The Los Angeles City Council and the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday are set to consider offering a combined $60,000 reward for information to find the killer of 16-year-old Tioni Theus, who was left dead on the side of a freeway.
The teenage girl was shot in the neck and dumped near the Manchester off-ramp of the 110 Freeway in South Los Angeles. Her body was found on Jan. 8.
With the killer still not found, her family has been urging officials to set up a reward for information, contrasting the girl’s case to that of Brianna Kupfer, whose killing in Hancock Park garnered $250,000 in reward money.
On Tuesday, more than two weeks after Theus’ body was found, L.A. council members Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson are introducing a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for her killing.
And L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell is introducing a similar motion to establish a $10,000 reward.
“Tioni was a young lady with so much promise, joy and spirit with God-given gifts and talents to give to the world. She had so much to live for and countless unfinished dreams,” Price said in a statement. “It’s disheartening to know that the person or persons responsible for her killing are still on the loose while a family and entire community continues to grieve in search for answers.”
Theus was last seen on Jan. 7, before she left her Compton home to meet an “Instagram friend” to go to a party. Her body was found the next day, miles away from the home.
“She was thrown on the side of the freeway like trash,” Theus’ cousin Lekesia Barrett said during a vigil for the girl.
The California Highway Patrol is leading the investigation, with help from the Los Angeles Police Department.
But no suspect descriptions have been released, and it remains unclear what motivated the killing.
Over the weekend, Theus’ family called Gov. Gavin Newsom and other officials to set up a reward, urging the anyone with information to come forward.
“Whoever knows what happened needs to say something. It’s just as simple as that. She was a human being. She didn’t deserve this, and I always say, it could be your sister, it could be your cousin, it could be you,” said Nafeesah Kincy, Theus’ cousin.