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Where is Daniel Robinson? 10-month search for missing man paused due to funding

Robinson vanished nearly 11 months ago in the Buckeye desert. His father is determined to find him.

PHOENIX — Nearly 11 months ago, David Robinson got into a car and traveled 1,800 miles to Arizona from his home in South Carolina with a singular purpose: find his son. 

Daniel Robinson was last seen leaving his worksite in the Buckeye desert on June 23, 2021. Since then his father has organized and led search teams canvassing the area. 

RELATED: Search intensifies for Daniel Robinson as family celebrates his 25th birthday

“Sometimes your body wants to say you can’t do it anymore, but my mind says you have to keep going,” said David. “Ten months is a long time. Every day is that same thing over and over again. Daniel is still out there missing.”  

Through a GofundMe page, David has raised $251,630 dollars from thousands of donors to fund his search efforts. 

He's used the money to help keep his boots on the ground in Arizona, hire a private detective and collision expert and rent technology to search for Daniel. 

“Everybody made that possible for me to remain here. We started off with 200 people coming out there to search with me. That number has dramatically dropped. I will be lucky to have 20," said David. "I am so grateful for all of them." 

His search efforts are costly and he says the funding has run dry, but that isn't deterring him. However, he is temporarily pausing weekend search efforts. 

“The stress and demands of trying to get the forensics work done on the vehicle and clothing and everything else," said David. "Then I had to take away some of the equipment that is very vital and crucial.”     

He is in the early stages of creating a foundation in Daniel's name to help other families with a similar story. “It’s a nonstop deal for me. I want to make sure everything I’ve gone through does not happen to another family,” said David. 

The Buckeye Police Department said they have no evidence of criminal activity in Daniel's disappearance, but there are many questions left unanswered. 

Where is Daniel Robinson timeline      

Investigators with the department have put together this timeline surrounding Daniel's disappearance. 

  • Daniel Robinson last seen leaving job site near Sun Valley Pkwy. and Cactus Rd. just after 9 a.m.
  • Daniel’s father reports him missing around 7 p.m.
  • Buckeye Police ground search near job site
  • Daniel entered into the national missing persons database
  • Buckeye Police ground search near the job site
  • Investigators access vehicle “UConnect” system. No GPS data is available
  • Attempt to ping Daniel’s cell phone for location is unsuccessful
  • Tempe Police check Daniel’s apartment
  • Phoenix Firebird helicopter aerial search
  • Buckeye Police ground search near job site
  • Civil Air Patrol aerial searches
  • Review Daniel’s financial records with assistance from family (ongoing)
  • Daniel’s Jeep found in a ravine less than three miles from job site
  • Multi-agency search with ground and aerial resources
  • Investigators download crash data from Jeep
  • Buckeye Police extract data from Daniel’s recovered cell phone
  • Investigators process Jeep for evidence
  • Investigators obtain detailed bank records with family assistance and investigate financial transactions
  • Volunteer search crews recover a skull. It was later determined the skull did not belong to Daniel
  •  Interviewed/Re-interviewed Daniel’s coworkers
  • San Tan Recon processes crash site for independent crash report
  • Buckeye Police conduct targeted ground searches
  • Buckeye Police conduct targeted ground searches
  • San Tan Recon revisits the crash site

  • San Tan Recon issues collision report, below is what was found.
    • Daniel’s Jeep Renegade was involved in a rollover crash. It was the only crash recorded on the vehicle’s internal systems.
    • Speed increased right before impact which could indicate an attempt to drive up the other side of the ravine.
    • More than 40 ignition cycles were recorded after the crash. This could be due to driver attempts to restart the vehicle or use the electrical systems. It is unclear how many cycles occurred during tow recovery and when investigators downloaded data.
    • An 11-mile discrepancy between the crash data report and the displayed odometer reading is not considered unusual. Similar discrepancies have been noted by Jeep dealership service departments and another crash deconstructionist.

  • Human remains found with evidence indicating a different missing person (remains sent to the medical examiner for testing)
  • FBI briefed on the case
  • Interview new contacts identified throughout the investigation
  • Conduct follow-up interviews with witnesses
  • Examine images and video including satellite imagery
  • Check for fraud or financial activity linked to Daniel's social security number and bank accounts
  • Investigate reports of possible sightings
  • Conduct targeted searches around Daniel's job site and vehicle crash site
  • Coordinate with forensics officials to analyze possible items of interest recovered during desert searches
  • Investigate information produced by volunteer private investigators from across the country

Anyone with information on the disappearance of Daniel Robinson is urged to call the Buckeye Police tip line at 623-349-6411. You can also submit an anonymous tip online or through text message at the Nixle website.

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: ¿Dónde está Daniel Robinson? El hombre lleva desaparecido 10 meses y se detuvo la búsqueda debido a la financiación

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