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Hacienda Heights Mourns Unidentified Young Girl Found Dead In Duffel Bag

HACIENDA HEIGHTS (CBSLA)   -- She was found, anonymous, dead in a duffel bag.

The little girl hasn't been identified. But tonight in Hacienda Heights a grieving community called the little girl family.

KCAL9's Rachel Kim was there among dozens of people who came out to mourn a child they didn't know.

They sang "Amazing Grace." A song of faith to help bring comfort words to help bring understanding to faces of confusion, sorrow and shock.

"It hurted me when I first heard about it," said Georgia Washington.

"It breaks my heart, it just breaks my heart," says Marlene Contreras, one of the vigil's organizers.

People from near and far gathered to say every life matters, even the lives we don't know. They wanted to remember this little girl, who was found partially inside a duffel bag, dumped near the Skyline Trail at Colima Road and Hacienda Boulevard Tuesday morning.

"When things like this happen, we need to come together and be a voice for this little girl, especially since she doesn't have a family, I think it's important that she's everybody's child," says Contreras.

"This one feels like it's one of the worst ones I've ever heard about. That this little girl stuffed in a suitcase-like bag, was just devastating to me," says LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn.

Sheriff's investigators are trying to identify the girl. They say she is black, 8-13 years-old. She was wearing a pink shirt with "Future Princess Hero" written on it, panda print pants and no shoes. Authorities aren't sure how long the girl had been dead or how she was killed.

girl hacienda heights duffel bag
(credit: LAPD)

"You don't know what she went through before her life was taken and this is what I thought about  -- what they had done to her before they taken her life," says Washington.

Right now, there's no motive or suspect information. As investigators search for answers, parents and children here feel the loss.

"You look at your own children and you think I could never do that to my child. You can't wrap your head around something like that," says Contreras.

Kim spoke to 6-year-old Rebecca Estrada and she asked her what made her come to the vigil.

"Because we would like to care about other people no matter who they are," she said.

Estrada also had a message for the young victim.

"I'm sorry that you have died and I'm sorry what happened to you," she said.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the girl's cause of death. Meanwhile, detectives will be checking security video from a Buddhist temple that sits near the trail where the body was found.

If you have any information about the girl, you're asked to call the LA County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau.

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