Thursday, August 6, 2020


The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office has preliminarily identified the dead body found near Blooming Prairie as that of the missing 2-year-old Milwaukee girl.

The medical examiner says the victim appears to be Noelani Robinson, 2. The medical examiner also determined the preliminary cause and manner of death to be homicide due to blunt force trauma to the head.

Steele County Sheriff Lon Thiele said he has turned over the death investigation to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. 

According to the BCA, a passerby reported seeing a blanket and possible remains in a ditch along Hwy. 218 about a mile north of Blooming Prairie Friday around 6 p.m. Law enforcement from the Blooming Prairie Police Department and the Steele County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene where they located the child’s body wrapped in a blanket. She appeared to have been at that location for a number of days. 

BCA agents and crime scene personnel responded to the scene in Steele County and worked throughout the night to collect evidence. In addition, early this morning BCA agents and crime scene personnel executed a search warrant at a hotel in Austin, where it is believed Higgins stayed at one point during the past week.

When, where and who killed Noelani Robinson will be determined during the course of the BCA’s investigation.

The BCA is conducting the investigation in partnership with the Steele and Mower County sheriff’s offices and the Austin, Blooming Prairie and Milwaukee police departments.

This is an active and ongoing investigation. When complete, the BCA will turn its findings over to the appropriate county attorney for review.

Under Minnesota law, the BCA is prohibited from providing details about an investigation while it is active.

See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent / ADvantage
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944


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