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LAPD Announce Arrest in East Hollywood Transgender Murder Case

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Paulina Ibarra
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Police this afternoon officially announced an arrest in last year's brutal murder of Paulina Ibarra. Jesus Catalan stands accused of killing the 24-year-old transgender woman in her East Hollywood apartment on August 28th, 2009. Catalan became an immediate person of interest a few hours after police reported to Ibarra's home on the 900 block of Mariposa Street. Catalan apparently contacted mutual friends in the LGBT community after the murder, claiming he was a victim of a robbery and was in need of help. Once with them, he put on new clothes and left. When those friends learned of Ibarra's death, they stepped forward with information and his bloody clothes, police said.

Since then, Catalan was on the loose, even getting the attention of "America's Most Wanted" last December. Then on July 3rd, he was arrested in Tijuana after a disturbance at a motel. Because he was a U.S. citizen -- born in Puerto Rico -- he was transferred to the U.S. Border Patrol. A fingerprint scan alerted the LAPD, which brought him back to Los Angeles to face one charge of murder. A hearing is set for July 19th.

Police do not believe it was a hate crime.