At press time, $110,000 became available as a reward for information
that leads to the conviction of the person responsible for the
shooting death of Tioni Theus, a 16-year-old girl whose body was
recently found dumped alongside the Harbor Freeway in South LA.
The reward is a combination of monies introduced in motions by the Los
Angeles City Council ($50,000), the LA County Board of Supervisors
($10,000), and the State of California ($50,000).


On Saturday, a group of activists gathered and pushed for elected
officials to offer a reward for information in the killing of Theus,
whose body was found Jan. 8 on the side of the freeway on the
Manchester Avenue on-ramp near South Figueroa Street in South Los
Angeles.


Theus had last been seen Jan. 7 after telling a family member she was
going to meet a friend to go to a party, officials said. No further
information was provided, and no suspect description was available.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Police Commission, Los Angeles Police
Department Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday the case was something that
“all of Los Angeles should be paying close attention to.”


He added that other than the anticipated reward money, “the incentive
should be that we know in our community that this murder did not occur
in a vacuum and that … this young girl was tragically taken from us
and the people responsible are still amongst us, which poses an
imminent risk to all of us.”


The investigation is being handled by the California Highway Patrol,
but the LAPD offered investigative assistance. Moore told the Police
Commission the CHP hasn’t yet identified a suspect or description of
the suspect or involved vehicle.


“Ms. Theus lived in Compton and was a student at Centennial High
School,’’ according to the county motion. “She was reportedly living
with her father as her mother recovered from a serious hit-and-run
accident. Family members say she was a straight-A student and enjoyed
dance and golf.


“Investigators are urging anyone with information about this incident
to contact the California Highway Patrol. A reward will encourage
members of the public to come forward with information that can help
identify the individual(s) responsible for her death.”


Price, meanwhile, said, “Tioni was a young lady with so much promise,
joy and spirit with God-given gifts and talents to give to the world.
She had so much to live for and countless unfinished dreams. It’s
disheartening to know that the person or persons responsible for her
killing are still on the loose while a family and entire community
continues to grieve in search for answers.


“I stand in solidarity with the Theus family and all Angelenos
demanding justice in her name so that her family and loved ones can
find solace in knowing that the ones who chose to end this vibrant
girl’s life will answer to their crime.”


California Highway Patrol Capt. Jeff Lofton spoke at the news
conference, asking anyone with information to come forward.
“If you’re from the community here and you have cameras in your
vehicle and you were driving along the route, along the 110 Freeway
that morning, please look at your video,” Lofton said. “If you find
something at Manchester and the 110, call investigators.”
On Thursday, the CHP posted photos of Theus on Twitter and asked for
anyone with information about her killing to call the agency at (323)
644-9557.


Theus’ cousins told the Los Angeles Times the teen was good in school
and enjoyed golfing, dancing and singing. But they said her life took
a turn in 2019 when her mother was severely inj

ured in a hit-and-run
crash that left her in a rehabilitation facility.
Theus began rebelling after that, disappearing for long periods and
eventually being pulled into dangerous street activities
“We’re definitely not pretending that Tioni was an angel,” cousin
Nafeesah Kincy told the paper. “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,’’ Kincy added.

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