A man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after a paedophile drag queen was discovered dead in an alleyway dressed in full stage costume.
Darren Moore, 39, a convicted sex offender, went missing on his way home from his regular Sunday night performance at a gay nightclub in Cardiff.
He was discovered dead in the city center, still wearing his luminous yellow dress, blonde wig, full make-up, and trademark false breasts.
South Wales Police said a local man, 50, had been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and was being held in custody while investigations continue.
A post-mortem examination has been carried out on Darren, and further tests are ongoing to establish the cause of his death.
Moore, known as Crystal Couture, had worked with TV’s RuPaul was popular in the gay scene across the UK.
Members of the LGBT+ community are holding a vigil in his memory tonight in a street close to where his body was found.
Police have appealed for calm and urged people not to speculate after claims were made on social media that Darren was beaten to death.
Superintendent Michelle Conquer, Head of Operations in Cardiff, said: ‘We understand there is shock and upset in the local and wider community following the death of Darren Moore who was a well-known drag artist in Cardiff.
‘Cardiff has a long and proud tradition of recognising, celebrating, and protecting equality and diversity. South Wales Police is proud to represent and protect all communities that it serves.
‘Anyone who has concerns is asked to please contact us in confidence.
‘While an investigation is on-going, our Neighbourhood Policing Team as always will continue to provide a visible police presence in the city centre.
As a teenager, he was convicted of four counts of rape on a boy under the age of fourteen and sentenced to three years in a Young Offenders’ Institution.
He was barred from having any contact with children, but in 2011, he was found guilty of violating the order by working as a gymnastics and dance tutor for children in Cardiff.
He received a three-year sex offender treatment program, a 24-month supervision order, 300 hours of unpaid work, and a six-month electronic tag curfew.
Crystal Couture’s official website describes his act as ‘for audiences large and small and of all ages’ and ‘available for weddings, christenings, birthdays, and celebrations of all types’.
But audience members walked out of a ‘Pride Without Prejudice’ event in 2018 when he made insensitive jokes about prolific child abuser Jimmy Saville.
Darren, of Newport, Gwent, changed his name to Moore when he married his long term partner also called Darren.
He ran a company called Blingblingbling and will be exhibiting his jewelry at RuPaul’s annual Dragcon event in London in 2020.
Flowers have been placed in Windsor Place, near the city’s main shopping street, where Darren’s body was discovered early Monday morning.
He had gone missing after failing to return home, and he was not answering his phone.
Hundreds of tributes have been paid to the ‘outgoing and funny’ entertainer who was well-known on the gay scene in the UK.
Cardiff gay bar the Golden Cross tweeted under the headline Rest in Fabulousness: ‘We are deeply saddened to learn of Darren Moore’s passing. He was the life and soul of the Party and would always be entertaining the masses, usually accompanied with a round of shots.’
Darren’s husband, also named Darren Moore, and his family have been informed of the arrest.
‘Initial investigations have so far not revealed or confirmed any obvious cause of death,’ said Detective Chief Inspector Paul Raikes, ‘but extensive inquiries are continuing to establish the cause and circumstances of Mr Moore’s death.
‘I’d like to thank the community for the tremendous help they’ve given to this investigation thus far, and I’d like to appeal to anyone with information to please come forward.
‘I would also like to respectfully ask people to refrain from speculating on social media about what happened and to please let the police investigation take its course.’
Detectives are asking anyone who saw Darren in Cardiff city centre during the early hours of Sunday to contact them.
They want to speak with anyone who was in the area of Park Lane and Windsor Place between 3 and 7 a.m.
Darren’s family is being supported and kept up to date by specially trained family liaison officers.