Police: Noelani Robinson found dead, wrapped in blanket along rural Minnesota road

Posted at 12:09 PM, Mar 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-17 14:09:58-04

MILWAUKEE - A disturbing discovery marks the end of an Amber Alert. Milwaukee police confirmed Saturday morning they believe they have located the body of 2-year-old Noelani Robinson in Minnesota.

Police Chief Alfonso Morales held a news conference and detailed how the little girl's body was located.

"At approximately 7 p.m. on yesterday's date, an off-duty Department of Public Works employee observed something out of the norm as he was driving home," Morales said. "He called this tip into the local police department. Off of Highway 218, 15 miles north of Austin, Minnesota, which is southwest of Rochester, and just off the shoulder was a blanket. Inside that blanket and wrapped in there was the body of a child we believe is that of Noelani."

Chief Morales said the death of the child did not occur in the last 24 hours.

The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office determined Noelani died due to blunt force trauma to the head.

"This is our job, and this closure is not the closure we like to find," Morales said. "It's something we have to come out and do."

The police chief also extended sympathies to the family of Noelani from the Milwaukee Police Department and all of the other law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation.

An Amber Alert was issued for Noelani on March 11 after her mother, Sierra Robinson, was murdered - allegedly by Noelani's father, Dariaz Higgins.

On Friday, Milwaukee police announced a $5,000 reward was being offered for information leading to finding Noelani.

Meanwhile, the district attorney filed charges against Higgins Tuesday - first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon and first-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon. Prosecutors said Higgins shot and killed Sierra Robinson and wounded another woman.