Investigators were working Friday to identify the body of a little Black girl who was found dead earlier this week inside a duffel bag in a suburb of Los Angeles. The unfortunate discovery combined with the lack of any new missing person reports matching the girl’s description shed light on the lingering, alarming problem of what seems to be an increasing number of young Black girls going missing.
Dozens of people held a vigil Thursday night in Hacienda Heights, where the girl’s body was found two days earlier inside the bag near a hiking trail. Aside from the girl’s physical features, law enforcement was short on other information about her.
“The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner determined the victim was a Black female between the ages of eight and 13,” according to a press release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “The young girl was found to be wearing a pink, long sleeve shirt with gray panda print pants (actual clothing depicted). She stood approx. 4 ft, 5 inch. tall and weighed about 55 lbs. No obvious signs of trauma were found on the victim’s body.”
There was some brief confusion Thursday over reports of a different young Black girl who also recently went missing in southern California.
Anybody with any information about the case was encouraged to use any number of ways to contact law enforcement, including calling the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500; making an anonymous phone call to “Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-TIPS (8477); use a P3 Tips app on your smartphone; or go to the Crime Stoppers website.
The medical examiner’s office was expected to complete an autopsy at a later date and the girl’s case was “ruled as a suspicious death,” the sheriff’s department said.
While details surrounding just how the girl’s body got to where it was found near the Skyline Trail, her situation was reminiscent of other young Black girls and women who have been reported missing in recent months.
A Black teenage girl went missing from California’s Bay Area before being found dead this past October. In that instance, authorities also ruled Mariah Davis‘ death as suspicious.
In May of last year, Sadaria Davis (no relation) was found dead six blocks away from her Chicago home after she was reported missing. A fifth young woman was reported missing from Chicago one month later.
There were reportedly about 64,000 Black women and girls missing in the U.S., according to a report published last month.
“In efforts to address the problem of missing Black children nationwide, Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Robin Kelly, and Yvette D. Clarke initiated the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls in 2016,” Black News wrote. “Through the caucus, they hope to create public policies that ‘eliminate significant barriers and disparities experienced by black women.’”