Victoria Smith spent most of her life as a foster child until a South Carolina couple adopted her last year. The same couple, according to police, also killed her.
NBC 4 reports that a judge denied bond Wednesday for Ariel Robinson, 29, and her husband, Jerry Robinson, 34. Both suspects are behind bars facing homicide by child abuse charges.
According to court documents, authorities found 3-year-old Victoria unresponsive at the couple’s Simpsonville home off of Sellwood Circle. The little girl later passed away at the Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital.
An autopsy reported indicated that Victoria died from multiple injuries caused by blunt force trauma.
Ariel Robinson, a mother of five and a former teacher at Sanders Middle School in Simpsonville, is known for winning Season 20 of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America.”
“I just know that the Lord had his hands on me and he had a purpose for me to go on there,” Robinson said this summer before winning $25,000 from the show. “He knew we were going through this adoption, we really could use the money and he just let everything work out for our good.”
Ariel Robinson told Greenville News last year that Victoria and her two siblings moved in with her and her husband in March. The Robinsons reportedly adopted all three children.
Tiffany Huggins told NBC 4 that she fostered Victoria for around 10 months before the Robinsons adopted her.
“When she entered a room, all eyes were on her, because she demanded it and she was a cutie,” Huggins said, adding that Victoria had a contagious smile and loved to sing and ride her bike.
The South Carolina Department of Social Services released a statement Wednesday, following the news of the couple’s arrest.
“The South Carolina Department of Social Services is aware of allegations and the arrests made and is investigating along with law enforcement. The agency’s standard procedures in a case like this involved taking appropriate action with any children remaining in the home after evaluating safety and risk.”
SLED, local authorities, and the coroner’s office are currently investigating the case.
“Police officers handle all kinds of cases, and these kind of cases can be the hardest for them to do,” Simpsonville police spokesman Justin Lee Campbell said in a press statement.
“You bring charges and maybe convictions, but at the end of the day the life of a child was taken.”
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[Feature Photo: Victoria Smith/Facebook]