A man was charged with arson and murder in connection with the death of a transgender woman who died after she was stabbed and the home she was inside was set on fire in Pico-Union, authorities said Tuesday.
Kevin Ramirez, 29, is accused of killing Victoria Ramos Gutierrez during an attempted first-degree robbery, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
He admitted to stabbing her and then intentionally setting the home on fire, officials said.
Ramirez had met Gutierrez online, officials said in a news release.
One law enforcement official said Gutierrez was “well-loved” in the local LGBTQ community during the news conference Tuesday, which was attended by the Transgender Advisory Council in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office and the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center.
She was found dead inside an apartment complex that caught fire last week and officials later said her death may be suspicious. The fire happened in the 1700 block of New Hampshire Avenue at around 3:15 a.m.
“As we continue to seek justice for Vicky, as we do for all victims in the city of Los Angeles, we are still asking for the public’s help,” said Beatrice Girmala, the Los Angeles Police Department’s liaison to the LGBTQ community.
“We know that there are people out there who have probably encountered this suspect, who may be fearful and anxious,” she said. “We ask them, with open arms, to please come forward.”
The criminal charges against Ramirez include the allegation that he personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, during an attempted robbery, officials said.
He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.