A South Carolina woman and Season 20 winner of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America” has been requested to submit her DNA in connection with the death of a young girl she planned to adopt.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Ariel Robinson, 29, and her husband, Jerry Robinson, 34, are facing homicide by child abuse charges. Authorities found 3-year-old Victoria Smith unresponsive at the couple’s Simpsonville home off of Sellwood Circle on January 14. The child later passed away at the Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital.
Greenville News reports that Ariel Robinson’s DNA was requested on November 29, according to online court records.
An autopsy report indicated that Victoria died from multiple injuries caused by blunt force trauma. She had deep purple bruising on her abdomen, face abrasions, bruising on her back and ears, and bruising down both legs.
Ariel Robinson previously posted on social media that she adopted Victoria and her two brothers in March. During the bond hearing, it was revealed that the couple was supposed to finalize the adoption days before they were arrested.
Ariel claimed that Victoria vomited the night prior but had no other observable issues, NBC 4 reports. Earlier this year, Assistant Solicitor Christy Kednocker Sustakovitch spoke for the state and told the court details of what Ariel claimed happened.
The following morning, according to Ariel, Victoria ate pancakes, drank a lot of water, then complained of stomach pain and being cold. Ariel said she got the child a heated blanket, but Victoria “went limp.”
Ariel then performed the Heimlich maneuver on the child while her husband called 911.
First responders and doctors noted “extensive bruising’ on Victoria. Ariel reportedly said the bruises came from her doing CPR on the child, as directed by the 911 dispatcher.
When investigators pushed Ariel to explain the bruising more, she allegedly said that her minor son had “anger issues” and causes the bruising on Victoria.
Investigators went to the boy’s school and met with staff members who described him as a “happy, smaller child with no outward signs of physical abuse toward anyone.”
During a two-hour interview with investigators shortly after Victoria’s death, Jerry Robinson claimed that he had never harmed Victoria, although he admitted that his wife would “spank, beat [Victoria] with different things, including a belt, paddle, flip flop or whatever.”
Robinson also reportedly said that Ariel hit Victoria with a belt on the day the child passed away. Sustakovitch testified that Jerry Robinson heard the belt hit from outside, then went inside and told his wife, “You’ve gone too far.”
Jerry said they put Victoria in an Epsom salt bath while he then went to the store to buy medication. Prosecutors, according to Fox Carolina, confirmed that they obtained a store security video that showed Jerry Robinson purchasing the medicine.
While Jerry Robinson was released on bond earlier this year, Ariel remains jailed without bond at the Greenville County Detention Center. A trial date has not yet been set.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Victoria Smith and Ariel Robinson/Facebook]