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'Absolute Monster' Accused of Using Saw to Dismember 14-Year-Old Trans Girl He Met on Dating App

Pennsylvania Man Accused of Killing 14-Year-Old Trans Girl
Source: Pennsylvania State Police; GoFundMe

DaShawn Watkins (left) charged with the murder of Pauly Likens (right), whose dismembered body was found at Pennsylvania park, officials said.

Jul. 10 2024, Published 12:01 p.m. ET

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Police say a man has been arrested after the dismembered remains of a missing 14-year-old trans girl were allegedly found at a Pennsylvania park.

On June 25, the partial remains of Pauly Likens were reportedly found partially submerged in Shenango Lake, according to police reports obtained by WPXI.

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Additional remains were located in remote locations over the following week, authorities said.

Likens had disappeared on June 23 — the same day prosecutors say the teen met 29-year-old DaShawn Watkins at the canoe launch along the Shenango River.

Police say Watkins and Likens met on a dating app.

Authorities obtained video footage, which allegedly showed Likes going to the Riverwalk Apartments, where Watkins was also allegedly filmed struggling to carry a duffel bag.

He was spotted the following day carrying multiple bags and garbage bags, officials said.

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Police searched Watkins’ apartment and allegedly found blood in the hallway, bathroom and under the bathroom flooring, the Sharon Herald reported.

Authorities also said they found a receipt from June 23, which showed that Watkins purchased a saw with exchangeable blades.

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Coroners determined Likens died from sharp force trauma to the head.

On July 2, Watkins was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault, tampering with or fabricating evidence, and abuse of a corpse, officials said.

His next court date is scheduled for July 17.

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When asked about Watkins not being charged with a hate crime, Mercer County District Attorney Peter C. Acker told the Philadelphia Gay News, “PSP [Pennsylvania State Police] does not believe it in fact is one because the defendant admitted to being a homosexual and the victim was reportedly a trans girl.”

In a statement to WPXI, Likens’ aunt said, “Only an absolute monster could do something like that to anyone, let alone a child.”

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