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Tioni Theus, 16: Family Wants Answers After Teen Found Dead On Side Of Freeway

Tioni Theus, 16: Family Wants Answers After Teen Found Dead On Side Of Freeway

tioni theus murder

Although her body was found back on January 8, news reports about the murder of 16-year-old Tioni Theus only began surfacing today (January 18). Little is known about the investigation into this case, but it has been shared that Tioni’s remains were located on the 110 Freeway South at the Manchester Avenue on-ramp near South Figueroa Street. It was approximately 8:00 a.m. when drivers spotted the body and called the authorities.

tioni theus murder 1Investigators revealed that Tioni Theus was shot in the neck, and her father, Darien Jackson, told news outlets that he can’t fathom who would want to take the life of his child. Tioni was reportedly staying with him while her mother recovered from a hit-and-run accident. They are said to have lived in Compton as Tioni attended Centennial High School.

“[It] just don’t make no sense,” he reportedly said. “It just hurt … I feel like I died … It just hurt. You lose everything.” He added, “Part of me is gone … I hope they catch whoever did it.”

Police are said to be working with community leaders in an effort to find out who is responsible for this horrific crime.

“We’re talking about a 16-year-old. We’re not talking about an adult. We’re talking about a 16-year-old child!” said Lakeshia Barret, Tioni’s cousin. “She was thrown on the side of the freeway like trash, and she’s a child! She meant something to her family.”

The victim’s aunt, Jasmin Johnson, added, “Losing her has put a damper on this family. I don’t know if we can deal with it anymore. So whoever did this to my niece, can you please turn yourself in?”

“There has to be an individual out there that witnessed at least a portion, if not the entirety, of this case,” CHP Assistant Chief Jesus Holguin said. “We know that people out there witnessed something that we can follow up on and hopefully get to the bottom of this crime as soon as possible.”

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said Tioni might have been a human trafficking victim.

“We’re definitely not pretending that Tioni was an angel,” Tioni’s cousin Nafeesah Kincy told the Los Angeles Times. “She faced trauma. I want to humanize her. I don’t want her to be seen as a prostitute or a runaway or somebody that people feel like ‘Oh, well, they live that lifestyle.’ “It’s so many young women out here being victimized and being taken advantage of physically and sexually. So, it’s my cousin today. But it could be your cousin, your daughter, your friend tomorrow.”

tioni theus murder 1

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the California Highway Patrol at 323-644-9557 or their local authorities.

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Please share this story about Tioni Theus to help find out who took the life of this young teen. She is our sister and her life matters.


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