‘Person of interest’ sought for questioning
A Dallas woman suspected of performing illegal silicone injections across the South may have left one person in a coma in New Orleans after such an injection, police said Wednesday.
The transgender woman, who goes by the name Armani Nicole Davenport, is believed to have injected silicone into the hips and buttocks of two unidentified women late last week, sending one of them to the hospital, according to a police report.
Black market silicone injections have caused at least a dozen deaths in the United States in the last decade. A Mississippi interior decorator is facing trial in the deaths of two women who were injected at her house.
Davenport is listed as a “person of interest” in the New Orleans case, which police said involves negligent injuring of another person and practicing medicine without a license.
The two women, whom police did not identify, voluntarily received the injections about 1:15 a.m. Oct. 24 at a home in the 1200 block of South Salcedo Street, according to a police report.
One of the women left the home about 3 a.m. and returned about two hours later to find her friend in “respiratory distress,” according to the report. She called paramedics and told them she thought the silicone injections were to blame.
The woman in distress was rushed to a hospital and was in critical condition and comatose when police wrote their report Friday.
Her friend told police that someone known to her and her friend as Armani or Mani, from Dallas, did the injections.
Davenport, whose legal name police do not know, lives in Dallas but is originally from Baton Rouge, said Officer Frank Robertson, an NOPD spokesman.
Her Facebook page says she graduated in 2002 from Woodlawn High School in Baton Rouge and attended Southern University. She did not respond Wednesday to a message sent to her on the social networking site.
Davenport often returns to Baton Rouge and the New Orleans area, Robertson said. She also travels around the southern United States, possibly injecting others with silicone, police said.
Robertson said police want to speak with her about the incident in New Orleans last week to get her side of the story before possibly naming her as a suspect.
“We need to talk to her to see what she knows,” he said.
Davenport has participated in a number of beauty pageants during the past two decades, police said, including Miss New Orleans Newcomer 2002, Miss Black America Plus 2006, Miss Gay Dallas Metroplex US of A 2013 and Miss Gay Texas US of A 2014.
Black market silicone injections, which are popular among transgender individuals, have caused a raft of health problems in recent years, including amputations and deaths.
According to a 2012 article in the Los Angeles Times, more than a dozen people have died from illegal buttocks injections since 2002. In some of the deaths, those who performed the injections have faced criminal charges that ranged from practicing medicine without a license to manslaughter.
Despite being cheaper than going to a plastic surgeon, the injections are still hugely profitable. The Times reported that illegal practitioners can charge up to $1,000 for a shot at “pumping parties” where numerous people get injected.
In many cases, it’s not actually silicone that’s in the syringe. Mineral oil, additives for furniture polish or, in the case of one Florida woman, Fix-A-Flat tire sealant have all reportedly been used in injections.
Anyone with information about Davenport’s whereabouts is asked to contact New Orleans police detective Ed Johnson at (504) 658-6060.