dale-robinson-fullsizeCourtesy photo Facebook
Dale Robinson has been missing from Moville, Iowa, since Aug. 3, 2013.

Dale R. Robinson

Presumed Deceased

Name: Dale Richard Robinson
Age at Report: 84
Weight: 90 lbs.
Height: 5’06”
Race: White
Hair: Gray
Eyes: Blue
Sex: Male
Incident Type: Endangered / physical
Missing From: Moville, IA
Woodbury County
Investigating Agency: Moville Police Department
Moville PD Case # MPD13-198
Woodbury County SO Case # S13-005867
NamUs MP # 23424
Missing Since: August 3, 2013


The Moville Police Department is asking the public for help in locating Dale Robinson, who was reported missing on Saturday, August 3, 2013. He was 84 years old at the time he disappeared.

He was last seen Aug. 3 while getting gas in Moville at the 4-Way Stop Shop. He left the service station driving his maroon and gray 2000 Ford F-150 single cab pickup — Iowa license plate number 870ZCF, expiry date May 2014 — heading westbound on U.S. Highway 20 toward Sioux City, and may have been en route to Santa Ana or Paramount, California, or St. Joseph, Missouri, according to initial reports.

Robinson, described as 5-foot-6 and weighing between 90 and 116 pounds, suffered from early onset Alzheimer’s.

Dozens of people searched for the well-known Robinson, a retired welder and fabricator who’d operated R&R Sheet Metal in Moville for about 30 years. After retiring from the sheet metal business, Robinson did voluntarily jobs all over the Siouxland area, including mowing the grass at the Woodbury County Fairgrounds in Moville and giving others rides to doctor appointments.

Moville in Woodbury County, IA

Moville in Woodbury County, IA

At the time of his disappearance, he was last seen wearing a maroon plaid shirt with long sleeves and dark-colored blue jeans. He may have carried black glasses in a case. He still lived at home with his wife, Betty.

There have been possible sightings of Robinson in Council Bluffs and Missouri Valley, Iowa.

Robinson’s son, Robert Robinson of Moville, Iowa, has spent almost every weekend driving around with a plat book in search of his father.

“I do a page out of the book, and I cover every single road on that page,” Robert Robinson told the Sioux City Journal in an article dated Nov. 3, 2013.

dale-robinson-family-scjCourtesy photo Molly Montag, Sioux City Journal
Caden Robinson, 8, holds a picture of his great-grandfather, Dale Robinson, in Moville, Iowa, on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. Caden Robinson is joined by, from left, Robert Robinson, Dale’s son; Patti Robinson, Dale’s daughter-in-law; and Holly Robinson, Caden’s mom and Dale Robinson’s granddaughter.

According to the Journal, the last verified sighting was Aug. 3 surveillance footage showing Robinson driving through the parking lot at the former Argosy riverboat casino along the Missouri River in Sioux City. Though not a gambler, Dale Robinson often would pick up his wife, Betty, from the riverboat.

The Journal said family members struggle not knowing what happened to the kind, quiet, generous man who liked to keep busy. A welder, Robinson would scour roadside ditches for abandoned hay rakes to fashion into peacock yard ornaments. He made dozens, sold some to admirers and placed others unannounced in the yards of family and friends.

Robert’s wife, Patti, told the Journal:

“You’d look out your window and there’d be some peacocks there. Dale would have come over, dug the hole, put the peacocks in and walked away. He was kind of that kind of guy.”

The family said not knowing what happened is a helpless feeling.

“I have troubles with the emotions thinking that he’s out there somewhere by himself and that he’s passed, alone and scared, (with) no family around him, no nothing,” Robert Robinson told the Journal. “That’s the hardest part for me. Yes, it’s difficult to lose somebody but the majority of time they have family around them when they do pass.”

The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office has entered Dale Robinson’s pickup truck in a national database, so if it shows up, local authorities will be notified. Until then, there’s little they can do, said Maj. Tony Wingert in a Journal story published July 31, 2018.

