Family demands answers after woman's body found in South Bay landfill

Lauren Martinez Image
Tuesday, June 13, 2023
Family demands answers after woman's body found in South Bay landfill
An investigation is underway after a woman's body was found at Newby Island Sanitary Landfill in Milpitas.

MILPITAS, Calif. (KGO) -- An investigation is underway after a body was found at a landfill in Milpitas, and the victim's family is determined to get answers.

San Jose police say that on June 2, employees at the Newby Island Sanitary Landfill found a woman's body.

Family have identified the victim as 35-year-old LaToya Covington.

On Monday, Covington's loved ones shared her challenging past that they say included sexual abuse, foster care, and drugs.

Olukemi Lawal, a cousin, said the system failed LaToya as far as her mental health.

"She tried multiple times to do harm to herself because she couldn't deal with the trauma that she felt," Lawal said.

MORE: Body recovered from waters at San Francisco pier, police say

They say Covington was schizophrenic - the mother of three pushed family away and eventually became homeless.

Denise Covington was her youngest sister.

"It was just really sad so she always struggled you know - always struggled couldn't stay stable in one area," Denise Covington said.

Katrina Martin, a cousin, said Covington struggled after a time in hospitalized care. Her family says the system failed to provide the right mental health support.

"We're not medical professionals. We don't have the capability to house a person who needs medical help at that level - like we were maxed out as a family as far as what we could do to care for her," Katrina Martin said.

Now, they're in disbelief her body was found in the condition it was.

MORE: Body of Cynthia 'Linda' Alonzo, woman killed nearly 18 years ago, found in Oakland

"For her body to be crushed, compressed to the point where it was unrecognizable," Lawal said.

Police say her cause of death is pending and the circumstances remain under investigation.

"Like she was trash, like she was a nobody - like I'm just hurt," Lawal said.

Covington's family is determined to seek justice.

"LaToya wasn't just some unloved, uncared for person she had a big family. We're going to fight for her because she deserved - she's someone who deserves to be fought for," Krystle Martin said.

The family created a 'Help Us Get Justice for LaToya' page on Gofundme.

TAKE ACTION: Get help with mental health issues

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live