24-year-old Daniel Robinson has been missing for three months after last being seen in Buckeye, AZ.
Daniel was last seen on June 23rd, 2021 leaving his desert job site where he worked as a geologist near Sun Valley Parkway and Cactus Road. He left in his 2017 blue Jeep Renegade.
After not hearing from him, Daniel’s family reported him missing.
In the weeks leading up to his disappearance, and on the morning he vanished, Daniel went from behaving normally to behaving erratically.
He made some comments family thought were odd, and one day he left his apartment wide open, and disappeared for a significant chunk of time before returning.
He was last seen by coworker Ken Elliot at a well site near Buckeye, Arizona on 23 June around 9.15am local time. The pair had met for the first time that morning to assess a remote drill site in the Arizona desert.
His coworker said that everything seemed fine as they discussed the weather and the job. But within a matter of minutes, Daniel’s demeanour changed from normal to distracted.
“He was just looking off into the desert; he had a very, very distant look in his eyes,” Ken said. “Whenever he’d turn around again, I would look at him and look into his eyes – the first thing I thought was maybe it was drugs or something … [but] his pupils were not dilated.”
“From that standpoint, everything appeared to be normal. Then I thought this was a medical condition or something. I wasn’t too sure. I kept watching him, but he just kept turning around and looking off into the desert.”
“Then he just turned around and walked back over to his Jeep, and I just assumed he was going to get something out of his vehicle. And he opened the door, got in, sat down, put on his seatbelt, then he looked at me and just waved at me and backed up and took off.”
Buckeye Police Department searched more the 70 square miles in an effort to locate Daniel. Investigators utilized UTVs, cadaver dogs and air support – including drones and helicopters.
On July 19th, almost a month later after David was last seen, a rancher spotted his vehicle rolled over in a ravine with severe damage. This was only around 4 miles away from his job site. Police said the vehicle was missed during their searches due to the rugged terrain.
Daniel’s clothes, keys, wallet and cell phone were still inside the car
Searches continued and on July 31st, a human skull was recovered in the area south of where Daniel’s jeep was found. After completing DNA testing, the remains were determined not to be Daniel’s.
Since then, no additional remains have been found in the area and law enforcement investigations have stopped.
Police said based on the evidence they had and the condition of the car there was no foul play suspected.
Daniel’s father, David Robinson II, has desperately tried to keep his son’s name in the media and feels the police haven’t taken his son’s case seriously.
After Daniel’s car was found in the ravine, it took 24 hours for him to be notified. Police suggested to him that Daniel may have “undressed himself totally and walked off naked into the desert to become a monk and join a monastery.”
David, told Insider.com in an interview, “My son would not have undressed himself despite what Buckeye has put out that my son was somehow depressed and may have decided to get away from his family.”
David hired private investigator Jeff Mcgrath to help locate Daniel while he continued searching the Arizona desert with a group of volunteers. More than 200 volunteers from all over the local region signed up to help David find Daniel.
“They don’t know Daniel at all. They don’t know me. These are people who come out of their homes, and they spend a day, and they walk on the ground, something that the police department should be doing.”David Robinson II to Insider
Jeff McGrath was able to examine the black box data from Daniel’s jeep which showed the vehicle was driven 11 miles after the initial crash. He also discovered that there were MULTIPLE crashes and the damage to the vehicle didn’t match the terrain where the car was found.
The data also showed the car was “cranked” more than 40 times after the initial crash – indicating that someone tried to start the engine repeatedly.
One of Daniel’s socks was also recovered near his job site.
David set up a petition on Change.com calling for the police department to look more closely into his son’s disappearance.
“From the first day that I arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, I have done more to find my son than the law enforcement agency, whose jurisdictional authority covers where he was last seen and where his vehicle was recovered. The Buckeye PD investigation has not gathered any evidence of their own. They are unwilling to move beyond their theory which leads to non-action on their part.”David Robinson II, Change.com
The family is asking for the status of the investigation to be changed from a missing person to a criminal investigation.
A 54 page police report regarding Daniel’s case has been released. You can read it here.