Daniel Robinson (Missing)

Daniel Cornelius Robinson

Nickname: Unknown
Alternative Name: Unknown

La Apoda: Desconocida
Nombres alternativos: Desconocida


Missing from: Buckeye, Arizona, United States
Date Missing: June 23, 2021 (Tuesday)
Suspect: Unknown

Falta de: Buckeye, Arizona, EE. UU.
Falta en la fecha: 23 de junio de 2021 (miércoles)
Sospechoso: Desconocido

Circumstances (Circunstancias)

Daniel Robinson was a bright young man who has served for more than two years as a Staff Hydrogeologist at Matrix New World Engineering in Phoenix, Arizona. He had relocated to the west from South Carolina back in 2019 after graduating from College of Charleston with a degree in Geology. As part of his role, Daniel was responsible for site oversight, and frequently managed locations out in the desert. With a passion for hiking an outdoor exploration and through his professional work experience, Daniel was used to difficult conditions and frequently drove in rough terrain or over long trips.

“Very outspoken guy. Very smart. He loves his family. Really close with his sisters and brothers.”. . . . “He loves what he does. He’s always loved the outdoors and hiking and examining rock formations.”

David Robinson (Father) – Link, Link

On June 6, Daniel started working at a job site in the Arizona desert near the intersection of W. Cactus Road and Sun Valley Parkway north of the town of Buckeye. 

He was last seen there on June 23 testing groundwater in the area. At approximately 9:15am, Daniel left the site in his Blue 2017 Jeep Renegade. According to reports, his colleagues were not aware of why he left the site or where he intended to go. They do believe he was driving west into the desert according to the family’s GoFundMe (Link). After he drove away, Daniel disappeared and has not been heard from since. Although Daniel was known to travel spontaneously, it was always after first communicating his plans with family and friends.

Daniel and his father

After he drove away, Daniel disappeared and has not been heard from since. Although a missing person report was immediately filed, law enforcement and his family still have not heard anything new.

According to some unverified discussions online, there have been no signs of bank or phone activity since. Daniel’s phone was either turned off or out of range, because it was not sending out any location data when it did ping once.

Arizona’s Civil Air Patrol operated a large air and land search of the area on July 9th near the job site (Link). This included four sweeps by CAP Aircraft and a ground search. At that time, neither Robinson nor his vehicle were found. Buckeye police also brought in ground search crews including cadaver dogs and UTEs.

Daniel Robinson, 24, Male, Black Hair, Brown Eyes, African American, Missing Man
Map of the area covered by the CAP and Ground Teams. Source: Link

The situation became even more perplexing when Daniel’s Jeep was located in a ravine about 4 miles southwest of the job site almost a month later on July 19. The vehicle had sustained some damage and had seemingly rolled down then 20foot ravine before landing on its side. Daniel’s personal items (cellphone, wallet, keys) were found inside, the airbags had been deployed, and it appeared as if the driver had been wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash (Link, Link). Some of Daniel’s clothes (his safety vest and boots) were found near the Jeep as well.

Given the state of the Jeep and the nature of its recovery, police have declared they do not believe foul play was involved in Daniel’s disappearance. Although reports suggest Daniel may have been acting somewhat peculiarly in the days leading up to the disappearance (what that behavior was is not clear), police do not believe he was a suicide risk (Link).

However, questions remain for both Daniel’s family and investigators. 

First, although the vehicle has been recovered, there is no sign of Daniel or where he might have gone after the car crashed. Although some remains (including a human skull) were found nearby on July 31, Police publicly confirmed that the skull was not Daniel’s (Link). The other remains were identified an animal in nature. 

Second, although it is not that surprising that Daniel might have removed his safety vest, the removal of his boots is a different story. If the boots located near his vehicle were his work boots, it seems very unlikely that he would have stopped and removed them before leaving the work site or after an accident. 

Third, Daniel was familiar with working and traveling through difficult geographical and natural conditions. Even if injured in the accident, he would likely have known to A) take his phone (apparently turned off, but left in the car), B) left signs of where he was heading if he went to get help, C) known which direction to walk (generally) to head back towards the job site if he decided to hotfoot it for aid. 

Fourth, if police and the CAP search the area on July 9, why was the vehicle not located in the covered area? It was within 4 miles and not far from the road. Police said the ground consisted of rough terrain making it hard for them to locate the vehicle until a local rancher spotted it about 4 miles. However, the published images do not appear to show the vehicle in a hard-to-spot location. 

