Girl’s Body Found Dumped on Hiking Trail in Hacienda Heights; Homicide Detectives Investigating

A young girl's body was found dumped along a hiking trail in Hacienda Heights Tuesday morning, officials said.

Authorities respond to a body found on a hiking trail in Hacienda Heights on March 5, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

Authorities respond to a body found on a hiking trail in Hacienda Heights on March 5, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

Los Angeles County workers who were gardening in the area discovered the victim's body about 10 a.m. south of Hacienda Boulevard and Glenmark Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said.

The child was pronounced dead at the scene. She was described as being black and possibly 7 to 10 years old.

After initial uncertainty surrounding the victim's gender, coroner's officials confirmed she was female, Sheriff's Deputy Trina Schrader said.

A law enforcement source told KTLA that the body was found inside what appeared to be a suitcase, but Lt. Scott Hogland said luggage was found "in the close proximity" to the body, and he could not say whether the victim was found inside that piece of luggage.

The lieutenant said the body had apparently been "dumped" or "pushed off the edge of roadway down the embankment" and onto an equestrian trail in the area. Investigators believe the body had been left "over 24 hours ago," authorities said in a news alert.

It is unclear if the victim's body showed any signs of trauma or how the victim died.

"We are investigating this as a homicide scene, but, again, we don't have a lot of details regarding the victim," Hogland said. He added that investigators are looking for anyone who may have information about a missing child in that age range.

The circumstances behind the death are under investigation. No arrests have been made.

Aerial video from Sky5 showed a white tarp set up in a wooded area, with several police vehicles around.

The body was found near the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple, aerial video showed.

Hacienda Boulevard was closed between Richview and Skyline drives during the investigation.

L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn released a statement following the discovery of the child's body on Tuesday afternoon, calling the incident a tragedy.

"I trust (the Sheriff's Department) will identify this young victim and find whoever is responsible for this child’s death," Hahn said in the statement.

Anyone with information about the incident or the victim can call the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323- 890-5500.

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