Girl found dead in duffel bag identified as 9-year-old Trinity Jones; 2 people detained
LOS ANGELES (FOX 11) - The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner identified the body of a girl found dead last week on a Hacienda Heights hiking trail as 9-year-old Trinity Love Jones.
Investigators have detained two persons of interest in this case and they are actively continuing their investigation. The names of those detained were not immediately known, however, investigators said they’re considered persons of interest. No charges have been filed at this time.
The child's body was discovered by county workers around 10:30 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, Lt. Scott Hoglund said during a press conference Wednesday.
"Her upper torso and head were protruding from the open bag," Lt. Hoglund said.
The child's death is being investigated as a homicide.
Anthony Jones, the father of Trinity Love Jones, said he learned of his youngest daughter's death through a telephone call.
Related: Homicide detectives need help identifying child found dead near hiking trail in Hacienda Heights
Family members created a memorial of candles, flowers, balloons, stuffed animals and photos at the trail where Trinity was found.
"Words can't explain what I'm feeling right now," Jones 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.''
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. The coroner's office has not publically released the cause of the girl's death.
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.
Investigators believe the child's remains were left at that location within 24 hours of being found and that the child died roughly 48 hours before her body was discovered.
"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.
CNS contributed to this report.