Mom Charged in Killing of LA-Area Girl Found in Duffel Bag

March 19, 2019 Updated: March 19, 2019

LOS ANGELES—A woman was arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of her 9-year-old daughter was found in a duffel bag along a suburban horse trail near Los Angeles, authorities said on March 18.

Taquesta Graham, 28, is expected to be charged with murder on Wednesday, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.

Prosecutors last week charged Graham’s boyfriend, Emiel Hunt, with murder in the killing of Trinity Love Jones.

The dead girl was found March 5 at the bottom of an embankment in the suburb of Hacienda Heights. She was wearing pants with a panda pattern and a pink shirt that said, “Future Princess Hero.”

Trinity Love Jones, whose body was found on a trail in LA County, Calif. on March 5, 2019. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

There were no obvious signs of trauma on her body. Authorities have not revealed a cause of death or motive.

Graham was extradited from Texas to California last week and was initially held on an unrelated warrant. Graham was in custody Monday and could not be reached for comment.

Hunt, 38, has a previous child abuse conviction from 2005 in San Diego County, according to prosecutors. His arraignment is scheduled for April 16.

Emiel Lamar Hunt
Emiel Lamar Hunt. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department via AP)

Friends and family members described Trinity as a joyful and talented girl who did well in school. A memorial near where her body was found featured stuffed animals, heart-shaped balloons, dozens of votive candles, and notes expressing love for Trinity and one that said, “Rest in heaven, Princess.”

Trinity
Photos adorn a large memorial to Trinity Love Jones, on March 11, 2019, the 9-year-old girl whose body was found in a duffel bag along a suburban Los Angeles equestrian trail, in Hacienda Heights, Calif. (Reed Saxon/AP Photo)

Antonio Jones, the father of the victim, said the girl had been living with her mother, and she hadn’t let him see the girl.

He and other family members were in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Pomona on March 12, as Hunt made a brief appearance but did not enter a plea.

“I felt like a monster. I wanted to do to him what he did to her,” Barbara Jones, the girl’s grandmother, told reporters outside the courthouse.

If convicted, Hunt faces a sentence of up to 50 years to life in state prison, prosecutors said.

Hunt was being held on a $2 million bail and could not be reached for comment.

RECOMMENDED