Body of Child Found in Hacienda Heights

Daniel Gomez, Editor-in-Chief

On March 4th the body of a young girl was found in Hacienda Height near Hacienda Boulevard and Glenmark Drive. The body was found on the side of hiking trail partially shoved into a duffel bag. Workers who were cleaning the trail discovered the disturbing scene and immediately notified the authorities. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department declared the young girl dead on the scene and predicted that she had died before ever reaching the trail. This led them to believe that the duffle bag with the girl’s body inside was thrown from the side of a nearby road into the brush of the trail. They also stated that there were no immediate signs of trauma, but the Homicide Bureau would still be responsible for the investigation going forward. An autopsy report would be needed before making a definite conclusion about the cause of death.

Following the initial response from the Sheriff’s Department, the immediate priority became identifying the young girl. The Sheriff’s first step for this was to release photos of the clothes the child wore at the time of her death and the type of duffle bag she was found in. They also ran through a missing child database but were unable to find a match. With that option failing the investigation had to rely on the public for information and to help with this a police sketch of the girl was released. She was described as 4 foot 5 inches, 55 pounds, and between ages of 8 and 13 years old, but the Sheriff’s Department has chosen not to release a cause of death as there is a security hold on the autopsy results.

A Community United

This tragedy brought the community of Hacienda Heights to celebrate the life of a child that ended far too soon. Hundreds gathered to a community organized candlelight vigil to mourn for a girl whose name is still a mystery. Candles, flowers, stuffed animals, and other toys were left to honor the girl. Everyone took comfort in each other as songs were sung, an understanding that this horrific murder could have happened to any of their children.

“These are the hardest cases to handle. Anything involving a child. This is very sad,” Lt. Scott Hoglund of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement to media.

This case remains open with no suspect named and a community hungry for justice. Any information regarding the case should be reported to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

The print version of this article was originally published March 13th.

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