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Blooming Prairie reacts to dead body found in ditch

The Amber Alert has been called off for the nationwide search of 2-year-old Noelani Robinson. That's because authorities believe her body was found outside of Blooming Prairie in Steele County by a Department of Public Works employee. The suspect is Noelani's father - Dariaz Higgins. He was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of fatally shooting her mother - Sierra. KIMT News 3 went to the Blooming Prairie community to find out how shaken they are about the discovery of the body.

Posted: Mar 16, 2019 6:23 PM
Updated: Mar 16, 2019 11:09 PM

BLOOMING PRAIRIE, Minn. - Some members of the community are rattled by what is believed to be the loss of 2-year-old Noelani Robinson.

One resident who did not want to be on camera describes what she saw.

"When I drove into town, there was cops parked next to a pink blanket in the ditch," Michele said. "When I came back, there were more cops."

Michelle admits she and some other friends had noticed the pink blanket since the beginning of the week but did not think much of it.

"Just a couple of my friends also saw the blanket in the ditch and didn't think it was anything until yesterday," Michelle said.

Jennifer Knutdson has lived in Blooming Prairie for 8 years. She loves that it's nice, small and quiet but is now disturbed by what she saw.

"Why here in Blooming Prairie?" Knutdson said. "I know it happens in other states and other towns and stuff, but Blooming Prairie is a small town. It's just very scary."

She isn't shy to hide her feelings about this unthinkable situation.

"I'm just angry," Knutdson said. "Why do people do this?"

She is part of this tight-knit community -- shaken and stirred - not sure if they will ever be the same.

"It's very upsetting to think that somebody could do that to a child," Michelle said. "You have to be a true monster to hurt a little girl."

"I was just shaken," Knutdson said. "I'm just like, Oh my? And it was just right around the corner from us."

The Medical Examiner determined the preliminary cause of death to be homicide due to blunt force trauma to the head. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is conducting this ongoing investigation with help from the Sheriff's office and Police departments.

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