3:20 PM PST, November 8, 2021
The father of missing geologist Daniel Robinson discovered human remains belonging to someone else in the Arizona desert while searching for his own missing son, he told Inside Edition Digital. The remains were a vertebra, two femur bones and both sides of a pelvis, he said.
“It was not my son and I am grateful for that, and, now another family may have closure,” David Robinson, who made the discovery with a private investigator, told Inside Edition Digital, who posted a video on the Twitter page “Please Help Find Daniel.”
He added, “I will continue the searches for my son.”
After the discovery was made, Robinson said he called the Buckeye Police Department. He said the officers initially told him it was animal bones, but he said he insisted on a pathology test that he said later determined the bones to belong to a human.
Buckeye Police Department PIO Carissa Planalp told Inside Edition Digital that DNA testing is being conducted by the medical examiner, but investigators do not believe the remains are Daniel Robinson’s.
Every Saturday, for the last 15 weeks, David Robinson has searched the Arizona desert in search of his son. He’s usually joined by teams of volunteers, many of whom are former law enforcement officials, he said. He said this was not the first time he has found human bone fragments during the searches for his son.
Earlier in the investigation, he said he found a human skull.
“We are finding human remains, suspicious items, and our teams of volunteers aren’t even trained,” Robinson said.
The skull has not yet been identified but Planalp said it was not Daniel Robinson’s or Steven Brito, another missing person who vanished in 2010.
Saturday marked the 15th consecutive weekend that David Robinson has combed through the Arizona desert.
Though he has been joined by volunteers he now calls “family,” David Robinson said he hoped the Buckeye Police Department would become more involved in the search for his son.
“They have only conducted four searches since my son went missing. The last time they came to a search was on Oct. 30 and that was after I asked them to,” he said.
“We need alt-terrain vehicles, drones, cadaver dogs to get to those hard-to-reach areas, and infrared technology. I was hoping the BPD would want to utilize all of the volunteers that come each week,” David Robinson said.
“We are doing the best we can but, it’s hard,” he added. “Every time I go out, I feel like I am getting further and further away.”
Five officers from the BPD joined Robinson’s search on Oct. 30, Planalp confirmed. When asked about the frequency of searches the police department has conducted since Robinson disappeared, Planalp told Inside Edition Digital that the “Buckeye Police Department needs actionable intelligence to move on.”
“We are a phone call away if anyone is found,” Planalp said. “There is a lot of investigation going on. We are investigating every tip. Every lead.”
Daniel Robinson disappeared after driving away from a desert worksite in the desert of Buckeye on June 23.
That same day, family members filed a missing person’s report.
The BPD along with the Department of Public Safety’s Ranger helicopter and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s search and rescue dogs have been involved in the search.
On July 19, nearly four weeks after having last been seen, Daniel’s 2017 blue/grey Jeep Renegade was discovered. It was found by a rancher in a remote part of the desert not too far from the well site where Daniel was last seen, Inside Edition Digital previously reported..
The vehicle was reportedly found in a ravine and appeared to have rolled and landed on its side. The airbags in the vehicle deployed, and police were able to determine that the driver of the vehicle was wearing their seatbelt at the time of the crash, according to the Buckeye Police news release.
Daniel’s cell phone, wallet, some of his clothes, and keys were found at the crash site, Inside Edition previously reported.
The Buckeye Police Department released a timeline of its investigation into the disappearance of Robinson.
Planalp told Inside Edition Digital that the department commissioned San Tan Recon, an investigation company to do an independent crash report.
The investigation found that the Jeep accelerated right before impact, which indicated an attempt to drive up the other side of the ravine where the vehicle was found abandoned and badly damaged. It was the only crash recorded on the vehicle’s internal systems, the BPD said.
“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’s unclear how many cycles occurred during tow recovery and when investigators downloaded data,” a report by San Tan Recon added.
David Robinson told Inside Edition Digital that “the current investigation by law enforcement is not progressing and we are raising money to fund other resources and present initiatives to locate Daniel.”
David Robinson said his son moved to the Arizona area after graduating in 2019. He said his son had a passion for adventure and travel. His job often took him to remote areas in the desert, where he worked in extreme conditions and traveled long distances to work on projects.
David Robinson said he and his son would speak at least twice a week. The last time they spoke was three days before Daniel went missing.
“I would like to emphasize that my son was not depressed,” Robinson told Inside Edition Digital in a previous interview. “He was enjoying his life and excited about his future. He was not the type of guy to go anywhere without staying in touch with his family, and it is hurtful to us what some people have said.”
The website “Please Help Find Daniel” was created by the family that provides regular updates and maps of the area where the crews have searched.
A GoFundMe the family had created has raised nearly $160,000, far surpassing their initial goal of $40,000, Inside Edition Digital reported.
David Robinson relocated from his home in South Carolina to Arizona when his son first went missing.
“I am not leaving here until my son is found,” he said.