Nearly a week after 9-year-old Trinity Love Jones was identified as the young girl found dead in a duffel bag near a Los Angeles-area hiking trail, a man close to the family has been charged with her death.
According to NBC LA, Emiel Lamar Hunt, 38, who authorities believe is Trinity’s mother’s boyfriend, was charged Tuesday with one count of murder, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said. Police arrested Hunt after they found him asleep in his car in a parking lot near San Diego International Airport.
In court on Tuesday, Hunt did not enter a plea.
Another person has been arrested in connection to Jones’ death, but police have yet to release any information about that assailant.
Trinity’s father Antonio Jones said his daughter was “full of character, full of life, full of joy.”
Hunt also has a history of past charges, including being convicted child abuse in 2005 after his 3-year-old son was found unresponsive, malnourished and bruised at their San Diego home, NBC LA noted.
The child had “severe bloating and internal injuries to his chest, abdomen, back, arms and legs,” police documents said. He was “intubated and had several episodes of low heart rate and required drugs to bring up the heart rate.”
In that case, Hunt pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Hunt is expected to be back in court on April 16.