The police response to Gabby Petito‘s and overall urgency displayed by law enforcement for that case has been replete with daily press briefings to help spread awareness via the media.
But that same energy has reportedly been absent from the investigation into the whereabouts of Daniel Robinson, a 24-year-old geologist who went missing in Arizona in June, months before Petito disappeared.
Robinson’s parents have been hyper-vigilant about raising awareness of their son, who was last seen at a worksite in the town of Buckeye on June 23. They have created a website, a Twitter account and made the media rounds in a deliberate effort to help find their son, whose Jeep was found crashed a month after his disappearance was first reported.
According to the Twitter account set up by Daniel’s parents, the police conducted their most recent search for Daniel this past Tuesday, more than two months after their last search for the missing Black man, suggesting rescue and recovery efforts that pale in comparison to the Petito case, which also remains ongoing. The police apparently only agreed to its latest search “because of public pressure.”
David Robinson, Daniel’s father, even moved to Buckeye to be closer to the investigation, while Daniel’s mother, Melissa Edmonds, remained back home in South Carolina. The Twitter account they set up tweeted this week that a group of “civilian volunteers” has been searching for Daniel weekly because the Buckeye Police Department has not outwardly expressed the same kind of “urgency” and “consistency.”
And while they say the local police is on the case, that’s about as much as they say they know, David Robinson recently told NewsNation Now.
“[The police] won’t share anything with us,” David Robinson said. “We just know that they have the data, all the evidence that my investigator gave to them.”
David Robinson went on to describe information he got months ago when his son first went missing.
“The Buckeye Police Department did their first initial search three days after my son went missing,” David Robinson continued. “They tell me they did an extensive search for over 12 hours. They scoured the area out here — some good distance — and that that distance also covered those areas where the vehicle was eventually going to be found.”
Daniel’s parents have pushed back against the unfounded notion that their son may have been suffering a mental health crisis at the time of his disappearance and said they are remaining positive.
Daniel’s mother said he was in good spirits the last time they spoke.
“We talked and I said when we always end with ‘I love you and we’ll talk later,'” Edmonds said, who added that he called her back later that night.
“And I was sleeping. And Daniel says, ‘Hello, mom. I’m just checking on you. And I want you to know I love you. And we will talk later.’ And that’s what I’m holding on to,” Edmonds continued. “If my son was rational enough to call me and tell me that he’s checking on me and that he will call to talk to me later … that’s what I’m holding on to.”