Daniel Cornelius Robinson

Robinson, circa 2021; Robinson's deformed arm; Robinson's 2017 Jeep Renegade; Jeep as it was found in a ravine after Robinson's disappearance

  • Missing Since 06/23/2021
  • Missing From Buckeye, Arizona
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race Black
  • Age 24 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'8, 165 pounds
  • Associated Vehicle(s) 2017 Jeep Renegade with the Arizona license plate number NLA2CMA (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics African-American male. Black hair, brown eyes. Robinson's right arm never developed fully in utero, and his right hand and and part of his forearm are missing as a result. A photo of his deformed arm is posted with this summary.

Details of Disappearance

Robinson was last seen leaving a job site in the area of Sun Valley Parkway and Cactus Road in Buckeye, Arizona on June 23, 2021. He worked as a hydrogeologist for Matrix New World and was assigned to a project at a well in the Buckeye desert.

He arrived at the site at 9:00 a.m. and spoke to a coworker. The coworker said he was saying things like did not make much sense, including asking if the coworker (who had never met him before) wanted to go with him to Phoenix to rest.

Fifteen minutes after arriving at work, Robinson left without saying where he was going or why he was leaving. He turned right at the T-junction, heading deeper into the desert instead of left back towards Phoenix. He has never been heard from again.

It's uncharacteristic of Robinson to leave without warning and his family stated he had been "not like himself" in the days prior to his disappearance. He had apparently fallen in love with a slight acquaintance, and was upset after she rejected him and told him to leave her alone. There was, however, no indication that he planned to harm himself or walk out of his life.

In late June, his 2017 Jeep Renegade with the Arizona license plate number NLA2CMA was found about four miles southwest of the job site. It had rolled into a ravine and landed on its side, and the airbags had been deployed. Photos of the Jeep, including one of it as it was found, are posted with this case summary.

Authorities stated the driver had been wearing a seat belt and had accelerated right before impact, which might indicate an attempt to drive up the other side of the ravine. There was no sign of Robinson at the crash site, but his belongings were found, including his wallet, his phone, his keys and all his clothes: his t-shirt, jeans turned inside-out, an orange work vest, one black Nike sock, one black Adidas sock, and his Red Wing work boots, one of which was actually underneath the jeep. There was no blood present.

Police do not suspect foul play in Robinson's disappearance, but multiple searches of the desert have turned up no indication of his whereabouts, and both Robinson's father and Jeff McGrath, the private investigator hired by the family believe the car wreck scene was staged.

The cattle rancher who found the wreck site, whose property the ravine was on, said he thought the Jeep had only been there a short time, because it was so clean. McGrath said the Jeep's airbag control module showed the Jeep had been driven eleven miles and the ignition turned 46 times after the airbags were deployed.

Robinson grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. He graduated from the College of Charleston with a geology degree. He is the youngest of four children and lived in Tempe, Arizona at the time of his disappearance. His case remains unsolved.

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 27, 2022; casefile added.