MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Almost a year after her body was found in a ditch in southern Minnesota, Neolani Robinson’s father, Dariaz Higgins, has been charged with her death.

Higgins faces a felony charge of second-degree murder, court documents filed this week in Mower County say.

Two-year-old Robinson’s body was found next to the road in Steele County. An off-duty public works employee was driving past the intersection of Highway 218 and Highway 30 when he noticed her body and called the police.

According to criminal charges, 35-year-old Higgins stayed at the Rodeway Inn Motel in Austin with Robinson between Feb. 6 and March 10 of 2019. When questioned, Higgins said his daughter fell off the toilet seat and died. He then wrapped her body in blankets and left her on the motel room floor for a couple of days.

Then Higgins left the hotel and went to Milwaukee, returning with a car. In the early hours of March 10, he drove towards Minneapolis with an adult woman, Deloise Lipsey. They drove through a blizzard and stopped by the side of the road, where Higgins put his child’s body in the ditch.

After an autopsy, officials determined Robinson died from non-accidental blunt force trauma to her head. The injuries that contributed to her death did not match Higgins’ version of events.

Higgins was arrested in Milwaukee on March 13 for shooting and killing Robinson’s mother, Sierra, two days earlier.

If convicted of the charges in his daughter’s death, Higgins could face up to 40 years in jail.

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