Tioni Theus black teen girl found dumped on LA street; victim of human trafficking? Los Angeles authorities offer $115K reward money in hopes of making arrest.
California authorities are offering a $115,000 reward as they appeal for help from the public in the search for a teen girl’s killer after her body was found dumped by a major road earlier this month.
Tioni Theus, 16, was found dead on January 8th near a southbound on-ramp connecting to the 110 freeway in Los Angeles. A medical examiner determined that Tioni had been fatally shot in the neck ABC 7 reported.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon reportedly said that Tioni may have been the victim of human trafficking, NBC Los Angeles reported.
He said court records indicate she had been identified as a victim of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
‘This speaks as to why we need to do more for survivors of human trafficking, especially children who are exceptionally vulnerable to the coercive tactics of traffickers,’ Gascón said during a Wednesday news conference, the LA Times reported.
Disregarded because she is black?
The victim reportedly left her home in Compton to go to a party with an ‘Instagram friend’ on January 7, the night before she was found dead KTLA reported.
‘The incident occurred on a Saturday morning, there’s people that were driving by,’ California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Jesus Holguin said during a press conference. ‘There has to be individuals out there that eyewitnessed at least a portion if not the entirety of this case.’
LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell said the teen’s death — and those of too many other black females — draw too little interest.
‘It is imperative we do not allow implicit bias and or the adultification of black girls to continue to influence the lack of media coverage or public outrage over their murders,’ Mitchell said, according to CNN.
‘We have come together as elected leaders … to elevate her murder because of the trend we experience where black women and black girls’ deaths go unacknowledged, underreported and too often unsolved,’ she added.
‘Time and time again, missing and victimized Black women and girls are overlooked and lacked the appropriate media attention in comparison to their counterparts,’ Mitchell added, the LA Times reported.