In the case of 9-year-old Trinity Love Jones, whose body was found in a duffle bag on a Hacienda Heights trail, the boyfriend of the slain child's mother has been arrested and charged with murder.
On Tuesday, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials announced 38-year-old Emiel Hunt has been arraigned on one count of first-degree murder, reported WLS-TV.
According to the DA’s office, Hunt is accused of killing Trinity on or around March 1. Hunt, who was also convicted of child abuse in San Diego County in 2005, was arrested on Saturday, March 9 after investigators found him sleeping in his vehicle near San Diego International Airport, sheriff's investigators told reporters.
During Hunt’s first appearance in court, Trinity’s family members couldn’t contain their anger.
"Trinity was trapped with a monster," said the victim’s uncle Jamiel. "Nobody knew."
Barbara Jones, Trinity's grandmother, said she felt “enraged” seeing Hunt in court.
“I felt like a monster. I wanted to do to him what he did to her, what's alleged he did to her,” Jones told WLS-TV.
Trinity's mother, Taquesta Graham, was also detained as a "person of interest" in the case and was being held on $2 million bail, reported KTLA. Graham is in custody on a previous warrant unrelated to the case.
Graham is a registered sex offender and was convicted in 2009 of enticing a young girl for prostitution, according to the Megan's Law website.
Last week, park workers found Trinity Love Jones' body inside a duffel bag that had been dumped near an equestrian trail.
One of the workers, who wishes to remain anonymous, said they were trimming trees when they discovered the bag.
"We seen the little girl's head, but at that point, we thought it was a little boy because you couldn't really see, like, everything," he told KTLA. "She was covered up with grass, like the bush was kind of covering her hair, and then she was wrapped up in a blanket, and she was stuffed in a duffel bag."
Hunt is currently being held on $2 million bail. If he is found guilty, Hunt faces a possible maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison.
(Photo: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)