Two-year-old Noelani Robinson, who has been missing since her mother was fatally shot by her former pimp, appears to have been found dead in Minnesota, Milwaukee police said Saturday.
Noelani has been the subject of a nationwide search since Monday when 24-year-old Sierra M. Robinson was fatally shot and another woman was wounded.
Dariaz L. Higgins, 34, Robinson's former pimp, was arrested in her death. Higgins is Noelani's father.
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales offered his condolences to Noelani's grandmother during a news conference.
"We believe we have found Noelani. We believe that currently this is going to be a death investigation," Morales said.
Asked if Higgins was responsible for the child's death, Morales said, "That's where the criminal investigation is shooting for. It's just too early to tell. Obviously we need the autopsy to assist us, the time of death and the venue. We believe we're headed in that direction."
Morales said the body of a child believed to be Noelani was found wrapped in a blanket on a roadside in Steele County, Minnesota, around 7 p.m. Friday night, Morales said. Morales said she was found by an off-duty public works employee.
"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.
Morales said the child appears to have been there for "quite some time." But he said police will know more after an autopsy to be conducted by authorities in Minnesota.
He said he was hoping to hear results of the autopsy by Monday. Morales dispatched two detectives to Minnesota to help with the case as it proceeds in Milwaukee.
"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," Morales said. "That's consistent where we believe we're going with the investigation."