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The 25-year-old was last seen in June 2021 leaving his worksite in the desert of Buckeye. Robinson was working for the engineering company Matrix New World, overseeing a well site at the time of his disappearance.
The next public search, to take place Saturday, was organized independently by David Robinson, Daniel Robinson’s father, using money from a GoFundMe launched to help cover costs related to the search.
“The current investigation by law enforcement is not progressing and we are raising money to fund other resources and present initiatives to locate Daniel,” Robinson wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Robinson said he is changing gears in the search for his son to focus primarily on forensics. He believes that will lead to new information in the case.
“I’m entering a new phase in the search for my son. My concentration will be on the forensics that wasn’t done at the scene,” Robinson wrote on the website he created for Daniel.
The Buckeye Police Department is the lead agency over the investigation and has received support from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the Tempe Police Department.
Robinson has said that his son went missing under suspicious circumstances and is disappointed that the Buckeye Police Department has been treating the case using missing persons protocol, saying actions taken in the case have been slow.
A rancher found Daniel Robinson’s Jeep flipped on its side in a ravine in a remote part of the desert near his worksite in Buckeye on July 19, 2021. But he was nowhere to be found, according to a police report detailing the early investigation efforts.Investigators ruled out the possibility of foul play due to the state of the vehicle. When asked about the specific methods used to rule out foul play in the investigation, the police department declined to elaborate, saying “Detectives, at this time, have not found evidence of foul play.”
David Robinson and Jeff McGrath, the private investigator hired by the family to investigate the case, said they believe the methods used by the police department to rule out foul play to be insufficient, according to a September 2021 news conference.
Daniel Robinson was believed to have been heading south into the desert on the day of his disappearance, according to the police report. At the time, he lived in an apartment in Tempe and often oversaw well sites in remote desert areas across the state as part of his work, according to his father.
David Robinson said in a live stream on the Please Help Find Daniel YouTube channel that he believes there are discrepancies in the timeline of the morning Daniel Robinson went missing. He cited a conversation he had with his son’s co-worker, in which the events of the morning appeared differently to him than what the officer initially assigned to the case said.
During the same live stream, David Robinson said he reported the timeline discrepancies to the Buckeye Police Department and said he believes the interaction and his son’s phone records should have been scrutinized more closely.
Buckeye police said the investigation remains active.
In a statement released Tuesday, Buckeye police said a recent search into the case yielded no additional clues.
The search, which took place on Feb. 18, was conducted by Buckeye police in collaboration with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office “to readdress key locations in the desert area where Daniel was last seen.”
According to the statement, resources provided by the MCSO, such as K-9 units, drones, and multiple ATV and ground crews, were unable to produce any significant results.At the end of January, Buckeye police said they were alerted to the possibility of human remains inside a well previously searched by the department. The well was nearly a half mile north of where Daniel Robinson was last seen. Police worked with a contractor to scope the well on Feb. 9. On Feb. 13, another contractor used heavy equipment to excavate the contents of the well, nearly 1,000 feet down, for further examination. No human remains were found.
Earlier in January other human remains were found, including a skull and other bones, by someone off-roading near Johnson Road and Southern Avenue. The Buckeye Police Department has since announced the remains belonged to 35-year-old Juan Fierro.
Detectives have been using technology to develop a clearer picture of Daniel Robinson’s activities leading up to his disappearance, said Carissa Planalp, a spokesperson with Buckeye police.
Planalp said the police department is performing desert searches as needed and that updates are being communicated with the Robinson family on a regular basis.
The department added it has pursued leads throughout Arizona and other states.
The key geographic focus of the upcoming desert search will be near the Hassayampa River, southwest of the location where the Jeep was found, according to the Eventbrite announcement for the search.
David Robinson is calling for “all hands on deck” in the upcoming search, welcoming volunteers from the public and extending private and public invitations to all law enforcement agencies that have touched the case in some form. The goal is to get at least 200 volunteers to search the desert area, he said in a YouTube live stream.
David Robinson wrote on the search website that he organized more than 45 weeks of searches, covering more than 35,000 acres of land.
This weekend’s search is one “based on faith,” he said in a February live stream. He explained he does not have all the resources in place he would like for the search, but believes it will be a fruitful effort.