The death of a 2-year-old girl whose body was found along a Minnesota highway earlier this year has been ruled a homicide, KAAL-TV reports.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension announced on Friday that it had completed its investigation into the death of Noelani Robinson.
Authorities determined that Noelani died from blunt force trauma to her head.
On March 11, an Amber Alert was issued for the girl after her mother, 24-year-old Sierra Robinson, was found murdered in Milwaukee.
WITI-TV reports that Noelani’s body was found days later by a public works employee along a rural highway in Steele County, Minnesota, south of Minneapolis. She had been wrapped in a blanket.
Police have arrested Noelani’s father, Dariaz Higgins, who is in custody in Wisconsin on charges of first-degree intentional homicide in connection with the shooting death of Sierra; attempted first-degree intentional homicide for shooting Sierra’s friend; and first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
When Sierra was shot, she was holding children’s clothes that appeared to be new, according to search warrants obtained by WITI-TV.
Higgins had previously been in a romantic relationship with Sierra and had also been her pimp, according to police.
Higgins and Sierra had planned to meet to exchange Noelani, but Higgins did not bring the girl to the meeting. Instead, they “drove around, smoking weed, drinking, and talking about old times” before going to a Milwaukee apartment where Higgins said Noelani was located. It was here where Higgins opened fire.
Investigators believe Higgins then abducted Noelani after the killings.
The state’s investigation into Noelani’s death has now been turned over to a Minnesota prosecutor for review.
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[Featured Photo: Sierra and Noelani Robinson/GoFundMe]