Prosecutors in Los Angeles have charged 38-year-old Emiel Hunt with the murder Trinity Love Jones, the 9-year-old girl whose remains were found in a duffel bag near a horse trail in Hacienda Heights, Calif.
Hunt briefly appeared in a Pomona courtroom Tuesday, according to CBS Los Angeles. He remains behind bars with a bail set at $2 million until his arraignment, which has been scheduled for April 16.
Hunt, who has a previous child abuse conviction from 2005, had been romantically involved with Jones’ mother since December of 2017, according to their Facebook relationship status. He was found sleeping in his car near San Diego International Airport Saturday. Hunt now faces a sentence of 50 years to life in state prison if convicted.
Love’s mother, Taquesta Graham, was also detained by authorities, though she did not appear in court. Still, relatives told KTLA that Graham was still being held on her own separate bond of $2 million, though an inmate record search failed to yield any names matching hers. A registered sex offender, Graham was convicted of enticing a minor female for prostitution in 2009, according to Megan’s Law.
County workers found Jones’ body last week at the bottom of an embankment a stone’s throw from a popular trail. After police sought public assistance to identify the then-unknown girl, an “overwhelming response from the news media and tips recovered from the public” helped the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department identity Hunt.
With Graham and Hunt behind bars, Jones’ family is ready for answers.
“It’s more than just the mother and the boyfriend. We have to get to the bottom of it,” one family member told KTLA. “We need justice. We need to figure it out. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this to no one. Everybody deserves and answer.”