Jasmine Dunbar, 21: Young Mom Set On Fire Over A Paternity Test, Police Say
Jasmine Dunbar was a young mother who would do anything for her 7-month-old daughter. So those who knew her immediately sensed the worst when the 21-year-old disappeared recently and her little girl was found on the roadside in a car seat.
The Phoenix, Arizona woman, who was loved by family and friends and known for her infectious smile, was supposed to meet up with her estranged boyfriend on March 8, 2018. She was never heard from or seen again.
Dunbar’s body was recovered days later in a field near the Camelback Ranch spring-training baseball ballpark in Phoenix. Family and friends gathered recently to release balloons in the air and remember Dunbar at a vigil.
"We all gained a beautiful angel looking down on us and guiding us," close friend Yvonne Young, told AZ Central. "If there was one person who didn't deserve this, it was Jasmine.”
A GoFundMe page created by Tonya Smith, Dunbar's mother, had raised $5,700 in donations for funeral expenses and to help care for her infant daughter.
Twenty-year-old Antwaun Travon Ware, Dunbar's ex-boyfriend, has been arrested in the slaying. He is being held in the Maricopa County jail on a plethora of charges, including suspicion of first-degree murder, kidnapping, body abandonment and child abuse, according to KTVK.
Ware allegedly told authorities that he picked Dunbar and her infant up on the night she vanished, but that he dropped them off after an argument.
But Dunbar's godmother said Dunbar was supposed to meet up with Ware so that he could take a paternity test, records show.
But Ware changed his story when interrogated by the police. He said that he had struck Dunbar several times with his fist and left her bruised and battered in a field. He then drove away, leaving her – still alive -- while he kept the child in the backseat.
"Why would you go back? To kill her? For what? Because she asked you to take a DNA test?" Dunbar's mother Tonya Smith said, according to the Associated Press.
But then Ware said he returned to the scene.
This is what AZ Central says happened next:
Police said Ware returned to find Dunbar dead. He told police he put a piece of paper on her, doused her with gasoline and used a cigarette to set her alight. He said he watched as her body burned, and the fire went out on its own.
Young said Dunbar's friends chose to hold a candlelit vigil outside the field where police reportedly found her body because "this was where her last moments of life were."
Young and others also expressed sympathy for Dunbar's 7-month-old daughter.
"It’s going to take a village to raise her because she was cut short of her mom’s love," Young said. "All we can do as Jasmine’s friends is not forget about her and give her daughter the love we know she would’ve gave her.”
Ware “admitted he had a physical altercation with Jasmine and punched her a number of times with his fist,” police said in a probable cause statement, according to the Associated Press.
To read the police report via PDF click here.
A GoFundMe set up to provide for funeral arrangements and the victim’s daughter has raised more than $9,000 of its $10,000 goal. It reads: “My 21 year old daughter Jasmine Dunbar was brutally murdered on 3/8/18 in Phoenix, AZ. She left behind her 7 month old daughter Ariel. Jasmine loved her daughter more than anything. She will be forever loved and missed. I am trying to raise money for her funeral expenses and to help care for her daughter. Any donations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance and May God Bless You!”