Family and friends held a candlelight vigil Saturday night in Las Vegas where they released purple balloons to remember a mother and daughter who were killed. The ceremony was held hours after investigators identified the body of a 2-year-old girl as Noelani Robinson who was reported missing on Monday after her mother was fatally shot.
The Milwaukee girl’s body was discovered wrapped in a blanket on a roadside outside of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said Saturday morning at a news conference, the Associated Press reported.
“We believe we have found Noelani. We believe that currently, this is going to be a death investigation,” the police chief stated.
Investigators said Noelani’s mother, Sierra Robinson, 24, was killed by Noelani’s father Dariaz Higgins, who was charged in Milwaukee for killing Robinson.
Police arrested 34-year-old Higgins on Wednesday and prosecutors have charged him with first-degree intentional homicide.
Morales declined to say at the press conference whether he believed Higgins was also responsible for Noelani’s death. “That’s where the criminal investigation is shooting for. It’s just too early to tell,” he said.
Police said Higgins was Robinson’s pimp and they had been romantically involved but separated at the time of the shooting. Robinson had left Noelani with Higgins when she moved to Las Vegas in February but wanted Higgins to return their daughter to her. He agreed to meet Robinson in Milwaukee to return their child to her custody. Higgins took Robinson and one of her friends to an apartment building where he claimed Noelani was located. Prosecutors said Higgins shot Robinson and her friend when they got out of the car.
Noelani’s body was discovered by an off-duty public works employee on Friday night, hours after officials urged “the entire nation” for help in locating the girl. “Just off the shoulder was a blanket and inside that blanket and wrapped in there was a body of a child we believe to be that of Noelani,” Morales said on Saturday.
“We believe this death did not occur within the last 24 hours. She had been there for quite some time, which is consistent with the suspect’s time when he was in that area in Minnesota. That’s consistent where we believe we’re going with the investigation,” the police chief said, adding that an autopsy had not yet been conducted.