Fathers of Daniel Robinson and Gabby Petito speak together at CrimeCon about disparities in cases

The father of missing Daniel Robinson joined other families of missing people to bring attention to their cases.
Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 7:18 PM MST
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ORLANDO, FL (3TV/CBS 5) - The dad of a missing Valley man is joining forces with a high-profile family to get justice for his son.

Daniel Robinson went missing in Buckeye in 2021. Around that same time, Gabby Petito also went missing; she was eventually found dead, and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, admitted to the crime before dying by suicide. Robinson is still missing, and his dad fought for his son’s case to get the same attention as Petito’s, so both families took the stage together at CrimeCon this past weekend.

“Hey, look. Nobody wants to be part of that club, but we are. We are like family now. We share in the same pains and burdens,” said David Robinson, Daniel’s father. He’s been fighting tirelessly to find his son, geologist Daniel Robinson, who disappeared from a work site in the Buckeye desert in June 2021. Detectives found his jeep crashed nearly a month later, about four miles from where he was last seen, with his clothes and his belongings at the accident site, but he has never been seen again.

Just a couple of months later, Gabby Petito went missing on a cross-country vlogging road trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie. Her case gained international attention from the media and law enforcement almost immediately. David Robinson built a friendship with Petito’s father, Joe Petito, and the two took the stage together at CrimeCon this past weekend.

“We had a platform where we were talking about ‘white woman syndrome, said Robinson. “As well as being able to talk about our individual cases and how the disparities are.” That idea is that missing white women receive more attention and resources than families of missing loved ones of other races, a topic Robinson said Petito’s father was extremely receptive to. “He told me he’s doing everything he can moving forward to help families of all races get the attention that they need in every case because every case should have that equal amount of attention,” said Robinson.

Robinson said while most of his son’s disappearance revolves around Buckeye and the vast desert out there, he’s now focusing on where his son lived in Tempe and who may have been there before he vanished. “I’m looking into my son’s apartment. You know, these things are very important that we don’t hear in the report, that we don’t hear in the public,” Robinson said.

Robinson said having the opportunity to speak onstage and have a booth at CrimeCon was a great way to find new resources and support, doing everything he could across the country to keep Daniel’s name at the forefront. “I always think about him every time. He doesn’t have a voice. I’m his voice for him,” he said.

Robinson has waited for the weather to cool down, but he’s working on organizing another search this fall for his son in Buckeye, just working on gathering resources and nonprofits to help and support the volunteer searchers that come out.

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