A 16-Year-Old Girl Was Found Dead Beside A Highway. Her Family Wants Answers
Funeral for Tioni Theus | Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

The family of Tioni Theus is looking for answers after the body of the 16-year-old girl was found along an I-110 on-ramp in Los Angeles.

Her funeral was held on Thursday, and authorities are offering $110,000 for tips that may lead to her killer.

The teenager “died of a gunshot wound to the neck…and was last seen Jan. 7 in Compton,” ABC 7 reports. She “told her father she was meeting a friend to go to a party,” the outlet stated.

The Los Angeles County DA’s Office says there is evidence she may have been a victim of human trafficking.

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As NBC4 reported, “[f]amily members say she was a straight-A student and enjoyed dance and golf. Rashida Kincy, a cousin of Tioni, described her as a ‘vibrant young lady that was just cut from so much that was ahead of her.'”

Tioni’s case is another example of the disparity in how missing Black people are treated by authorities and the media. As NBC4 stated, “[A]ctivists had said the absence of a reward in the killing of the young Black girl, with no arrests two weeks after her body was found, stands in stark contrast to efforts that led to a $250,000 reward offered in the search for the killer of 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer.”

The California Highway Patrol posted photos of Theus on Twitter and asked for anyone with information about her killing to call the agency at 323-644-9557.

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