US

Missing 2-Year-Old From Milwaukee Found Dead in Minnesota

By Paula Liu

The two-year girl, who was reported missing, has been found dead in Minnesota after the arrest of her criminal father

Her body had been wrapped in blankets and left on the side of a Minnesota highway, according to Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales at a news conference on March 16.

“This is our job, and the closure is not the closure we like to find,” Morales said. “It’s something that we have to come out and do.”

According to Morales, an off-duty public worker found something out of the ordinary in rural Minnesota at around 7 p.m. on March 15 when he was driving along highway 218, just 15 miles north of Austin, Minnesota. That’s when he found the blanket with the child’s body inside.

Investigators called it a death investigation, reported WKOW, and said they await the autopsy for results of the formal identification of the body.

However, the Southern Minnesota Regional Examiner’s Office said on March 16 that the body found had been preliminarily identified as Noelani Robinson, according to WISN.

The cause of death was deemed to be homicide after a blunt force trauma would was found on the child’s head.

Chief Morales said he believed Robinson hadn’t died within the 24 hours of her being found.

Events Leading Up To Robinson’s Discovery

Earlier in the week, an amber alert was sent out to nationwide in an effort to help find the two-year-old after police arrested her father, Dariaz Higgins, when he was suspected to have shot the girl’s mother, Sierra Robinson, and kidnapped Robinson.

Police said Higgins and Sierra had previously been romantically involved but were no longer together. Sierra had left the two-year-old Robinson with Higgins when she moved to Las Vegas a month earlier but had recently said she wanted her daughter back.

Higgins was to travel to Milwaukee to give Robinson to her mother but prosecutors said in the charging documents that it was uncertain whether Higgins had actually brought the two-year-old with him when he met and allegedly murdered Sierra, according to AP.

Police Chief Morales said that Higgins then gave police false information about Robinson’s whereabouts, according to WISN.

“The search to find Noelani has become a game to him,” Morales said of Higgins, who has known ties to criminal activity related to human trafficking. “The suspect is a cold-blooded killer.”

Morales told the public during the search for Robinson that if anyone was a victim of Higgins’s lies and was in possession of Robinson, it was important to turn the child over.

“If you release Noelani over now, and she is not harmed, you will likely not be prosecuted. However, if you continue to hold Noelani in your possession, we will eventually find you and her, and you will be prosecuted to the highest degree of the law,” he said.

According to reports, Higgins also had connections to Miami as well as Las Vegas, and during the search for Robinson, the FBI offered a $5,000 reward for any information that would lead them to finding Robinson.

WISN said investigators found Higgins on Mar. 13 at the Midpoint Motel, which was located within 2 miles from the place the shooting took place. However, they did not find Robinson with Higgins.

Police also arrested a man they believed was helping Higgins while he was on the run. They found the man at Timmerman Terrace Apartments on West Villard Avenue roughly around an hour after locating Higgins on March 13.

The man was not charged but he did have a criminal history.

Mayor of Milwaukee Tom Barrett issued a statement on March 16 with more details about the girl’s death, saying that he was deeply saddened by the news of the death of the two-year-old.

“I am deeply saddened by the news that the body of 2-year-old Noelani Robinson has been found. She was a beautiful toddler and her life was cut short as a result of human trafficking. Her unfortunate death is a reminder of the dangers of human trafficking. I extend my condolences to the family of Noelani Robinson and all who are mourning her death.”