Tioni Theus had her entire life ahead of her and it was abruptly taken from her on or around Jan 8. when her body was found dumped on the side of the 110 freeway in South LA.
Not much is known about if the family reported Tioni missing, or who they believed she was with, but her body was found close to the freeway entrance at Manchester and Figueroa.
“She was thrown on the side of the freeway like trash!” cousin Lakesia Barrett said at a vigil for the victim on Tuesday night.
Relatives say Tioni turned to the streets after her mother was critically hurt in a 2019 hit-and-run accident. Her mother remains hospitalized to this day.
“She meant something to her mother who can’t be here,” Barrett said of Tioni. “She meant something to her cousins who are here. Yes, 16 year olds have problems. What 16 year old didn’t? But the people who took her life got a chance to get it right. She don’t.”
“The fact is that this murder is under CHP jurisdiction,” LAPD Chief Michael Moore said. “We’ll join with them, but I thought it was important tonight to be here for a family who lost a 16 year old daughter, a cousin, a niece. And they’re right! This event came and left, and so many people in LA were unaware of it.”
The LA County coroner says Tioni Theus died of a gunshot wound to the neck. The location of her death, and the person or people who killed her, are not yet known.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact the CHP.