The mother of a California girl found deceased earlier this month and stuffed in a duffel bag is now accused of murder, along with her boyfriend, who’s also charged with the child’s murder.
KTLA 5 reports that Los Angeles County authorities extradited Taquesta Graham earlier this month from Texas on unrelated charges. She’s been behind bars since and is now accused of killing her daughter, Graham, 9-year-old Trinity Love Jones. Graham’s boyfriend, Emiel Hunt, is also behind bars. He was charged with murder earlier this month in connection with the little girl’s death.
Authorities said that Graham has been booked for one count of murder, and that the case was sent to the District Attorney’s Office, where charges will likely be filed on Wednesday.
“The case is being reviewed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Charges are expected to be filed on Wednesday morning,” sheriff’s officials said about Graham’s arrest in a written statement. “Graham’s arraignment for the murder charge will follow the filing on Wednesday at Pomona Court.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Trinity was found by maintenance workers in early March at around 10:30 a.m., on an equestrian trail east of Hacienda Boulevard, next to the Shan Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights.
During a press conference shortly after Trinity was found, officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said that the deceased girl’s body was partially stuffed inside a black duffel bag.
“Investigators believe that the victim was dumped at the location sometime during the late evening hours of Sunday, March 3,” Lt. Scott Hoglund said. “The victim was in fact found partially inside a black rollaway type duffel bag. The upper portion of the victim was protruding from that bag.”
Authorities have since learned that Graham, Hunt, and Trinity moved out of a family member’s Long Beach home in May 2018. Since then, the girl’s other family members have only seen her sporadically. Graham, Hunt, and Trinity were homeless shortly before the girl’s death, living out of their car or in a hotel in the Santa Fe Springs area.
Investigators stated that although they initially thought Trinity was dumped at the hiking trail within 48 hours of her death, they now believe she was left there the day she died, on March 1.
Both Graham and Hunt have previous criminal records involving children. Graham is a convicted sex offender who spent time in prison for “enticing a minor female for prostitution.” She was released from jail in 2016 and is now on California’s sex offender registry.
In 2005, Hunt was arrested in San Diego after officers found his 3-year-old son bruised, malnourished, and unresponsive inside his home. The little boy was rushed to the Rady Children’s Hospital trauma unit with “severe bloating and internal injuries to his chest, abdomen, back, arms and legs,” according to the San Diego Police Department.
While at the hospital, the boy was “intubated and had several episodes of low heart rate and required drugs to bring up the heart rate,” the police report read.
After authorities arrested Hunt for child torture and abuse, they interviewed his former girlfriend, Patecia Frazier, who reportedly admitted that they used a belt or a cord to spank the boy several times per week. Frazier also admitted, according to police, that the boy didn’t get food when being punished and meat was only given out as a reward for good behavior. The child’s diet at home consisted of vegetables only.
Hunt was sentenced to 12 years in prison, while the California Superior Court of San Diego County ordered Frazier to attend a year-long child abuser’s program.
Both Graham and Hunt remain behind bars without bail.
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Taquesta Jones and Trinity Love Jones/Police Handout]