Details on missing Daniel Robinson case made public by Buckeye Police, investigation continues

On May 31, the Buckeye Police Department released an updated missing persons report for geologist Daniel Robinson who disappeared in June 2021.

Robinson was reported missing on June 23 after leaving his job site near Sun Valley Parkway and Cactus Road. His crashed Jeep was found just a few miles from the job site.

Throughout the last few years, there have been many reports of human remains being found in and around Buckeye, but none of them turned out to be the young man. Robinson's father, David, has been leading search efforts for his son – and dozens have joined in.

In the updated report, investigators released information not yet previously made public. Those findings are below and are verbatim from the department.

  • Using advanced data extraction, detectives uncovered location data in Daniel’s cell phone placing the phone at the crash site at approximately 10:05 a.m. the morning Daniel went missing.
  • Tempe Police assisted the investigation in forensically processing Daniel’s electronic devices including personal computers, a work computer and an I-pad. Preliminary findings did not reveal information that could help locate Daniel. Buckeye police detectives continue to analyze the raw data.
  • Buckeye police provided a case briefing for the incoming Special Agent in Charge at the FBI Phoenix Field Office. This was the second FBI briefing.
  • Buckeye police investigated a sighting reported by an individual who claimed to have had a brief encounter with Daniel in the Hassayampa river bottom the day he went missing. Digital evidence from Daniel’s vehicle systems and electronic devices does not align with information provided by the reporting party.

"The Daniel Robinson missing person case is open and active, therefore the record being released at this time is not to be considered complete. The investigation is ongoing," Buckeye PD said.

The following recount is based on Buckeye Police's report (seen above):

Police records reveal David called the police to report his son missing and that he was acting odd lately. David told police his son met a woman and that he was in love with her.

His sister who was also interviewed by police and said the same thing, that Daniel said he was in love.

A coworker, the last person to see Daniel, says Daniel was acting odd, staring at nothing in particular, and that Daniel had asked him if he wanted to go back to Phoenix, then waved goodbye and left.

Detectives spoke to the woman who the family referred to, who says she was not in a relationship with Daniel and had only known him for 11 days.

The woman says she ordered food through Instacart, a grocery delivery service, and Daniel was the person who delivered her food. She and a friend were reportedly drunk and invited him in.

Daniel texted the woman saying he accidentally left something of his there. That's when the woman says Daniel started acting "creepy" by showing up unannounced, then got his item without her permission.

In texts, the woman asked Daniel to stop coming unannounced. Daniel texted the woman "I love you" and asked if she was home. That's when she tells him showing up unannounced is extremely uncomfortable.

His last text to her was, "The world can get better, but I'll have to take all the time I can, or we can, whatever to name it. I'll either see you again or never see you again."

‘We had plans’

David Robinson II has spent the last two years searching for his son Daniel.

"It's been a hard road investigating, searching, putting out information to try to keep my son's case from going cold," he said in an interview on May 31. "Two-year mark doesn't separate the daily pain that we receive every day from a family standpoint."

As a single parent for 6 years, David talked to his son regularly.

"We had plans. He had plans that weekend, before he went missing, with his sister. They had plans to go hiking out there in Arizona. We had plans in July that I would come out and see his vehicle for the first time, so we had plans," David said.

Vanishing was not one of those plans.

"We have evidence through the Buckeye Police Department as well as Maricopa County as well as Tempe. Evidence of foul play happened out there at the scene where the vehicle is located," David said.

Tempe police assisted in forensically processing Daniel's electronic devices.

"We've been through the phone as well after the Buckeye Police released it to me," David said. "I have cell phone data from that phone that put it not there at 10 a.m. So that's what I'm saying, I have to see where they got that data from. If it's not cell phone ping records, then I have to question their finding," he said.

Leading search efforts for Daniel has been tiresome, but David says he will never stop until his son is found.

"I'm always going to believe that my son is alive and well. I'm going to find him, it's only a matter of time," David said.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Buckeye Police tip line at 623-349-6411.