Family mourns as missing 8-year-old's body found

Hiawaya Robinson had been missing since Tuesday afternoon. (Source: AL DPS)
Hiawaya Robinson had been missing since Tuesday afternoon. (Source: AL DPS)

PRICHARD, AL (WAFF) - A Mobile family is mourning the loss of an 8-year old girl.

Hiawaya Robinson had been missing for two days. Officials said a body was found covered in a ditch approximately a mile from her home in Prichard.

Investigators confirmed Thursday afternoon that body was that of Robinson.

Prichard's mayor said the thing he feared the worst had come upon his city, and that Robinson's death is being ruled a homicide.

Mayor Troy Ephriam said in a news conference attended by Mobile NBC affiliate WPMI the "person of interest" shown earlier in surveillance pictures standing behind Robinson is not a suspect in the investigation into the child's death. However, he said she provided "valuable information" which will be used to further the investigation.

He said local police, state and federal authorities are working to bring swift justice for the grieving family and his city.

A public works official discovered Hiawaya's body in a ditch Thursday afternoon. That man said he called 911, but the girl was dead.

The Alabama Department of Public Safety issued a missing child alert for Robinson Wednesday, 24 hours after she went missing.

She was last seen leaving her apartment to go to her cousin's apartment in the same complex around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved.