One of two people detained in connection with the death of 9-year-old Trinity Love Jones, whose body was found last week on a Hacienda Heights hiking trail, is scheduled to be in court Tuesday in Pomona, according to cour documents.
Relatives of the victim say the two people in custody are Jones’ mother, Taquesta Graham, and her boyfriend, Emiel Lamar Hunt. Each is being held in on a $2 million bond, and Hunt is scheduled to make an appearance in a Pomona courtroom Tuesday morning.
Family members who created a memorial of candles, flowers, balloons, stuffed animals and photos near where the girl’s body was found confirmed the girl’s identity.
“Words can’t explain what I’m feeling right now,” Anthony Jones, Trinity’s father, said at the memorial site. “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.
The girl’s body was located about 10 a.m. Tuesday “partially inside of a black roll-away type duffel bag,” with her head and upper body protruding from the partially zipped bag left at the bottom of an embankment close to Colima Road and the 3400 block of Hacienda Boulevard, near the His Lai Buddhist Temple. Hogland said.
An autopsy was completed last week on the body and determined she was between 8 and 13 years old, black, about 4 feet 5 and about 55 pounds.
The cause of the girl’s death was determined to be a homicide, the coroner’s office said.
The 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.
“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 last week. “I’ve directed the investigators to spare no effort to find out what happened.”
Hoglund said investigators believe the girl was left in light brush adjacent to the equestrian trail in the late evening hours of March 3, about a day-and-a-half before her 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.