Mother Charged With Murder in Slaying of 9-Year-Old Girl Found in Duffel Bag in Hacienda Heights

The mother of a 9-year-old girl whose body was found stuffed in a duffel bag along an equestrian trail in Hacienda Heights earlier this month was charged with murder on Wednesday, prosecutors announced.

Taquesta Graham is seen in a booking photo released by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

Taquesta Graham is seen in a booking photo released by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

Taquesta Graham, 28, made her first court appearance in Pomona on Wednesday, but the arraignment was postponed until April 16.

Graham and her boyfriend, 38-year-old Emiel Hunt, are accused of killing Trinity Love Jones earlier this month, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

She has been in custody since March 8, but was just booked Monday on suspicion of murder, a sheriff's news release stated.

The two suspects were both initially detained at a border crossing in Texas on March 8, and Graham was arrested on suspicion of an unrelated warrant. Hunt was released and drove to back to California, where he was arrested the following day in a parking lot near San Diego International Airport, according to the release.

Hunt has also been charged with murder in Trinity's killing.

The young girl was found dead on March 5 down the side of an embankment along Hacienda Boulevard, south of Colima Road, according to investigators. L.A. County workers discovered the body partially stuffed inside a duffel bag.

Emiel Hunt is seen in a booking photo released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on March 12, 2019.

Emiel Hunt is seen in a booking photo released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on March 12, 2019.

Detectives believe Trinity's body had been there since the afternoon of March 1, the day it appears she was killed, according to the Sheriff's Department.

A cause of death has not yet been released.

The suspects and victim were believed to have been homeless for approximately 10 months prior to the homicide, after the trio moved out of a family member's Long Beach home last May, the release stated. They were living out of their vehicle or of a motel in Santa Fe Springs during that time.

Both suspects have a criminal record.

Graham was convicted of enticing a minor female for prostitution and is a registered sex offender, information from the Megan's Law website showed.

Hunt was convicted of child abuse in 2005 and spent at least 10 years in prison, according to a criminal complaint and a sheriff's detective.

If convicted in Trinity's killing, Graham faces a possible maximum sentence of 26 years to life in prison, while Hunt could be sentenced to up to 55 years to life in prison, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

The Sheriff's Department is still seeking information in the case, and anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can also be left by dialing 800-222-8477, or by going to the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

 

 

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