Emiel Hunt, the boyfriend of Trinity Love Jones’s mother and a convicted child abuser, is now accused of murdering the 9-year-old girl whose body was found inside a duffel bag in Hacienda Heights. The child was wearing a pink shirt reading “future princess hero” when discovered.
“Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Investigators are announcing the arrest of Suspect Emiel Lamar Hunt…38 years-old, for the murder of Victim Trinity Love Jones,” a press release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department read.
Trinity’s family – namely her father, Antonio Jones – told the news media that the child found in the bag had been identified as Trinity Jones. Officials later confirmed the identity of the deceased girl whose body was found near an equestrian trail. They said she was Trinity Jones and that they had two persons of interest in custody. They didn’t identify them. However, on March 12, 2019, they announced the charges against Hunt.
KTLA-TV is reporting that family members claim the persons of interest are Trinity’s mother Taquesta Graham and her boyfriend, Emiel Hunt. Authorities have not confirmed the information about Graham, who is not listed in the jail’s inmate database by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“Information regarding the second person of interest is being withheld pending further investigation. The homicide investigation is ongoing,” authorities wrote in the release announcing Hunt’s arrest. “Investigators anticipate releasing additional case information as more facts are established and verified.”
Antonio Jones, Trinity’s dad, told CBS LA that DNA was used to identify her as the deceased girl and the child had a chipped tooth like Trinity’s.
Hacienda Heights is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. “These are the hardest cases to handle,” sheriff’s officials said in a news conference, pledging to “find the reason for this child’s death…our investigators are working diligently on it…It’s just a tragic situation.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Emiel Hunt, Who Was Found Sleeping in a Car, Was Being Held on $2 Million Bail
Emiel Hunt, who says on Facebook that he is in a relationship with Trinity’s mother per other social media posts, is currently being held in the Los Angeles County Jail on $2 million bail and a felony accusation, online records show.
Hunt was arrested after he was found sleeping in a car at the San Diego airport, according to authorities.
He is the son of a church elder in San Diego. According to NBC San Diego, Hunt’s father begged him to attend church and change his life after his child abuse conviction in 2005, for which he spent significant time in prison.
“He wanted to do what he wanted to do and we have rules and regulations here. He couldn’t abide by rules and regulations so we don’t have any contact [for years],” Hunt’s father said to the station. “He needs help. If he did this, he needs help. I’ve already prayed for him.”
On Facebook, Trinity’s mom goes by the name of Dior Racks. She also indicated on Facebook that she was in a relationship with Hunt. In one Facebook post, Hunt posted a photo that called Dior Racks the “wifie” of Emiel Hunt. He wrote that they had been in a relationship since December 2017. She wrote under a Valentine’s Day photo with Emiel, “love you and this pic.”
The mom’s real name is Taquesta Graham, 28, according to online records linking her to other family members and to Emiel.
In a press conference, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released pictures of the clothing that the deceased girl was wearing. That was before the child was identified as Trinity Jones. According to the photos released, the girl was wearing a pink shirt that bore the words “future princess hero” when she died.
“The young girl was found to be wearing a pink, long sleeve shirt with gray panda print pants (actual clothing depicted). She stood approx. 4 ft, 5 inch. tall and weighed about 55 lbs. No obvious signs of trauma were found on the victim’s body,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a release.
A maintenance worker told KTLA: “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 said. “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.”
“We have no leads,” authorities said in their initial news conference. They also said they did not have any suspects. That changes with their announcement that two persons of interest were identified. They think the body was placed on the trail on a Sunday afternoon.
The child’s death was later ruled a homicide. However, authorities have not revealed the child’s specific cause of death beyond that. The bag was located “at the bottom of an embankment,” said authorities.
2. Emiel Hunt Joked About R. Kelly on Facebook & Called Himself ‘Tha Realest’
Emiel Hunt’s Facebook profile reads, “#DEFINITELY 1 OF THA REALEST (N word) TIL THIS DAY! 100%💪.”
The page says he’s from San Diego. His top post is a ribald joke about R. Kelly in prison. He mostly shared other joking videos to his page. On her page, ‘Dior Racks” mostly posted selfies.
No criminal history comes up for Hunt in Los Angeles. There’s an old criminal file in San Diego from 2004 but it’s not clear what it was for or what the disposition was per online records. There are some “domestic cases,” including paternity, that come up under his name. The details aren’t clear.
