Almost a year after 2-year-old Noelani Robinson was found dead in a ditch in southern Minnesota, her father has been charged with her murder.
The 2-year-old sparked a major search effort last March when was reported missing from her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after her mother was found shot to death.
Several days after going missing, her body was found wrapped in a blanket in a ditch near Austin, Minnesota, with police later determining she was killed.
Her father, Dariaz Higgins, 35, has been charged on Thursday with 2nd-degree murder.
The criminal complaint states that Robinson had been at the Rodeway Inn Motel in Austin with her father between Feb. 6 and Mar. 10, 2019.
He claimed to police that Noelani had fallen off the toilet and died from her injuries. He then wrapped her body in blankets and left her on the motel room floor by the bed "for a couple of days."
He then went to Milwaukee, got a vehicle and returned to the motel, removing her body from the motel room on Mar. 10.
He said he was with another woman as they drove towards Minneapolis in blizzard conditions, stopping off to leave her body in a ditch in Steele County, where she was found a few days later.
The day after dumping Noelani's body, Higgins went back to Milwaukee, where he shot the girl's mother to death. He was arrested on Mar. 13.
An autopsy on Noelani's body concluded she died from "non-accidental blunt force trauma," having suffered "multiple blunt force injuries to her head."
Police determined that the cause of her death didn't tally with Higgins' version of events.