Fifth, a professional accident reconstrucitonist (Jeff McGrath) was hired by Daniel’s father to investigate (Link). He uncovered several concerning facts regarding the car crash from the vehicle’s internal system records:

  1. The airbags deployed (and theoretically the accident occurred) at approximately 1:30pm (13:30). What happened to Daniel during the hours between 9:15am when he drove away and 1:30pm when the accident occurred? 
  2. The damage to the vehicle did not align with the way it was positioned upon discovery. 
  3. The vehicle had been started 45+ times after the airbags were deployed (unusual).
  4. The vehicle was driven an additional 11 miles after airbags deployed.

“The activity with the vehicle is very suspicious and anytime we get a download that doesn’t match. By looking at the photographs it doesn’t match the area, sometimes those could be a staged event. And that looked like a staged event to me.” 

Jeff McGrath (Private Investigator) – Link

Description (Descripción)

  • Date of Birth: January 14, 1997
  • Age at Disappearance: 24
  • Ethnicity: African American / Black
  • Nationality: United States
  • Gender at Birth: Male
  • Hair: Black
  • Eye Color: Brown
  • Height: 5’8″ (172cm)
  • Weight: 165lb (74.8kg)
  • Fecha de Nacimiento: 14 de enero de 1997
  • Edad: 24
  • Etnicidad: Afroamericana
  • Nacionalidad: Americano
  • Sexo al nacer: Hombre
  • Cabello: Cabello Negro
  • Color de los ojos: Ojos Cafés
  • Altura: 5’8″ (172cm)
  • Peso: 165 libras (74,8 kg)

Distinguishing Marks or Factors (Características Distintivas)

  • Has a birth defect where he is missing his right arm, starting at the forearm.
  • Tiene un defecto congénito en el que le falta el brazo derecho, comenzando por el antebrazo.

Medical Concerns (Preocupaciones Médicas)

  • Unknown
  • Desconocido

Clothing (Ropa)

  • Unknown
  • Desconocido

Suspect (Sospechoso)

  • Unknown
  • Desconocido

Vehicle (Vehículo)

  • 2017 Jeep Renegade
  • Blue / Grey
  • License Plate: NLA2CMA
  • Jeep Renegado 2017
  • Gris azulado
  • Número de placa de matrícula: NLA2CMA
Daniel Robinson, 24, Male, Black Hair, Brown Eyes, African American, Missing Man
Daniel Robinson, 24, Male, Black Hair, Brown Eyes, African American, Missing Man

If You or Anyone You Know Has Information About The Disappearances, Please Contact:

Or use the QR Code (right) to find contact information for the National Police.

As of September 20, 2021, there was an award of $10,000 for information that helped find Daniel (Link).

Daniel Robinson, 24, Male, Black Hair, Brown Eyes, African American, Missing Man
Daniel Robinson, 24, Male, Black Hair, Brown Eyes, African American, Missing Man


  • Arizona Hydrological Society (2021) ‘Missing Matrix Staff Hydrogeologist – Daniel Robinson’, July 7. Link
  • Reyes, S. (2021) ‘Human remains do not belong to missing Buckeye man, police say’, AZ Central, 17 September. Link.
  • Snyder, I. (2021) ‘Family still searching for son who was last seen leaving his work in Buckeye’, Fox 10 News, Link.
  • Fox 10 News (2021) ‘Daniel Robinson: Buckeye Police continue to search for missing geologist’, 28 August. Link.
  • Buckeye Police News Report (2021) ‘News Release’, 16 September. Link.
  • Sanders, J. (2021) ”Something wasn’t right’: Private investigator claims suspicious details surround missing Valley man’s crashed Jeep’, 12 News, 21 July. Link
  • Stories of the Unsolved (2021) “The Disappearance of Daniel Robinson”, 14 August, Link.
  • ABC 15 (2021) ‘Vehicle located in search for missing man in Buckeye area’, 21 July. Link.
  • WIS News (2021) ‘SC man missing in Arizona, last seen leaving work June 23’, 13 July. Link
  • Sanders, J. (2021) “‘I have to find my child, my son’: Man travels from South Carolina to help with search efforts after son is missing for 2 weeks”, 12 News, 9 July. Link
  • Jensen, A. (2021) ”We just want him to come home’: Search continues for missing man last seen in Buckeye’, AZ Central, 9 July, Link.
  • Grigg, N (2021) ‘Field geologist missing for 3 weeks after leaving remote job site in Arizona desert’, ABC 15, July 15, Link.
  • Fuoco-Karasinski, C. (2021) “Dad says, ‘I have to find my son’”, West Valley News, 28 July, Link.
  • Cavallier, A. (2012) “Father travels cross-country to search for son Daniel Robinson missing from Arizona job site since June”, NBC News, 12 July. Link


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