Trinity Love Jones, 9
Trinity Love Jones, a black 9-year-old girl, was pronounced dead on Tuesday, March 5, after her body was found on an equestrian trail adjacent to the 3400 block of Hacienda Boulevard in Hacienda Heights, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigators.
A Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation worker clearing brush along the equestrian trail discovered Trinity's tiny body in a large rolling duffel bag around 10 a.m., according to Lt. Scott Hoglund.
The girl's head and shoulders were protruding from the bag but there was no obvious sign of trauma to her body, Hoglund said.
She was shoeless, wearing black and white lounge pants and a pink top that read "Future Princess Hero," but investigators at first had no idea of her identity or age.
In a news conference the following day, investigators said the girl was small, about 4 feet, 5 inches tall and just 55 pounds. They estimated her age to be between 8 and 13 and asked for help in finding out her identity.
On Sunday, March 10, investigators announced they'd received thousands of tips from all over the country and had identified the girl as Trinity Love Jones.
Investigators said she was from Los Angeles County, but refused to disclose where. An autopsy confirmed her death was a homicide, but investigators would not disclose the cause of death. They have put a security hold on the autopsy results, meaning they can't be released to the public.
Hoglund announced March 10 that investigators had detained two suspects but refused to identify them or confirm whether they had been arrested.
On Tuesday, March 12, Emiel Lamar Hunt, 38, the boyfriend of Trinity's mother, was charged with murder in connection with Trinity's death, according to a sheriff's news release.
The Times reported that Hunt is accused of killing the girl on or around March 1, according to the criminal complaint, four days before her body was found. The Times also reported that Hunt was convicted of child abuse in San Diego County in 2005 and sentenced to 12 years in state prison.
Hunt was arrested early on the morning of March 9 as he was sleeping in his car, which was parked in a lot near San Diego International Airport, according to the sheriff's news release. He is being held on $2-million bail.
Investigators are still holding a second person of interest, whose name is being withheld "pending further investigation," the release said Tuesday.
After the March 6 news conference, members of the public began creating a memorial to Trinity, leaving candles, flowers, balloons, stuffed animals and photos along the fence where the girl was found.
On March 10, after Trinity was identified, KTLA reported that her father and a few other family members visited the memorial.
Antonio Jones told the station that Trinity was his youngest daughter, and he learned of her death through a phone call.
"Words can't explain what I'm feeling right now," Jones said. "I just want answers. I just want justice."
Jones wouldn't say whether he had custody of Trinity, or where she lived, but he said he never imagined the unidentified girl was his daughter.
"She was the best," he said on the newscast. "Full of character, full of love, full of joy."
Jones said someone identified his daughter after seeing news reports, but he wouldn't discuss the investigation further.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's Homicide Bureau. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.