Daniel Robinson was last seen leaving work in his 2017 blue Jeep Renegade in Buckeye, Arizona on June 3, 2021, at about 9:15 a.m. A coworker said it had begun to rain at the site where they were working, and Robinson left. Witnesses place him near Sun Valley Parkway and Cactus Road, driving toward the desert. He was reported missing later the same day after no one had heard from him and he couldn’t be raised by phone.
On July 19, 2021, a local rancher found the Jeep laying on its side in a ravine on his property. The airbags were deployed, and evidence indicated that the driver had been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Robinson’s cell phone, wallet, keys, and some of his clothes were still present in the vehicle.
A police expert in accident reconstruction determined that the ignition had been turned over 46 additional times and an extra 11 miles were registered after the car crashed. While investigators claim this is common and could be attributed to efforts to recover data and removal of the vehicle, the family believes the accident may have been staged. A private accident investigator hired by them agrees that the scene doesn’t quite match the police assessment of things.
The Buckeye Police Department made a statement on September 16, indicating that they were working with other law enforcement agencies and had searched the area adjacent to the site where the overturned Jeep was located. They utilized UTVs, cadaver dogs, drones, and helicopters to search more than 70 square miles without success.
In October 2021, investigators revealed that Robinson had been exchanging texts with a woman he met while delivering for Instacart. According to Robinson’s discussion with friends and family, the pair had exchanged numbers during one of his deliveries when she had invited him in to hang out with her and her friends. However, text messages reveal that he had later visited her home without being invited on several occasions and she was very uncomfortable with this.
Interviews with friends, family, and coworkers don’t show any indication that Robinson was suicidal over this rejection or for any other reason, though several have commented on the fact that they felt he was acting a little strangely before his disappearance. He had deleted some of his Instagram posts and begun speaking about things that sometimes seemed nonsensical to them.
On November 9, 2021, human remains were found during the search for Robinson and sent for DNA testing and identification. Based on a preliminary assessment by forensic anthropologists, these remains are not believed to belong to Robinson, but the final DNA results on who they do belong to has not yet been determined.
Robinson’s father has been critical of the police's efforts to locate his son. The family has put together a GoFundMe page to gather donations to facilitate private efforts to find him and started a petition to address what they feel are shortcomings in the handling of the case. Most recently, Robinson’s parents have appeared on Red Table Talk to discuss their son’s disappearance and the problems they continue to face in locating him. He continues to post updates on the Twitter account he set up to help find his son.
24-year-old Robinson is described as 5’8” and 165 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. He was born without a right lower forearm and hand.
For now, what happened to Daniel Robinson remains a mystery. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Buckeye Police Department at 623-349-6400.