Mourners gather for the funeral of the trinity of Love Jones, the 9-year-old whose body was found this month stuffed in a duffel bag along an equestrian trail, in the St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights, Calif., Monday, 25 March 2019. The Hacienda Heights community, where her body was found had embraced the child in the death during the days that she remained in life. A park employee found Trinity on 5 March. A huge memorial jumped on the site as members of the community heard about the case. She was identified the following weekend, and prosecutors have since filed murder against her mother and the mother of the boyfriend. (AP Photo/John Rogers)
HACIENDA HEIGHTS, Calif. – Most had never met her, didn’t even know her name until she saw it on the news.
But moved by the tragic death of a 9-year-old girl whose body was found stuffed in a duffel bag and thrown away on a hill trail — as so much waste, as a grieving — that is, people turned out by the hundreds Monday for a times happy, other times angry and frustrated interfaith service celebrating the life of the trinity of Love Jones.
They are all but filled the pews of the spacious St. John Vianney Catholic Church in the Los Angeles suburb of Hacienda Heights, only a few miles (3.2 kilometers) where a park employee had found Trinity’s body on 5 March. She was dressed in a pair of pants with a panda pattern and a pink shirt — her favorite color— that proclaimed, “the Future of the Princess Hero.”
Her mother and her mothers friend have been charged with the murder.
“I don’t even know of them, but I just had to come. I have grandchildren her age,” Camille Boswell from the nearby town of Placentia said of the trinity and her family. “Every time a child dies…, it hurts.”
On the basis of the wishes of the trinity, father, Antonio, she came in a bright blue and white suit and the bright blue hat, because Trinity loved bright colors. Other mourners wore buttons with her name and photo on.
Many acknowledged that they had no idea who she was, when her body was found on March 5, but they followed the news daily, baffled that such a thing could happen to an innocent 9 year old.
Hacienda Heights, 20 km 32.2 km) east of Los Angeles, is in many ways an insular community of 54,000 people, made up of large numbers of white, Latino and Asian residents. It is walled on two sides by hills dotted with large houses which offer stunning views. In the center are rows and rows of well-kept 1960s-era tract homes.
As word of the trinity, is death scattered about the city through social media, local resident Kara Clark said that people have the feeling that they had to do something to pay their respects to her family and also make it clear they are fed up with a society in the grip of such excessive violence.
“When we first heard what happened to this child, my first thought was that it’s my granddaughter,” she said. “Enough is enough with all of the things that happens in our world — it is horrible.”
Shortly after the service began at noon on a warm, sun-splashed day at the church-covered plaza, six pallbearers, including Trinity’s father, came dressed in matching white suits with pink vests to usher her small chest within. At the altar was a pink teddy bear and a balloon. Behind it was a 9-foot-tall (2.7 metres) photo of the trinity laughs and shy and dressed in a leopard-print outfit.
“So it is logical that we are under the bright sun, because what we celebrate today is the light that is the trinity in the eternal light that is not extinguished,” Father Egren Gomez told mourners for them leads to the shrine.
Before you go inside, mourners saw 90 candles lit in honour of the trinity, is the life — 10 for each of her nine years, and heard the church bells toll for 90 seconds.
In her life was celebrated with songs and praise of a cross-section of religious leaders, including the Catholic priest Gomez, Pastor Darnell Hammock of the New Life of the Community of the Church of Oakland and the Venerable Miao Hsi, a nun from the nearby Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple, in the vicinity of Trinity’s body was found.
The fieriest sermon came from the Hammock, who acknowledged that, although the tri-unity of the murder had brought people of all faiths together, he knew many would leave me to wonder why it had happened.
“Why, God? Why so fast? The reason why our baby? The reason why our cousin. Why my student …
“I have to be honest, the church I struggled with these questions as I prepared today,” he said, adding her death reminded him of that of many other young people snuffed out before their time.
“I am here to ask myself,” When do we change the channel of this alarming episode of young black girls to die?'” he shouted, a reminder, that the largely white audience at her feet.
But he went on to tell mourners not to pass the opportunity to work together for the future.
“I want the community here today to embrace this perspective that we are all,” he said.
Miao Hsi added that the Buddhist faith accepts that, although the trinity is gone, her spirit lives in each human being that she leaves behind.
“We are here to celebrate Miss Trinity’s rebirth,” she said. “She can be a feeling of love, joy and peace.”