Body of girl found near L.A.-area hiking trail identified

LOS ANGELES — The young girl whose body was discovered in a duffel bag near a Los Angeles-area hiking trail last week has been identified, and two persons of interest were being held Sunday for questioning about her death.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the county coroner identified the girl as Trinity Love Jones, 9, of Los Angeles County. Authorities did not provide more detail about where in the county she lived.

Jones’ body was found in a black duffel bag on March 5 by maintenance workers near an equestrian and hiking trail in Hacienda Heights, California, about 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

“She was just the best — full of character, full of love, full of joy,” Antonio Jones, who identified himself to NBC Los Angeles as Jones’ father, said.

The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled Jones’ death a homicide, but the sheriff’s department said it was withholding the exact cause.

Jones’ case drew widespread attention after detectives released a composite sketch of her in the clothes she was found in: a long-sleeved pink shirt that said “future princess hero” and gray pants with pandas on them.

Authorities credited “the overwhelming response from the news media and tips received from the public” with helping to identify Jones.

Mourners have placed princess balloons, stuffed animals, flowers and dozens of candles at a growing memorial near where Jones’ body was found. Family members gathered at the site Sunday.

“We just want answers,” Antonio Jones said. “We want justice.”

NBC News