Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Transgender residents team up with LAPD on East Hollywood murder investigation

The LAPD Rampart Division is searching for a man they believe might have information related to the August 28 killing of Paulina Ibarra, a transgendered person, who was stabbed to death in her East Hollywood apartment. Police are seeking help from the public in looking for Jesus Catalan (pictured). Catalan, a parolee-at-large, is not a suspect in the case but a person of interest that detectives would like to question about the killing on the 900 block of North Mariposa Avenue. Catalan, who is probably homeless, frequents East Hollywood and the Rampart District. He is considered armed and dangerous.

The police don't have a suspect yet but have been working with gay, lesbian and transgendered residents and advocacy groups to get information about the killing, said Lt. Wes Buhrmester with the LAPD Rampart Detective Division. "We've identified a person of interest, due almost entirely to the transgender community coming forth."

The person who killed Ibarra was not believed to be targeting transgendered people but he probably knew the victim, said Buhrmester. "We also do not believe hate or prejudice was a motive, but we are not excluding that possibility. If evidence surfaces to lead us to believe this was a hate crime, we will aggressively pursue that avenue."

The LAPD is scheduled to hold a press conference on the investigation Thursday, Buhrmester said.

More details:
Community Alert
Alerta a la comunidad


  1. paulina was my friend. such a great transgender female.

    i miss her with all my heart

    this was a hate crime. please help find jesus.

    nobody shouldnt even touch a transgendet not even push a transgender. we been throw alot. people may not know.

    anyone who touches a transgender should be arested . even if they pust u or say bad words.. police dont care why should other people?

    its just hard being born in a whrong body we try to fix it and ppeople just dont have maners.

    sorry my fist language is spanish

  2. Yo soy un miembro de la familia y quiero pedir la ayuda de toda la comunidad de los Angeles que si tienen alguna pista de Jesus Catalan por favor llame a la policia. No es justo que una persona muera asi con toda una vida por delante. Estamos toda la familia destrosados por esta trajedia que le paso a Paulina. Se le agradese la familia Ibarra

  3. I am a member of Paulina's family. I would like to ask anyone who knows the whereabouts of Jesus Catalan to please come forward. The whole Ibarra family is devastated because of this horrible tragedy. No one deserves to die like that. Paulina was so young and had her whole life ahead of her. She will be missed and remembered like the happy person she was.

  4. Jose Ibarra a.k.a. Paulina was a family member who was loved by so many. On behalf of myself and the rest of the family we really want justice to be served. No other family should have to go through the pain of losing a loved one due to such horrific circumstances.
    I would like to know more on this press conference asap. I would also like to understand why the family is not being contacted whatsoever on any recent activity on this case.
    If there is a press conference in regards to Paulina/Pepe's case the family should be there!

  5. Lt. Wes Buhrmester, Rampart Detective DivisionSeptember 17, 2009 at 8:20 AM

    To Anaceci,

    My understanding is that Ms. Ibarra's family was invited to the press conference several days ago and will be in attendance. They are being kept abreast of the investigation, to my knowledge. I spoke with her sister and cousin in West Hollywood last week on September 9, and am in constant contact with community members who are acting as liaison with the family. If this is not the case, please call me and let me know, and I will see to it that it is rectified.

    A press conference is scheduled for Thursday, September 17, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. in the 900 block North Mariposa Ave., East Hollywood. Further details are on the LAPD Online website.

    Wes Buhrmester, Lieutenant
    Rampart Detective Division

  6. i meet her she just wanted love R.I.P ull always be missed pau

  7. Paulina was such a beautifull person inside and out she will trully be missed..... if anybody knows where jesus catalan is please call the police!!!!! justice needs to be served for EVERYBODY..... no matter gender,income status, nor race we are all humans....

  8. Lt. Wes Buhrmester, Rampart Detective DivisionSeptember 18, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    Ms. Ibarra's brother, sister and cousin were at the press conference yesterday. I spoke with them personally, and with community supporters to ensure they are kept apprised of the investigation's progress.

