Two transgender women were found dead in separate hotel rooms in Charlotte, North Carolina, allegedly at the hands of two men who acted together.
Police have arrested 21-year-old Dontarius Long and 33-year-old Joel Brewer in the murders of 29-year-old Jaida Peterson and Remy Fennell. Peterson was found stabbed to death on Easter Sunday at the Quality Inn hotel on Queen City Drive in west Charlotte. Fennell was shot to death Thursday morning at the Sleep Inn on North Tryon Street near East W.T. Harris Boulevard. Both women were sex workers.
On Thursday, following the discovery of Fennell’s body, police spokesperson Rob Tufano urged transgender women, particularly those involved in sex work, to be vigilant during this “very critical time right now.”
“They have to know that there is arguably never a more vulnerable time for them than tonight. If they see anything suspicious, if they hear anything suspicious, they’ve got to immediately call 911.”
Investigators claim both men traveled together from Union County and committed the crimes together. Now, they are trying to determine the motive of the murders and whether or not they were hate crimes.
Mary Peterson, the mother of Jaida Peterson, said that she would get justice for her daughter, no matter what it took.
“Like I told her before I put her in the ground, I don’t care if it takes every breath in my body, I said, ‘I’m getting justice.'” Her funeral was held last week.
Brewer has been charged with two counts of murder, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy to commit robbery with a deadly weapon. Long has been hit with similar charges, including murder, robbery with a deadly weapon, and conspiracy to commit robbery with a deadly weapon.
It is unclear how the men came into contact with the women and lured them to the hotel rooms.