LA considers reward in search for 16-year-old’s killer


LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — The Los Angeles City Council and the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday considered offering a combined $60,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of whoever killed 16-year-old Tioni Theus, who was left dead on the side of a freeway.

The teenage girl was shot in the neck and dumped near the Manchester off-ramp of the 110 Freeway in South Los Angeles. Her body was found Jan. 8. She was last seen on Jan. 7, before she left her Compton home to meet an “Instagram friend” to go to a party. 

Community activist Najee Ali is helping the family to get answers, noting how quickly they came in the murder of Brianna Kupfer, the 24-year-old UCLA student stabbed to death just days after Theus’ killing.

However, due to the location of the crime, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is the lead in this investigation.

“CHP is great in investigating traffic accidents. As far as murder, that’s not their expertise. And that’s why the family, myself and other leaders, are calling for a multi-agency task force,” Ali said.

According to her family, Theus was goofy, fun and a good student.

“If someone that is out there, that is malicious enough to kill a child and dispose of her body the way that this person did, they’re a monster,” said cousin Nafeesah Kincy.

Theus’ family is hopeful a reward will lead to an arrest — as it did so quickly in the Kupfer case.

“We were not envious about that,” Kincy said. “We are absolutely delighted that they found justice for that young lady. Her life mattered, Tioni’s life mattered, and everybody should receive justice.”

Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price said he wants the lives of Black women and girls to receive similar media attention to those of white women and girls reported missing or murdered.

“We’re focusing on the disparity in the treatment and perception, Black women and Black girls, their lives are devalued, not as newsworthy and that’s totally absurd,” Price said.

CHP declined an interview request from NewsNation but said a reward in the case could only help.

NewsNation affiliate KTLA contributed to this report.

© 1998 - 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation