Noelani Robinson's body was found wrapped in a blanket in a Minnesota Ditch

By Christine Pelisek
March 18, 2019 05:44 PM
Milwaukee Police Department

The body of a missing 2-year-old Wisconsin girl was found over the weekend, two days after her mother was fatally shot — and the girl’s father is under arrest.

The body of Noelani Robinson, who’d been the subject of an AMBER Alert, was found wrapped in a blanket in a ditch March 15, around 6 p.m. about a mile north of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the child’s death, said the preliminary cause of her death was blunt force trauma to the head, according to a press release.

Noelani was found dead two days after her mother 24-year-old Sierra Robinson was found fatally shot outside her home in Milwaukee. Authorities believe that Noelani’s father, Dariaz Higgins, fatally shot Robinson.

“A mom had to identify her daughter and a couple of days later her granddaughter,” Milwaukee police Lt. Eric Gulbrandson tells PEOPLE.

GoFundMe

Wisconsin Mayor Tom Barrett said in a statement that he was “deeply saddened” by the tragic events.

“She was a beautiful toddler and her life was cut short as a result of human trafficking,” he said, according to a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “Her unfortunate death is a reminder of the dangers of human trafficking.”

Gulbrandson declined to elaborate and wouldn’t discuss the relationship between the two, stating only, “There is human trafficking involved in this case.”

RELATED: Wisconsin Mom Is Fatally Shot, and Abducted 2-Year-Old Daughter Is Subject of AMBER Alert

Higgins was arrested March 13 at a motel in Milwaukee. He has since been charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Robinson.

He has not been charged in the death of Noelani.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Noelani Robinson
GoFundMe

The BCA said investigators executed a search warrant on Saturday at a hotel in Austin, Minnesota, where they suspect Higgins stayed in the last week.

“When, where and who killed Noelani Robinson will be determined during the course of the BCA’s investigation,” the press release states.

Dariaz Higgins
Milwaukee Police Department

Last week, Noelani’s grandmother Latosha Bryant pleaded for the safe return of her granddaughter, saying “You already took my baby,” she said, according to MSN. “Just give me back my grandbaby. That’s it. If you don’t want to … just give her to somebody else and have them to take her to a safe place so we can get her. That’s all I’m asking.”

Higgins is being held in Milwaukee County Jail on $1 million bail. It is unclear if he has entered a plea. His attorney could not be reached for comment.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 25.

Advertisement