Police: missing 2-year-old now 'death investigation' after discovery of body

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STEELE COUNTY, Minn. (WSAW) -- After nearly of week of searching, the investigation into the disappearance of 2-year-old Noelani Robinson is now a death investigation, according to Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales in a Saturday morning press conference. An off-duty public works employee found the body of a girl, believed to be Robinson, wrapped in a blanket along a highway outside Austin, Minn.

A Friday night press release from the Steele County, Minn. Sheriff's Office confirmed the discovery of a body along Highway 218, which runs through Austin, but did not directly link the case to search for Robinson. However Morales thanked the Steele County Sheriff's Office and Austin Police Department, along with other agencies on Saturday.

Noelani's father, Dariaz Higgins, was taken into custody Wednesday night. He's accused of killing Noelani's mother and kidnapping Noelani, and has been charged with first-degree murder. Based on the condition of the body, Morales said it's believed the girl's death did not happen within the previous 24 hours.

An Amber Alert issued for the toddler Monday night was canceled Saturday morning.