Earlier this year, this one story of a missing Black girl that hit me hard. A young one was found partly stuffed inside a black duffel bag. She was somewhat protruding from it. Authorities immediately deemed it a homicide. But will justice be served?
On March 5, 2019, at about 10:00 AM, the overstuffed duffel bag was found at the bottom of an embankment by a Los Angeles County work crew in Hacienda Heights, CA. No one knew who she was or how long her remains had been there at the time.
LA County Sheriff circulated a photo of the black duffel bag and recreations of the missing Black girl’s image drawn by a sketch artist hoping to figure out who she was through the public. Authorities were actively searching through missing person reports in the LA area. But it seemed like no one had reported this little Black girl missing.
She was quickly adopted by the local people of Hacienda Heights. They created a memorial for her near where her body was found bulging from the bag. There, they placed flowers, balloons, handmade posters and cards, stuffed animals and candles.
And men, women and children of the local Hacienda Heights community visited her roadside memorial every day.
Identifying the Missing Black Girl in the Black Duffel Bag
On the following day, March 6th, a tipster saw the sketch on the news and called investigators. The person told them that the sketch looked a lot like a 9-year-old little Black girl named Trinity Love Jones.
This caller had no idea where Trinity and her mother, Taquesta Graham, were at the time. But it was a lead. So, authorities followed up. The goal was to either exclude Trinity or positively identify her as the victim.
Two days later, on March 8th, Taquesta Graham and her boyfriend, Emiel Lamar Hunt, were attempting to drive across the Sierra Blanca, Texas border. They were trying to get into Mexico.
Authorities stopped and detained them at the Sierra Blanca border patrol checkpoint. Guess they hadn’t done their research. Nicknamed the Best Little Checkpoint in Texas, border authorities ran them both through the nationwide system.
That’s when authorities found a felony warrant in California for Taquesta’s arrest for a parole violation. She had been previously convicted of enticing a minor female for prostitution in 2009.
At the time, the little Black girl in the duffel bag had not been positively identified yet. So, Emiel Lamar Hunt was sent on his way.
Eventually, thanks to the publicly released LA County Sheriff sketch, a local family member offered to help identify the young girl. The relative viewed the child at the coroner’s office, telling the medical examiner that her chipped tooth looked just like Trinity’s.
This relative also provided a DNA sample. That’s when authorities positively identified the missing Black girl from the duffel bag as 9-year-old Trinity Love Jones.
The Captures of Emiel Lamar Hunt & Taquesta Graham
In the meantime, Emiel Hunt decided to drive back to California without his girlfriend after she was arrested in Texas.
On March 9th, four days after the little Black girl in the black duffel bag was found, Emiel was captured and taken into custody. Authorities found him sleeping in his parked SUV near the San Diego International Airport. They arrested him on suspicion of murder and booked him at the Norwalk Sheriff’s station.
Hunt had also done time in prison. He had served over 10 years in the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitations – CDCR – for abusing his own son in San Diego County, CA in 2005.
It seems a bit odd that he would return to the San Diego area to sleep in his vehicle. Was he planning to look for his son or other family members? Was it nostalgia or maybe even guilt? And if it was guilt, was it related to his son or Trinity?
No one knows for sure. But Emiel Hunt was formally charged with Trinity’s murder on March 12th, one week after her body was discovered in Hacienda Heights.
Two days later, on March 14th, Taquesta Graham, Trinity’s mother, was extradited back to California from Texas. She was booked at the Norwalk Sheriff’s Station for her felony parole violation warrant.
Taquesta was formally charged with her daughter’s transition four days later, on March 18th. This was exactly 13 days after her remains were discovered.
The Last 10 Months of 9-Year-Old Trinity Love Jones’ Life
According to investigators, Trinity, her mother, Taquesta Graham, and the mom’s boyfriend, Emiel Lamar Hunt, had moved out of a family member’s Long Beach, CA home in May 2018.
For the next 10 months, loved ones said they only saw and heard from them a few times.
Later, it was discovered that they had been homeless right before Trinity’s transition. The three had been living in a motel in Santa Fe Springs, CA. And when they couldn’t afford a room there, they slept in the SUV where Hunt was found asleep when he was arrested.
The sad part is… this child had a family. She was removed from the safety of her Long Beach family member’s home so her mother could be with a man known for hurting children… specifically his own child.
This sorry excuse for a mother allowed her daughter to live like a homeless child, sleeping in their vehicle, just to be with a man who couldn’t even provide for them.
After they allegedly dumped the young Black girl’s body, they high-tailed it to Texas, hoping to drive across the Mexican border.
Trinity Didn’t Have to Live Like a Homeless Child
And what’s even worse is the fact that Trinity has a father, one who loved her very much. Antonio Jones had never reported his 9-year-daughter missing because he never knew she was a missing little Black girl.
As far as he knew, she was with her mother and her wanna-be-step-father. And… she was just fine.
Antonio Jones had no idea his daughter was living a homeless life. He never knew his child was sleeping in an SUV. And he didn’t know his daughter was dead until the family member who visited Trinity at the coroner’s office told him.
The question is… Why was Trinity Love Jones loving the homeless life with her mother and her mother’s boyfriend when she had a father?
Why wouldn’t Taquesta Graham just send her to live with her father until she got back on her feet? Was living the family life with her good-for-nothing man that important?
The media stopped reporting on the case after the adults who were supposed to protect Trinity Jones were arrested. So, it’s unknown which of the adults allegedly took her life and why.
What we do know is had Taquesta swallowed her pride and done the right thing for her daughter, Trinity would have been living in a real home with her father. And more than likely, she would still be alive.
Where Are Trinity Jones’ Alleged Killers Now?
Emiel Lamar Hunt is currently an inmate in a Los Angeles County Jail. He was moved to his current housing location, Men’s Central Jail at on Bauchet Street, Downtown LA, on March 30, 2019.
Taquesta Graham is currently being held as Los County Jail inmate. She’s housed at the Century Regional Detention Facility for women located on Alameda Street in Lynwood, CA.
They are both being held on a $2,000,000 bond each. The District Attorney plans to try the cases together. Their next court date is August 15, 2019, at Pomona Superior Court on Civic Center Plaza.
Updates on the Case of Trinity Love Jones
This case caught so much attention because local authorities were appalled that a child could be discarded in such a despicable way. Once it made the local news, people from the Hacienda Heights community did their best to keep the story alive hoping to help identify Baby Girl… and someday… see her killer brought to justice.
But since the arrests of Emiel Hunt and Taquesta Graham for Trinity’s murder, the story has died down. I can’t find any updates on the case since their arrests.
Those of us who followed this story for 13 days before the mother was charged want to know what’s going on with the case. However, media coverage is at a halt. There are no new updates on the cases at this time.
Will #JusticeForTrinity be served?
I CHALLENGE someone from the mainstream press to care and keep us informed.
Video: What’s Happening to the Missing Black Girls & Women in America? We Must Become Our Own Media
#BlackGirlsMissing is the hashtag being used to help report and find missing Black girls and women across America. The amount of African American women and girls who have gong missing in the US is disturbing.