According to reports that investigators now believe three young Texas girls who were initially believed to have drowned were actually strangled to death, but no one has been arrested in the eight-month-old case.
Thursday, Cass County District Attorney Courtney Shelton announced that the deaths are being investigated as homicides and urged the public to come forward if they have any information.
The victims have been identified as Zi’Ariel Robinson-Oliver, age 9, A’Miyah Hughes, age 8, and Te’Mari Robinson-Oliver, age 5.
On July 29, 2022, their cousin Paris Propps was responsible for their care while their mother was at work. However, Propps reported the girls as missing at 9 p.m. that evening. The authorities recovered the bodies of the girls from a neighbor’s pond hours later.
According to KSLA-TV, autopsies revealed evidence of strangulation and facial lacerations on the girls. Police have conducted interviews and are analyzing DNA evidence, but no information has been released regarding the identification of suspects or a possible motive.
A search of the pond revealed scattered footwear and clothing near the shoreline and in the water. Additionally, an abandoned bicycle was discovered at the scene.
Sheriff Larry Rowe of Cass County stated on July 30 that it was unclear why the girls were at the pond.
According to the Texarkana Gazette, Rowe stated, “We do not know what the girls were doing there.”
According to DailyMail, the girls’ mother, 28-year-old Shommaonique Oliver-Wickerson, described her pain on social media shortly after the deaths: “Lord please and I mean please I want my kids back this hurts and words cannot describe the pain I’m going through I just want my baby girl back in my arms.”
During the summer, a GoFundMe page was created to assist with the sisters’ memorial expenses.
To report information about the case, call Texas Ranger Josh Mason at 903-255-5727.