Three Texas sisters thought to have drowned in neighbor’s pond were murdered, cops reveal, eight months into investigation, but don’t name suspects
Zi’Ariel Robinson Oliver, 9, A’Miyah Hughes, 8, and Te’Mari Robinson Oliver, 5, went missing from their home in Atlanta, 200 miles east of Fort Worth, around 10pm on July 21, 2022
Family friend had been watching the trio and their other siblings while their mother, Shommaonique Oliver, 28, was at work
Babysitter called 911 to report their disappearance
Dive team pulled their bodies from the pond on a neighboring property the next day
Cops initially believed they had drowned, but Cass County district attorney revealed Thursday that the girls were strangled, their faces lacerated
Three Texas sisters who were thought to have drowned in their neighbor’s pond were actually strangled before they were dumped, an autopsy has found.
It was originally believed Zi’Ariel Robinson Oliver, A’Miyah Hughes, and Te’Mari Robinson Oliver drowned after a dive team pulled their bodies from the pond on a neighboring property on July 22, 2022.
In a statement Thursday, Cass County District Attorney Courtney Shelton revealed that the sisters died by strangulation and suffered lacerations to their faces.
Their mother took to Facebook saying the ‘loss of my sweet babies’ is ‘so unreal.’
Although this is a hard time, the grieving mom said she ‘has to be strong for the sake of my three other babies.’
The three Oliver sisters, Zi’Ariel, 9, A’Miyah, 8, and 5-year-old Te’Mari, were reported missing from their Atlanta, about 200 miles east of Fort Worth, home around 10pm on Friday July 21, 2022, prompting a multi-agency search for the girls.
A family friend had been watching the trio and their other siblings while their mother, Shommaonique Oliver, 28, was at work. The babysitter called 911 to report their disappearance.
Officials received reports that the girls were found in a pond near Highway 77 around 2am Saturday July 22, 2022.
Police centered their search around the pond after a pair of shoes and other items of clothing were found scattered near and in the water: ‘We located items of clothing around a pond and in a pond,’ Texas Game Warden Shawn Hervey told KSLA Saturday.
‘So, we centered the search around that small body of water, and with the use of divers we were able to recover three victims at approximately 2am.’
Police centered their search around the pond after a pair of shoes and other items of clothing were found scattered near and in the water.
Video from the scene showed a bicycle abandoned on the property, seemingly close to the pond. It is unclear if the bike belonged to the girls and if they rode it to the property.
‘We have no idea what the girls were doing there,’ Cass County Sheriff Larry Rowe told the Texarkana Gazette.
Investigators have not reached any conclusions about their deaths and the bodies have been sent for autopsies.
‘Nobody has been accused of anything,’ Rowe said.
Harvey echoed: ‘This is not an everyday occurrence, but it does happen.’
Their mother took to Facebook saying the ‘loss of my sweet babies’ is ‘so unreal.’ Although this is a hard time, the grieving mom said she ‘has to be strong for the sake of my 3 other babies’.
She paid tribute to her daughters on Facebook in a series of posts telling her daughters to ‘say hi to granny for me’
Shommaonique is heartbroken over the loss of her daughters and not conducting interviews at this time.
‘At this time I’m just trying to bury my babies,’ she said, noting on social media that the incident was ‘unexpected’ and a ‘big hurt and shock’ to their entire family.
‘Through this whole process I have my family helping me to get through this hard time with me and the loss of my sweet babies Girl’s (sic) it’s so unreal,’ she wrote.
‘But I know I have to be strong for the sake of my other 3 Babies’ because they need me more then ever!!!’
The grieving mother has created a GoFundMe account to help with funeral costs and other related expenses that has raised $17,566 of the $25,000 goal.
‘This was so unexpect[ed] and a big hurt and shock to myself and my family. We are now asking for help to lay my sweet angles to rest,’ she penned, adding: ‘Whatever you can donate will be appreciated.’
‘Lord pls and I mean pls I want my kids back this hurt and word’s can’t explain the pain I’m going through I just want my baby girl’s back in my arm,’ the grieving mother wrote in another post.
She added: ‘Rest easy my sweet baby girl’s (sic) say hi to granny for me I miss and love yall.’
Friends and family alike have offered an outpour of support for Shommaonique during this incredibly difficult time.
‘Sweet baby I have no words,’ wrote Stephanie Spriggs-Luckey. ‘No words will bring you any comfort. I’m so incredibly sorry for the loss of your precious babies.
‘I will be praying for God to bring you peace and comfort as only he can.’
Her cousin, China Davis, shared photos of the girls on Facebook, saying: ‘These babies are on my mind tough they are family as well as friends.
‘I love you cousin I’m praying baby girl my heart cries out for you!’
Shommaonique’s Facebook page is flooding with messages of condolences and prayers, as well as loved ones expressing their complete and utter shock at the deaths.
‘Praying for you and that God gives you strength,’ echoed Dapatrick Jones.
‘It definitely doesn’t seem real!!’ said LaKeithia Malone. ‘Yes, stay strong for [your other kids]. You have us in your corner tho. (sic)’
J. Ray Web-Hill, who also shared photos of the sisters, encouraged everyone to donate to the fundraising page, noting the family ‘would greatly appreciate any help you can give.’