Overview of Daniel Robinson
Daniel Cornelius Robinson was born in South Carolina.
In 2019, he had graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in archeology. His family describes him as an incredibly bright mind who loved his family. Daniel had an innate sense of adventure, but would always inform his family of his travel plans.
Daniel is described as 24 black male, standing at 5’8” and weighing approximately 165 pounds. Daniel was born without his hand and part of his fore arm on his right side. He did not let this stop him from playing video games or even learning the trumpet.
The day Daniel went missing.
Daniel was just beginning his career as a hydrogeologist and was excited for the future. He had recently moved after he was hired by Matrix New World as a field geologist right after graduation. His sister, Davisha also lived in Phoenix. Daniel was picked up a side job as an Instacart driver.
On June 12, 2021, David met a woman named Katelyn while delivering for her. The two exchanged numbers and began texting. While Katelyn was out of town, Daniel stopped by her home to pick up a canopy. Following this incident, Katelyn tried to end communication.
On the morning of June 22, 2021, Daniel’s father, David Robinson II, last spoke to his son.
The following day, Daniel stopped at a local gas station before he went to work. He was meeting his co-worker, Kenneth, at a job site. When police pulled Daniel’s phone records they were able to determine that the last text message Daniel sent was to Kenneth around 8:10 am. Those who saw Daniel that morning recall that he seemed different then his usual self, but made no comments about harming himself or others. Daniel is last seen around 9:00 am. By 3:00 pm, Kenneth noticed that he couldn’t reach Daniel and began to search the surrounding dessert area in his vehicle. Kenneth could tell that Daniel’s tire marks were heading westbound. However, Daniel was still missing. His last known location was in the vicinity of Sun Valley Pkwy & W Cactus Rd, in Buckeye, Arizona.
At some point during the day, Daniel’s father, David was made aware of the situation.
However, when David called the Buckeye Police department to orginally report his son missing he was told he has to wait a minimum of 12 hours before he files a report. However, in any jurisdiction, the concept of a 12 or 24 hour waiting period to reporting a missing person is a falicy. Daniel was officially reported missing at approximately 7:00pm on June 23, 2021. At this time, David, was living in South Carolina and drove to Arizona to help find his son. He arrived in Arizona by June 26 and wasted no time to aid in the investigation any way he could.
Several foot and aerial searches were conducted in the desert but it uncovered no new information relating to Daniels’ case. Missing persons posters were also handed out amongst the local community. During some of the searches, authorities were able to find remains on several occasions, but it did not match Daniel.
On July 19, 2021, a local rancher discovered Daniel’s light blue 2017 Jeep Renegade.
Daniel was not in the area. It was noted that between the date that Daniel went missing and the date the car was found, there were at least 3 known rain storms that could influence that crime scene. One The car was found on its side in a ravine. It was found a few miles away from Daniel’s last known location. A pair of jeans inside out, two brown work-type boots, a faded orange vest with the company logo, a tee shirt, and two socks that were inside out were found at the scene. There was some red paint found on the car. However, authorities did not do any forensic testing at the scene because there was no sign of blood, despite the wreckage. Not long after the car was found, the Robinson family brought private investigator, Jeff McGrath, to aid in the investigation. McGrath is a private investigator and specializes in accident reconstruction.
McGrath had felt that the car's damage did not accurately represent the terrain in which it was found. Upon downloading the car's airbag control module it was determined that the car was started at least 40+ times after the airbags deployed. There was an additional 11 miles on the car since the airbags deployed implying that the car was driven around after it had crashed. The system also shows that the car was likely crashed around 1 p.m. nearly four hours after Daniel was last seen. Upon learning of this information, forensic testing was finally conducted. Law enforcement took wet and dry swabs of various areas of the car. However, the results of those tests have not been made public.
Where the case stands today.
The Robinson family is still actively searching for Daniel. While several sets of remains have been found while searching for him, none of them match Daniel. David Robinson II has participated in numerous news media and podcast interviews in hopes of raising awareness for Daniel’s case; including an appearance at the 2022 Crime Con event in Las Vegas. He conducts frequent searches of the desert area.
Throughout the investigation, the family had to really advocate for Daniel because the Buckeye Police Department lacked a sense of urgency. The family has created the Please Help Find Daniel advocacy website and other social media of the same name to continue sharing Daniel’s story.