Search warrants were executed today at the homes of Hiawayi Robinson’s father, Hiawatha Robinson, Jr., and his girlfriend, Taisheira “Tasha” Parker, but no arrests have been made in the murder investigation, Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said at a press conference this afternoon. Rich said there would be no arrests in the case today, calling the searches “standard procedure.”
According to records from the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, Robinson’s arrest history includes accusations of assault, burglary and domestic violence, but few of those cases have held up in court.
As for Parker, she has previously been arrested in Mobile County for separate charges of negotiating worthless instruments and theft.
In 2008, according to court records, Parker’s 15-year-old daughter Cheryl and 31-year-old brother Brett were killed from exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning at the home they shared in Chickasaw, with Parker barely escaping herself.
Parker later sued Mobile Gas for wrongful death. Attorney Skip Finkbohner, who represented Parker in the case, said the parties reached a confidential settlement after it was discovered Mobile Gas may have removed a “red tag” on a HVAC unit at the house that had been flooded in Hurricane Katrina. The tag was previously put there by the company to indicate the unit was not fit for use.
According to a separate complaint filed later by Cheryl Parker’s estranged father, Tasha Parker was awarded a “multimillion-dollar settlement” in the case.
Mobile Gas could not immediately provide further information about the case. It is also unclear how long Robinson has been dating Parker.
Rich said the press conference was held today to confirm the search warrants had been issued and executed “so that we could hopefully make sure that the rumor mill didn’t get rampant in regards to the activities that have occurred in this particular case.”
No arrests have been made and there is no anticipation of any other public activity happening in the case today, she said.
More than two weeks have passed since 8-year-old Hiawayi Robinson’s body was discovered near a vacant building in Prichard Sept. 18, but Rich assured the search warrants were “standard procedure” in any investigation.
“We have to go through the process of getting a court order to execute a search warrant and that’s what we’ve done in this case, and it is often times standard to wait until you get information that is necessary to put in the affidavit and get a court order.”
Rich noted the search warrants executed at Robinson’s home on Stovall Street in Prichard and Parker’s home on Winchester Street in Semmes were just another step in the investigation and declined to make further comments about the case or if Robinson was now a suspect or person of interest. Lagniappe confirmed the home on Winchester Street was owned by Parker.
“I really am not going to comment on any of the specifics of the investigation,” Rich said. “This is very much an ongoing investigation being worked daily by the members of the FBI, the ABI, my office and the Prichard Police Department and this is just one of the things we are doing as part of the investigation.”
Rich emphasized the importance of the community learning information from official sources in the case, which she named as the DA’s office and the FBI, and not through the “rumor mill” by way of social media.
Sen. Vivian Davis Figures and State Rep. Napoleon Bracy, who have both played active roles in the case since Robinson was reported missing Sept. 16, were both present at the press conference.
“Hiawayi stole our hearts, and when her body was found, our hearts were broken, and now we’re trying our best to get justice for her,” Bracy said.
While Figures said the community’s biggest concern is that there may still be a killer on the loose, she has full confidence in all the law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation.
“I truly believe they are doing everything they can … There are things that they’ve sent off to be tested that’s a part of the investigation,” she said. “They have to take everything into consideration, and I applaud them for that. They’re taking it all before they make a statement about something.”
As far as the community, Figures and Bracy both ask for citizens to be patient.
“You just see a community that’s hurting right now, not knowing a lot of information, but we’re just basically asking people to just be as patient as possible and just know that the law enforcement community is doing all they can to bring justice for Hiawayi,” Bracy said. “Just because you don’t see things happening doesn’t mean they aren’t actually happening.”
Gabriel Tynes contributed to this report.