- Daniel Robinson, 24, has been missing for three months, and was last seen in Buckeye, Arizona.
- His father flew down from South Carolina to coordinate the search for him, and has been in Arizona ever since.
- But his father David Robinson II says that he’s been hitting brick walls in his search, and feels that more needs to be done for his son.
Three days after Daniel Robinson, 24, went missing in Buckeye, Arizona, his father flew down from South Carolina to assist in the search for him.
Now, three months later, David Robinson II continues to comb the Arizona desert for any trace of his son, backed by a 200-strong band of local civilian volunteers. Some are helping to scout the area with airplanes and service dogs, while others are searching on miles on foot.
“It’s been tough. It’s been stressful. It feels really tiresome. But I’m holding up because I have to find my son,” David, 51, a retired combat engineer, told Insider.
He’s been trying to raise awareness of his son’s disappearance in the wake of the intense media coverage on Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old white woman who was declared missing earlier this month and was confirmed dead by her lawyer and authorities on Tuesday.
But while her case captured the nation’s rapt attention and involved the FBI, David is frustrated. He told Insider that he’s had to get through “brick wall after brick wall” in the search, and feels that the police haven’t taken his son’s case as seriously as they should.
Daniel, a field geologist who’s been working for Matrix New World Engineering, out of Phoenix, Arizona, for the last two years, was last seen on June 23 driving west from his workplace in a 2017 blue Jeep Renegade. On July 19, police found the Jeep overturned and significantly damaged, with Daniel’s keys, wallet, and cell phone inside.
—Buckeye Police Dept (@BuckeyeAZPD) September 17, 2021
David told Insider that he was informed of the crash 24 hours after the car was discovered, and that police suggested Daniel had “undressed himself totally and walked off naked in a desert to become a monk and join a monastery.”
“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 because he don’t love us,” said Robinson.
On July 31, a human skull was found near the car, but police said it didn’t belong to Daniel.
As of now, law enforcement investigations have stopped progressing, said David, who hired a private investigator to assist with the case.
In the meantime, he’s been staying at various hotels in Arizona, coordinating civilian searches at “ground zero” while supported by his GoFundMe page, which has raised $100,000 so far.
More than 200 volunteers from all over the local region have signed up to help. “They don’t know Daniel at all. They don’t know me,” said David. “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.”
Additionally, Robinson has hired a private investigator to help in the search.
They’ve been scouring the region in grids, said David, and are told to only go out minimally in groups of two for their safety. “They’re putting themselves at risk, and I appreciate them,” he said.
Daniel has ‘everything to look up to in life’ his father said
Daniel is one of five Robinson children. David said that his son enjoys traveling but always lets his family know where he is and what he’s planning.
He added that Daniel has “everything to look up to in life” and was always competitive among his siblings, teaching himself to play the trombone and the French horn when he was young, even though he was born with one forearm missing.
He said the rest of the Robinson family in South Carolina hasn’t been able to join the search due to obligations back home. Daniel’s mother couldn’t come because she has felt too emotional about the disappearance, he added.
“She’s relying on me to find her son, and she’s maybe in the background, but she’s very present,” said David.
Daniel, said David, “is a man’s man, a go-getter. He’s a guy who’s optimistic, and he’s always planning for the future. He wants to go to Europe. He wants to travel around the United States.”
“He loves seeing the rock formations. He loves to hike. He had plans and dreams. He wanted to be an entrepreneur.”
Anyone with information relating to Robinson is urged to call Buckeye PD at 623-349-6400.