Father found guilty of raping and killing his 8-year-old daughter after coming to his house for birthday gift

Hiawatha and Hiawayi Robinson 
By: Chan Yuan

A father was jailed for 100 years after being convicted of raping and killing his daughter.

The father, Hiawatha Robinson, maintained his innocence, but he was convicted by a jury despite the fact that there was no DNA evidence to link him to the rape.

Robinson, who was convicted of sodomy and murder of his 8-year-old daughter Hiawayi, vowed to appeal the case.

Prosecutors said that Robinson was the last one to see his daughter alive. The girl told her grandmother that she was going to visit her father, who promised to give her $150 for her birthday, and then she will be at her cousin's house.

However, Hiawayi never made it to her cousin. Her body was found in an abandoned building two days after she was reported missing.

An autopsy showed that the girl, who was found with her pants down, had been sexually assaulted.

Police found surveillance videos at a mall, showing the girl buying sweets before heading in the direction of a red Chevrolet Tahoe. The vehicle belonged to Robinson’s girlfriend.

Fifteen minutes after Hiawayi left the store, her father called her grandmother to see where she was, authorities said.

Police seized the red vehicle, and during a search, detectives found a clear hair bead, which they say is like those worn by Hiawayi. They also found black duct tape.

After she was reported missing, Robinson and the girl’s mother Yosha Populus, who are separated, appeared on television to appeal for information.

Robinson also helped search for his missing daughter, police said.

Investigators believe Hiawayi was sexually abused by her father multiple times, with the last incident resulting in her death.

In court, Robinson said: “I came here today as a man. I will leave here today as a man. I won't apologize for something I didn't do.”

He then told judge Charles Graddick “remember this face, I will be back, you will hear this voice again.”