Authorities seek public's help to ID girl found on trail in California

HACIENDA HEIGHTS, California -- Authorities are seeking the public's help in identifying a girl whose body was found Tuesday on a hiking trail in California.

A sketch of the girl was released at an afternoon press conference on Wednesday.

Authorities with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the girl's body was found partially inside a duffel bag in Hacienda Heights. Pictures of the clothes the girl was wearing were released during the press conference.

Detectives described the child as being between the ages of 8 to 13 years old, approximately 4-foot-5 and 55 pounds.

"These are the hardest cases to handle," Lieutenant Scott Hoglund said. "Anything involving a child. This is very sad."

The victim's cause of death remains undetermined, although Hoglund said there were no "obvious signs of trauma" to indicate a homicide. It is being treated as a suspicious death investigation.

An autopsy will be performed on the body, which is believed to have been dumped on Sunday.

No suspect information was released.

The body was found in the morning on a hiking trail south of Hacienda Boulevard and Glenmark Drive on Tuesday. It appeared the body had been pushed off the edge of the roadway down an embankment onto an equestrian trail within 24 hours of the discovery by workers who were clearing brush in the area.

Officials said the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities believe the child may have been killed prior to their body being dumped in the area.

Authorities will also be looking through a missing child database to try and identify her.

Anyone who saw a vehicle parked alongside Hacienda Boulevard on Sunday or has information related to the case is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau.

A vigil will be held on Thursday around 6 p.m. at the corner of Colima Road and Hacienda Boulevard.

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