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Crime Biological and Foster Parents of Little Girl Allegedly Killed by Food Network Star Hold Emotional Funeral

08:05  06 february  2021
08:05  06 february  2021 Source:   people.com

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The biological parents of Victoria Rose Smith, who was allegedly killed by her adoptive parents last month, held an emotional funeral for the 3-year-old this week.

a little girl posing for a picture: Change.org Victoria Rose Smith © Provided by People Change.org Victoria Rose Smith

Food Network star Ariel and her husband Jerry Austin Robinson, who adopted Victoria in March, were arrested on Jan. 19 in connection to the toddler's Jan. 14 death.

The Worst Cooks in America star, 29, and her husband Jerry Austin, 34, were charged with homicide by child abuse, PEOPLE previously reported.

Victoria's biological family, as well as some of her previous foster parents, buried her in a church graveyard in Travelers Rest, South Carolina — a town north of Greenville — The State reported Friday.

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Casie Phares, Victoria's biological mother, placed a teddy bear at her daughter's gravesite during the funeral, the outlet reported. A preacher shared some words about the little girl, who was described as "sassy and smart."

a man looking at the camera: Simpsonville Police Department Ariel Robinson © Provided by People Simpsonville Police Department Ariel Robinson

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Victoria was placed in the Robinsons' home by the South Carolina Department of Social Services in March of last year with her two older biological brothers, a Change.org petition calling for reform to the department said.

a little girl posing for a picture: Victoria Rose Smith © Change.org Victoria Rose Smith

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Victoria was found unresponsive in the Robinson's home on Jan. 14, and was taken to the Greenville Memorial Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Greenville County senior deputy coroner Kent Dill said that Victoria died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries, PEOPLE previously reported.

a close up of a man with a beard looking at the camera: Simpsonville Police Department Jerry Robinson © Provided by People Simpsonville Police Department Jerry Robinson

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"Police officers handle all kinds of cases, and these kind of cases can be the hardest for them to do," Simpsonville police spokesman Justin Lee Campbell told PEOPLE on Jan. 20. "It is a sad day. You bring charges and maybe convictions, but at the end of the day the life of a child was taken. For anyone who knew the victim or was related to the victim, they are in our thoughts and prayers."

Ariel won season 20 of Food Network's Worst Cooks in America, which has now been removed from all streaming platforms, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Lawyers for Jerry and Ariel did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment Friday. Neither has entered a plea.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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