Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced today he is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person involved in the murder of 8-year-old Hiawayi Robinson.
Yesterday, the governor was in Point Clear for the annual fall meeting of Manufacture Alabama when an NBC-15 television reporter asked him about Hiawayi, whose body was found in Prichard that afternoon.
In response, Bentley said, “There are difficulties in families. You never know, it may be drug related, it may be alcohol related. It may be family problems. We just don’t know what the situation is.”
According to the news report, Bentley added “he needs to do everything he can to make the families more sound.” The original video has since been deleted from the report and is no longer available.
Jennifer Ardis, the governor’s spokeswoman, told Lagniappe that Bentley was first asked about domestic violence, one of his wife’s primary platforms, before he was asked for his reaction to the girl’s death.
“He was talking about domestic violence prior to the question,” Ardis said.
She indicated the governor was still on the topic of domestic violence when he was asked about Hiawayi and there was some confusion when switching topics, adding some of his statements were taken out of context.
Gov. Bentley released the following statement today:
“Dianne and I were heartbroken to learn of the tragic death of this innocent child. We have been praying and following the situation closely, and our prayers for comfort are with Hiawayi’s family.
We won’t rest until this little girl’s killer is brought to justice. Alabama’s state law enforcement agencies have been actively assisting the Prichard Police Department in the investigation into the death of Hiawayi Robinson. I directed the Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Spencer Collier, to go to Prichard and offer any resources needed. As soon as Hiawayi was reported missing, we sent 10 State Bureau of Investigation agents to Prichard, and our Trooper Aviation Unit also assisted in helping to find Hiawayi. Those agents will remain in Prichard until a suspect has been arrested. Furthermore, I’ve directed an increased presence of state troopers in Prichard until the person who committed this terrible act has been found.
I’ve also issued a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder. Sometimes tips from the public are the only leads law enforcement officers have to help them solve a case. I hope this reward will encourage anyone with any information to come forward and help authorities solve this case and bring Hiawayi Robinson’s killer to justice.”
Anyone with information can contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL FBI.