Written by AARON CASTREJON
LOS ANGELES - Homicide detectives are preparing to submit a criminal case against Taquesta Graham, the mother of slain 9-year-old Trinity Love Jones and a suspect in the girl’s death.
Graham was being held in Texas on an unrelated warrant after she and fellow suspect Emiel Lamar Hunt, Graham’s boyfriend, were stopped attempting to cross a border patrol checkpoint in Hudspeth County, Texas Friday, March 8 at 6 a.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
Graham was extradited from Texas the morning of March 14 and was booked at the Sheriff’s Norwalk Station on the outstanding warrant and she continues to be held in jail. She was then questioned in Jones' death, homicide detectives said.
The criminal case will be filed with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office at a later date, homicide detectives said.
“During the past week, Investigators learned Graham, Hunt and victim Trinity Jones moved from a family member’s home in Long Beach in May of 2018. During the past ten months the extended family had only seen or heard from the couple and Trinity on a few occasions,” Homicide detectives said. “Investigators have learned Hunt, Graham and Trinity were homeless just prior to her death and were residing in a Santa Fe Springs motel or in their vehicle.”
A break in the case came March 6 after Jones’ sketch was released publicly, a tipster came forward to detectives and expressed concern the girl in the sketch was Jones, but did not know the whereabouts of the girl or Graham.
Investigators explored Taquesta Graham’s history and learned Hunt, her boyfriend, has a criminal history, which includes a prison sentence for a previous child abuse conviction, homicide detectives said.
Once detained in Texas, Hunt drove back to California. He was eventually found sleeping in his black Nissan Armada in a parking lot near San Diego International Airport and arrested, homicide detectives said.
Homicide detectives began focusing on the whereabouts of Hunt and Graham after comparing a photo of Jones to the girl found dead and realized the similarities between the two.
Jones’s body was likely dumped over the side of Hacienda Boulevard in he afternoon hours of Friday, March 1, homicide detectives said.
When Jones was actually killed remains either unknown or undisclosed.