[UPDATED with Victim Reported a New Mom:] Newport Beach Police Seek Answers in "Suspicious Death" of Prostitute Tina Hoang
See the Update No. 3 at the end of page 2 with a friend and lawyer of the victim reportedly saying she had a baby in January and was trying to leave prostitution behind.
See Update No. 2 on page 2 with the victim's multiple prostitution arrests and Update No. 1 on the next page with the victim's I.D.
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 6, 1:02 P.M.: The Newport Beach Police Department is reaching out to the public for answers as to how a woman in her 20s with an Asian background wound up face down and dead on sand near lifeguard tower No. 71 near West Ocean Front and Highland Street Monday morning.
She had no visual signs of injury, and police are awaiting a toxicology report from the coroner's office that might shed light on how she died.
According to the police agency's spokeswoman Kathy Lowe, dispatchers received the call around 6 a.m. Monday about a woman down on the beach.
The identification of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, Lowe added.
Anyone with information that can help investigators is asked to call Detective Garrett Fitzgerald at 949.644.3797. Anonymous messages can be left on the Newport Beach Police Department Hotline at 1.800.550.NBPD.
UPDATE NO. 1, MARCH 7, 10:18 A.M.: The Orange County Coroner's Office has identified the woman found dead on the beach as Tina Hoang, 20, of Bellflower.
There is still no cause of death pending autopsy and toxicology results.
The Newport Beach Police Department has released two photos of Hoang in case anyone may have seen her before she wound up on the beach:
Tina Hoang last September
Photos courtesy of Newport Beach Police Department
Hoang in February
UPDATE NO. 2, MARCH 7, 4:05 P.M.: The Newport Beach Police Department says it will not confirm Tina Hoang's arrest record, but online sources reveal the 20-year-old split time between this Orange County as well as Florida's and had prostitution-related arrests in both.
Records in both states indicate that Tina Hoang resided at the same Bellflower, CA, address, and the mugshots from each match those provided earlier by Newport Beach police. Here is what is shown in chronological order:
-Arrested on Jan. 19, 2012, in Miami, Florida, on suspicion of obstructing traffic and soliciting without a permit.
-Arrested on May 8, 2012, in Orlando, Florida, by Orange County sheriff's deputies on suspicion of assignation to commit prostitution.
-Booked by Miami-Dade County Corrections on Nov. 17, 2012, on suspicion of obstruction of traffic and solicitation of pedestrians.
-Arrested by Anaheim Police on Feb. 25 on suspicion of loitering with intent to commit prostitution.
UPDATE NO. 3, MARCH 8, 1:37 P.M.: Tina Hoang, whose cause of death has yet to be released, delivered a baby in January and was trying to leave the world of prostitution behind, people identified as the 20-year-old's friend and lawyer have reportedly claimed.
LaQuesha Gipson is quoted in the Orange County Register saying her friend had a baby, found a new place to live and was looking into attending community college to study business and fashion.
The same piece has Tustin lawyer David Nisson, who reportedly represented Hoang, saying she was released from jail Feb. 27 after being busted in Anaheim for loitering to commit prostitution and that she'd previously pleaded not guilty to three prostitution related busts in that city. In the previous update, the Weekly reported other prostitution-related arrests in Florida in 2012.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts