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Arrests made in the murder of two transgender women

Law enforcement in Charlotte, North Carolina arrested two men Friday in the murders of two transgender women.

Dontarius Long and Joel Brewer were charged with murder, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon as well as other charges in the women’s deaths, according to a police report.

“Our streets are a lot safer,”  Police Chief Johnny Jennings said.

Jaida Peterson was found shot on Easter Sunday at a Quality Inn near the airport. Eleven days later, Remy Fennell was found shot at a Sleep Inn in University City, reports The Charlotte Observer.

Police spokesman Rob Tufano said Thursday that both women were transgender and both were sex workers. The two men had arrived at and left the hotels together, police said.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 15 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been violently murdered in 2021.

Charlotte police are still searching for a motive for the attacks but have not ruled the murders as a hate crime.

Bryan Crum, supervisor of the local Violent Crime Unit, said that investigators are still looking into how Long and Brewer may have known each other.

“The work is not done … There’s a lot of things that we have to look into,” said Jennings.

The investigation is still ongoing.


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