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Transgender star of Youtube reality show found dead

By Robert J. Lopez

9:27 PM EDT, August 21, 2013

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Fontana police Wednesday afternoon found a Mercedes belonging to a transgender woman and former YouTube reality star who was apparently slain in her apartment.

Domonique Newburn, 31, was found dead inside her apartment Tuesday afternoon after residents called police reporting a disturbance, the Fontana Police Department said.

Witnesses said that a man seen leaving the apartment took off in the victim's black 2004 Mercedes.

But the vehicle appeared to have been parked "for some time" at Perris Hill Park in San Bernardino, where it was located by detectives, Sgt. Doug Imhof said in a statement.

He said there were no details on how the vehicle ended up at the park. 

Police said the man seen leaving the apartment was described as 5-foot-8 with an average build and wearing blue jeans. He was believed to be in late 20s or early 30s.

Newburn had her name changed from Daymond Watford in June 2010, according to San Bernardino County records. A month later, she appeared under her stage name “Domonique Duffy” in the premiere episode of “Hollywood Houseboys,” a reality show focusing on a group of young, black gay men trying to make the big time in Los Angeles

The show’s producer, Ryan Hope, issued a statement to NBC4.

"We are all deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our sister, Domonique Newburn. Domonique was an amazing person whose spirit transcended gender. When we set out to document or lives for reality television, we never once wished to make headlines like this. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with her family."

Detectives told NBC4 that there was evidence of a struggle inside and outside of the apartment.

Newburn’s body was found near the window, which indicates that she may have tried to flee her attacker, police said Wednesday. KTLA-TV Channel 5 reported residents heard shouting before police arrived.

Newburn had sustained trauma, the coroner said.

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Twitter: @LAJourno

robert.lopez@latimes.com