On March 5, 2019, the child’s body was discovered on an equestrian trail near a Buddhist temple, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in the news conference, calling the child’s death “suspicious.” The body was found down an embankment just below the temple at around 10 a.m.
“The victim was dumped at the location some time during the late evening hours. The victim was discovered by county workers who were there clearing some brush,” authorities said. “The victim was found partially inside of a black rollaway type duffel bag.”
The upper portion of the victim was “protruding” from the bag, authorities said. At first, authorities said the victim was about 4 foot 5 inches tall. Investigators did not observe obvious signs of trauma to the victim’s body. The autopsy determined the cause of death.
The motive was listed as being unknown. Authorities held the news conference in the hopes that witnesses would come forward who might have seen a vehicle pulled over to the side of the road or who would recognize the bag.
3. Family Members of Trinity Unleashed Angrily at Emiel Hunt on Facebook
Family members of the slain girl unleashed angry comments Facebook. Trinity’s grandmother wrote, in a comment directed at Emiel, “You going to rot in hell you kept my grandbaby.”
Relative Mishale’ Wilson wrote on Facebook, “Trinity you deserve to be on tv you was a movie star but you didn’t deserve to be on tv like this 😰😰😰😰.” She added: “I cannot believe this sh*t !!!!!! Somebody wake me up I am dreaming !!!! Not my trinity omg !!.”
Antonio Jones, the father of Trinity Love Jones, told KTLA-TV that the girl was “just the best. Full of character, full of life, full of joy.”
“Words can’t explain what I’m feeling right now,” he said. “I just want answers. I just want justice,” he said.
He has also posted Facebook Live videos about the girl’s death. In one, a woman tells Jones that a detective has asked the family not to talk to the press, but he keeps the video going, and you can hear part of the call. “This is my daughter who was found in a suitcase. My daughter Trinity,” he says at one point. “She was the youngest out of my three girls.” There was no publicly visible previous post about the child being missing.
People with tips can call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
It’s not clear whether the child was alive when placed in the bag, authorities said. They would not comment on whether there were any items in the bag along with the girl’s body.
It’s not clear whether the child was reported missing. The National Center for Missing and Endangered, Inc. wrote on Facebook:
“Little girl who was dumped beside the road in a black suit case in Hacienda Heights has been identified as 9 year old Trinity Jones***
BREAKING: Little girl whose body was found dumped in Hacienda Heights has been identified by extended family members as Trinity Jones.
There is a lot happening right now and many questions still need to be answered.
Meanwhile, the first piece of the puzzle is now in place.
This baby girl, formerly known as Jane Doe #11, is Trinity.
She has a name.
She has a story.
And someone is responsible for her death.”
Asked by a comment thread writer if the girl was reported missing before her death, the center wrote, “we do not have that information all the information we have is posted above.”
4. Trinity’s Mom Is a Registered Sex Offender & Hunt Is a Convicted Child Abuser
According to California’s sex offender registry, Taquesta Graham is a registered sex offender for the offense of enticing a minor female for prostitution. Her conviction was in 2009 and her release was in 2016. You can read more about her background here. She also has other prostitution-related offenses.
KTLA-TV reported that family members want to know why Trinity was in Graham’s custody in light of her arrest history.
Taquesta’s boyfriend, Emiel Hunt, was convicted in San Diego County of child abuse in 2005, authorities say. NBC San Diego reported that Hunt “spent more than a decade in prison on a torture and child abuse conviction from 2005.”
Tributes flooded in for Trinity Jones.
“Trinity Love Jones was Bright, Full of Life, and Had a Smile that would Brighten Up the Moment of those around Her. It’s what stood out the Most, like with most Children,” one tribute reads.
“Her Curiosities often raised awareness that Left one Enlightened if they were to ever encounter one of her many keen Questions. She enjoyed Fashion, and often played Dress Up, which was one of Her favorite pastime activities. Dainty, Prissy, and a Social Butterfly, She will be Greatly Missed and Celebrated by Close Family and Friends. Funds are being raised to help with Homegoing costs and arrangements. Any amount is Appreciated, and Thanks Ahead of Time for your Love and Support.”
5. A Memorial Has Grown in Memory of Trinity Love Jones
A memorial has already sprouted up in the memory of Trinity Love Jones.
According to NBC Los Angeles, family members added Trinity’s picture “to the abundance of flowers, balloons and candles” that people have placed at the spot where the girl’s body was found.
In a Facebook Live post, Antonio Jones thanked people for showing love and support for his daughter. “That was my baby they found,” he said.