On Monday, 8-year-old Hiawayi Robinson’s family sat in a Mobile, Alabama courtroom and heard, for the first time, graphic details of how her father allegedly killed her.
38-year-old Hiawatha Robinson is facing charges of felony murder and first-degree sodomy in the September killing of his daughter, who went missing on Sept. 16. Despite currently having no DNA evidence against Robinson, numerous security camera footage links him to Hiawayi’s disappearance and follows the sequence of events that authorities believed took place the day she went missing.
During Monday’s preliminary hearing, details emerged of the disturbing condition that Hiawayi was found in on Sept. 18. A city public works employee in Prichard, Alabama, found the girl along a road with trash next to her. She was lying on her back, partially unclothed.
“The purple shorts as well as the underwear that she was wearing were pulled off the right leg and were just hanging on the left leg basically where the knee is, State Bureau of Investigations agent Deric Taylor said.
After receiving a call from her father when she got home from school the day of her disappearance, Hiawayi informed her grandmother that she was going to meet him at a cousin’s house so that he could give her money for her birthday. She never returned home that night, and the cousin told police that she wasn’t around during the time that the girl would have visited.
Surveillance video showed Hiawayi inside of a convenience store at a strip mall that same day, and another caught her leaving the store and walking in the same direction that a red SUV, believed to have been driven by her father, was seen leaving the strip mall soon after. A clear hair bead was later found in the SUV that matched the ones found in Hiawayi’s hair. Authorities said that a few of the beads were missing from the young girl’s braided hair when her body was discovered.
Family members broke down during the hearing, which lasted more than an hour. Some were silently crying as Taylor described the condition of Hiawayi’s body, and one relative even had to rush out of the courtroom during testimony because she was too overcome with emotion. The girl’s father stood with his back to the grieving family throughout the hearing.
“It was the first time they had heard a graphic description of how she was found and the position of her body,” Taylor said. “So it was extremely hard for them today.”
Hiawatha Robinson is being held at the Mobile County Metro Jail on $500,000 bond.