In Case of Missing Geologist, an 11-Mile Discrepancy

Based on odometer, Daniel Robinson's father thinks his son's SUV crashed elsewhere
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2021 9:08 AM CDT
Dad of Missing Geologist Not Buying Cops' Crash Theory
Daniel Robinson.   (

The mystery of what happened to Daniel Robinson deepens, with his father now disputing the most recent developments in the case. Working with collision reconstruction company San Tan Recon, the police department in Buckeye, Ariz., says forensic data from the the 24-year-old geologist's SUV suggests the Jeep Renegade rolled over and crashed, then was restarted in an attempt to get out of the ravine it ended up in, per NBC News. Robinson has been missing since the June crash, and that rollover "was the only crash recorded on the vehicle's internal systems," a police statement asserts. David Robinson, Daniel's father, isn't buying it. "We concluded the vehicle crashed somewhere else," says Jeff McGrath, a private investigator hired by the elder Robinson.

They also examined San Tan Recon's data, and one thing in particular caught their eye: an 11-mile difference between the crash data report and what the SUV's odometer reads. "The airbags deployed and that vehicle traveled another 11 miles," McGrath says, noting that since he started doing crash reconstructions nearly 20 years ago, he's never seen such a discrepancy. The report out of the Buckeye Police Department, which shows more than 40 ignition cycles after the crash, does note that 11-mile discrepancy but says it "is not considered unusual," per CNN. "Similar discrepancies have been noted by Jeep dealership service departments and other crash reconstructionists," the report adds.

Daniel's brother, Roger Cawley-Robinson, has another bone to pick with police. "My father did a lot in the beginning trying to push and get things moving, pleading with the police," Cawley-Robinson says, noting his father begged for searches to take place right after his brother went missing near his work site on June 23. According to a police timeline cited by, cops conducted ground searches near the work site on June 24 and 25, as well as on July 6, and air searches on June 25, then again on July 9 and 10. The SUV was found by a rancher on July 19. Assistant Police Chief Bob Sanders said in September that his officers had "covered all of our bases," per CNN. (Read more missing person stories.)

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