MILWAUKEE — The man accused of abducting 2-year-old Noelani Robinson and fatally shooting her mother, Sierra Robinson, made his initial court appearance Sunday where is bond was set at $1 million.
Dariaz Higgins was arrested March 13. An Amber Alert had been issued for Noelani on March 11 after her mother was murdered, allegedly by Higgins, Noelani’s father.
After a six-day search, Noelani was found dead near Austin, Minnesota.
Milwaukee 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.