Relatives, friends and even strangers gathered Monday to bid farewell to Trinity Love Jones, the 9-year-old girl whose body was found partially inside a duffel bag alongside a Hacienda Heights equestrian trail.
The funeral service for Trinity was open to the public in recognition of the outpouring of community support for the girl and her family in the weeks following her death.
The service began with a bell-tolling ceremony outside St. John Vianney Church, 1345 Turnbull Canyon Road in Hacienda Heights, along with a 75-candle procession escorting the casket into the church.
Although it was held at a Catholic church, the service was interfaith, jointly celebrated by associate church pastor the Rev. Egren Gomez, along with a protestant pastor and Buddhist monk.
“After speaking with Trinity’s father and witnessing each of you here today, I now realize this is who she is: a unique, gifted, charismatic, beautiful, life-of-the-party young girl, and as her father described her, someone with so much character,” Pastor Darnell Hammock said.
Hammock, making note of the variety of people attending the service, said Trinity clearly had the capacity “to transcend generational borders and surpass economic, religious and even political party affiliations.”
Gomez said that despite the “destruction and darkness” that inevitably occur in life, “Today, Trinity comes down from heaven and blesses the darkness with her eternal life.”
Trinity’s father, Antonio Jones, urged attendees “to wear bright, cheerful colors, as we are celebrating a young and vibrant life.”
“We sincerely appreciate all of the prayers and kind acts of love and generosity shown to our family,” he wrote in a posting on Facebook last week.
He asked that people sending flowers choose shades of lavender — “Trinity’s favorite color” — along with pink and white.
“If you would prefer, please bring a new children’s book. All books collected will be donated, in memory of Trinity, to children in need,” Jones wrote.
A private burial was held after the service at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 2161 S. Fullerton Road in Rowland Heights, followed by an afternoon gathering at Hacienda Heights Community Center, 1234 Valencia Ave.
Trinity’s body was found about 10 a.m. March 5 at the bottom of an embankment close to Colima Road and the 3400 block of Hacienda Boulevard, near the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple. County workers clearing some brush came upon the body, which was partially inside a black rollaway-type duffel, with her head and upper body protruding from the partially zipped bag.
Investigators believe the girl had been left at the scene during the afternoon of March 1, and prosecutors believe the girl was killed on or about that date.
The girl’s mother, 28-year-old Taquesta Graham, and her boyfriend, 38-year-old Emiel Lamar Hunt, have been charged with her murder. Authorities have not specified how the girl died or a possible motive for the killing.
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