Tuesday a dismembered body was pulled from the river showing trauma to the face and head, with both legs severed mid-thigh, wrote Trans activist Deja Lynn Alvarez on Facebook. “Authorities spent the next couple of days trying to positively ID the victim. Information was not released immediately in order to notify the family and loved ones. It has been ruled a murder and is being rigorously investigated. The victim is a black transwoman Dominique Rem’mie Fells.”
Fells’ was originally misgendered by 6ABC and PhillyVoice. But, sources from the Morris Home — a recovery residence for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals — realized that the victim was resident Fells, a trans woman.
Though the medical examiner has yet to release autopsy results or an official cause of death, Chief Inspector Scott Small with the Philadelphia Police Department via 6ABC reported that the state of Fells’ body indicates that she sustained injuries to the head and face. She was also found with both legs severed in a manner that might suggest they were run over by a train. Her legs were not recovered at the scene or elsewhere. The manner of death has been officially ruled a homicide, Staff Inspector Sekou Kinebrew told Philadelphia Gay News.
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Trigger warning: Death, dismemberment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . It with a heavy heart we have to post another victim of violence and transphobia in our state. In Philadelphia, our sisTer Dominique was pulled from the river in a suitcase with trauma to the face and head, and legs severed mid thigh. It has been ruled a murder and is being investigated! Her name is Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells and there shall be no peace until justice is had! #SayHerName #blacktranslivesmattertoo
Philidelphia Office of LGBT Affairs issued this Statement on the Murder of Dominique Rem’mie Fells.
“It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the recent passing of a member of our LGBTQ family. 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.
“As thousands take to the streets to proclaim that Black Lives Matter, it is critical we remember that this includes Black trans lives. Dominique Rem’mie Fells’ life mattered.
“We are reminded with this, and countless other painful losses—especially within our transgender communities—that there is much left to do until we achieve full equality, respect, and support for us all. The murder of transgender people—especially those of color—is truly an epidemic, and a crisis that we cannot afford to allow to persist any further.
“We are committed to ensuring that acts of discrimination, bigotry, and hatred are never tolerated in the city of Philadelphia. Know that we see you, we grieve with you, and we join you in solidarity at this time of great sadness.
“Please join the Office as we extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of Dominique Rem’mie. Let us uplift her memory together.”
Information for Community Members: For anyone in the community who is experiencing grief, sadness, and pain in response to this sudden loss, the Office is working to coordinate a virtual community grief session. The Office of LGBT Affairs Facebook page will share event information.
Reporting Information Connected to the Case: Members of the Homicide Unit are working diligently to identify and apprehend the person or persons responsible for Dominique Rem’mie Fells’ murder. Anyone with information regarding Rem’mie’s case can contact the Philadelphia Police Department by dialing 911, calling the PPD Anonymous Tipline at (215) 686-TIPS, or submitting a tip via the PPD website (phillypolice.com). Anyone who is not comfortable contacting the police can get in touch with the Office of LGBT for facilitation.
R.I.P. Dominique Rem’mie Fells