Family members Sunday say they can identify the girl found dead last week on a Hacienda Heights hiking trail as 9-year-old Trinity Love Jones, according to a variety of news reports.
The girl’s body was located about 10 a.m. Tuesday in a duffel bag at the bottom of an embankment close to Colima Road and Hacienda Boulevard, near the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple.
“Words can’t explain what I’m feeling right now,” Anthony Jones, father of Trinity Love Jones, told KTLA5. “I just want answers. I just want justice. She was just the best, full of character, full of life, full of joy.”
Jones said he learned of his youngest daughter’s death through a telephone call.
Family members created a memorial of candles, flowers, balloons, stuffed animals and photos at the trail where the girl they say is Trinity was found.
Sheriff’s homicide Lt. Scott Hoglund — heading up the investigation into the death — could not be reached for comment. Sheriff’s representatives said they had no information at this point as to the identity of the deceased girl.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has not officially identified the girl as Trinity.
An autopsy has been completed on the body of a girl believed to be between 8 and 13 years old and described as black, about 4 feet 5 inches tall and weighing about 55 pounds.
There was no word on the cause of the girl’s death mentioned in the coroner’s office announcement released Friday.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released a composite sketch of the girl on Wednesday, along with photos of a pink long-sleeve top with the words “Future Princess Hero” and gray pants with pandas on them that she was wearing when her body was found.
County workers clearing some brush in the area uncovered the youngster’s remains.
The girl’s body was “found partially inside of a black roll-away type duffel bag,” with her head and upper body protruding from the partially zipped bag, according to Hoglund.
“It’s a sad moment for the department, for the community, and we’re going to do our best to figure out what led to the suspicious death of the child involved,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a news conference. “I’ve directed the investigators to spare no effort to find out what happened.”
“Investigators did not observe any obvious signs of trauma to the victim’s body,” Villanueva said.
Hoglund said investigators believe the girl was left in light brush adjacent to the equestrian trail in the late evening hours of Sunday, about a day-and-a-half before the body was found.
Authorities are seeking help from anyone who saw anything suspicious on Hacienda Boulevard — including a vehicle pulled over to the side — during that time frame or recognizes the composite sketch of the girl or the clothing she was wearing.
Investigators do not know if the girl was alive or dead when she was placed inside the bag, Hoglund said.
“The motive at this time is unknown,” Hoglund told reporters.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500, or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.
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