A young girl found dead inside a duffel bag last week near a trail in Hacienda Heights has been identified as Trinity Love Jones, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Authorities are still trying to determine who killed the 9-year-old and the circumstances of her death. Investigators have detained two people who may be connected to the case, the sheriff’s department said in a statement Sunday night.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt. Kent Wegener, who oversees the homicide bureau, said more detectives were being assigned to assist in the investigation, given the volume of information related to the child’s body.
“We have had thousands of tips come in from across the country,” Wegener said.
Detectives haven’t made public how the girl died, and they expect to get more information from an autopsy and tests on the child’s body in the next couple of days, he said.
A sheriff’s spokesperson late Friday said the girl’s death had been ruled a homicide.
Several sources said investigators were seeking forensic evidence including any DNA from the duffel bag and the child’s clothes that could identify who dumped the body. Camera footage is also being sought from nearby shopping areas.
The girl’s 55-pound body was found at the bottom of an embankment just east of the 3400 block of Hacienda Boulevard, about 120 yards from the beginning of the trail. She’d been there less than 48 hours when she was discovered, investigators said.
A man who identified himself as the girl’s father told KTLA on Sunday that he was in shock.
“Words can’t explain what I’m feeling right now,” Antonio Jones said. “I just want answers. I just want justice.”
“She was just the best,” he said. “Full of character, full of life, full of joy.”
Jones did not provide further details about the case.
A 2016 L.A. Times examination of child homicides found there had been more than 400 since Jan. 1, 2000, across Los Angeles County. Many of the children were victims of abuse or violence in their homes, and most died at the homes of parents or guardians.
Dan Scott, a retired L.A. County Sheriff’s sergeant who was involved in dozens of child abuse and death investigations, told The Times the circumstances of this case were particularly unusual and that it was “extremely rare to see a child’s body dumped.”