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A California banking executive known for championing diversity in the finance industry was found dead in her home Thursday and a fellow coworker has been arrested in connection to the brutal slaying.
The body of 48-year-old Michelle A. Avan was found Thursday morning in her Reseda home by a family member who grew concerned after being unable to reach her, according to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department obtained by KABC.
Although a cause of death was not been released, authorities said the Bank of America executive “appeared to have suffered trauma to her face.”
Police arrested Avan’s fellow coworker, Anthony Duwayne Turner, 52, on suspicion of murder later that day.
Turner is also an executive with Bank of America, according to The Los Angeles Sentinel.
Police have not released a motive.
Avan had served as a senior vice president at Bank of America and head of global women’s and under-represented talent strategy in global human resources and was known for her work to improve diversity in the banking industry, The Los Angeles Times reports.
“We are devastated,” the banking company said in a statement to the paper. “Michelle was a valued member of our company for more than 20 years and will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest sympathies to her family.”
Avan had been a close friend of Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., the executive publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel, which named her as one of Los Angeles’ Powerful and Influential Black Women Leaders in 2019 for her mentorship work with Black women and girls.
“Michelle was a dear friend and dedicated warrior for our community, and a dear friend to me and my entire family,” Bakewell said in a statement to the paper. “This news is just devastating.”
Oxygen.com reached out to the Los Angeles Police Department but did not receive an immediate response.
Turner is being held at the Van Nuys Jail on a $2 million bond.
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