    I agree with previous posters, justice is necessary for all, including the LGBT community. If anyone has information or Mr. Catalan's location, please call us, it can be anonymously via telephone, thru text message, or by logging onto the LAPD website and leaving a message. An interview with him is crucial in directing our investigation into the next phase.


    Wes Buhrmester

  9. Lt. Wes Buhrmester, Rampart Detective DivisionSeptember 22, 2009 at 7:06 PM

    Post No. 1, Anonymous: Perhaps your first language is Spanish, but your message came through well. Content in this case trumped spelling.

    I would like to thank the media and especially the members of the LGBT community for their participation in last Thursday's press conference. The community members' appearance showed their concern and passion for this cause, and bolstered my brief message seeking information. The family, friends and supporters' words were very powerful and clearly displayed their resolve. Jesus Catalan is still outstanding, but he cannot hide forever, and I feel strongly that in a short time we will have the interview with him which we are actively seeking.

    An update on other aspects of the case: forensic tests of evidence found in Ms. Ibarra's apartment are continuing. I'm afraid I cannot say much more than that, for fear of contaminating the case when it goes to court, but behind the scenes, as well as in the field, the investigation goes on. We've other murders to investigate, which have occurred since Ms. Ibarra's. But our detectives are excellent at multi-tasking, they are professionals, and will put maximum energy, effort and quality into each case that crosses their desks.

    Thank you again to the various media outlets which covered this story, and to The Eastsider LA for their coverage.

    Wes Buhrmester

  10. Lt. Wes Buhrmester, Rampart Detective DivisionOctober 8, 2009 at 3:14 PM

    An update on this post, we are still looking for our person of interest. We believe him to still be in the Hollywood / East Hollywood area, and we have received information that he has shaved his head, and may be wearing rectangular prescription or prescription-type glasses. The family and the LGBT community are being kept apprised of the investigation and its progress. The TV show America's Most Wanted has expressed an interest in profiling this case, and I'll update with a post as soon as a decision is rendered by their producers.

  11. Lt. Wes Buhrmester, Rampart Detective DivisionNovember 20, 2009 at 6:13 PM

    Here is the latest on the progress of this investigation. On Monday, November 9, 2009, crime scene analysis disclosed that physical evidence was present which linked Jesus Catalan to the crime. Yesterday, November 19, 2009, an arrest warrant alleging one count of murder was issued for Catalan. He is no longer a person of interest, but now a suspect wanted for murder.

    We also have obtained reliable information that Catalan is still in the East Hollywood / Hollywood / West Hollywood area. If anyone should see him, please call 911 and advise the operator of your observations. And as in the past, the family of Ms. Ibarra and the LGBT community are being kept apprised of the investigation's developments. Thank you for reading this.

  12. I don't agree with the lifestyle but nobody deserves to be murdered in so brutal a fashion no matter howthey chose tolive their lives.

    I hope the case is eventually solved.

  13. I am so devastered with all of this i talk to pau just a month before the tragety she was so happy and optimist about life that i cant understand what happened but please help get that son of #%#%#% please

  14. I find it interesting that when these TG prostitutes steal, rip-off & do their "tricks" the police are nowhere to be found and often blame the person who got tricked. But when one of the street whores get hurt, mamed or die in the course of their business, a monument is put up in their name. It's drugged up area filled with Transexual prostitutes. What a bunch of hypocrates!

  15. The scum bag killer of Paulina appears to have been caught!


    I find Bowen G's comments rather harsh. The fact is Paulina was a nice person trying to make her way in life the best way she knew how. One's occupation, whatever it may be has nothing to do with the value of her life.

    She was a human being first and foremost and her life was every bit as valuable as yours or mine. The fact that she was Transgendered is only important in that crimes against Transgendered individuals have usually not been treated with the same sence of urgency as similar crimes against individuals that are "normal" according to society. The manner in which LAPD handled this is another sign that while slow, the road to equality and acceptance while slow, is moving in the right direction.is moving in the right direction.