected to the case was located in the area of 52nd and Figueroa streets in South Los Angeles and impounded, Vera said.

A watch commander at the LAPD's Van Nuys Station said she could not immediately confirm that the man being sought was in custody.

Anyone with information about the case was urged to call investigators at (818) 374-0040.

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