“I’d love to know what happened to that truck. That truck would lead us to Dale,” Wingert told the Journal. “It’s just frustrating. You want to help the family get some closure. I wish we could do more.”

Information Needed

If you have any information about what may have happened to Dale Robinson, please contact Det. Norm Peterson at the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office at (712) 279-6010, or call the Moville Police Department at (712) 870-1250.

Dental information and charting is available and entered through NamUs.

A DNA sample has been submitted and tests are complete.


15 Responses to Dale Robinson

  1. Dean Rhodes says:

    I have since looked at a bigger computer and my tablet has better views then the desk top. I hope they don’t brush this off because their not seeing it!

  2. Dean Rhodes says:

    After watching some of the adventures with a purpose, one show talked about a google maps find in Florida of a car in the water. Since I’ve heard of this story years ago sticking in my head I researched for any updates on Dale being found. Not not able to sleep I played around on google maps and looked up and down the river banks. I’ve boated that river for years and know some basics of the river flows. I spotted a red color. Spot on the screen up river from the Iowa side boat ramp but down street from the big Sioux inlet. I called in to the phone number listed and gave them the latitude and longitude numbers. The lady and I talked over the location but the views are tough to see and I don’t know if she was seeing what I saw. I took a photo of the better shot that I saw , but she didn’t seem to want to see it or have me send it to her, but I hope I’m wrong. I will share it with other authorities when I’m back home from the holidays and try a look on a better computer then my tablet!

  3. […] instances of Helen Kelly, Thomas Doughtery and Dale Robinson all have been open for a long time and they all have a person concept in frequent. Not only is the […]

  4. Anonymous says:

    Have they checked Junk Yards or Impound Lots for the vehicle?

    Junk Yards / Impound Lots should have to enter any license plates / VIN numbers into a database to easily track…..

  5. Frank C says:

    I would say 99% likelihood that him and the truck went into the Mo. river near the old Argosy Casino location in Sioux City.

    • Patrick Kerrigan says:

      Frank, that’s sounds like a possibilty, from the map showing the location. However, if there is a current his vehicle could have been carried downstream. However, it depends on the depth of the river in the area. Thee are a number of vehicles found underwater, that contained remains of some people missing for years. The problem is spending the money to conduct a search. The main tool is side scanning sonar. It also time consuming endeavor.

      • Patrick Kerrigan says:

        Frank, I checked a map and did not see any lock and dams on the Missouri, so the vehicle could floated downstream. Would there have been a boat ramp near the casino. Also was this a populated area, and if he entered the river would anyone have heard or seen anything.

        • Patrick Kerrigan says:

          I searched on-line for more information on the Missouri River, and the main channel depth was about 6 feet. However, a few Coast Guard vessels ran aground, so it was deepened to about 9 feet. Their was no mention of how wide the river is.

          I could not find any reference to what the current speed was. But there are some dams on the river, but they are connected to generating electricity.

          Frank, you mention a Argosy Casino, however, it does not appear on any of the AAA Road Maps I have of Sioux City. There is one in Kansas City, along the river.

          So, if his vehicle went into the river, it might not have gotten into the main channel. But, I don’t know the dimensions of the Ford F-150.

          • Jody Ewing says:

            Patrick, with all due respect, many, many efforts were made by local law enforcement agencies to try and locate Mr. Robinson. If you read any of the newspaper stories published about his disappearance (under “Sources,” it includes links to those articles), you will see what investigators have done thus far, and it is substantial.

            In any story about Dale Robinson’s disappearance, one cannot reasonably expect the reporter to “mention how wide the river is/was at the time” or the speed of its current. But, for what it’s worth, when LE officials do believe a person and his/her vehicle may have gone into a river, the depth and current are obviously taken into consideration during the investigation’s initial first phases.

            I’m well aware (from your multiple comments throughout this site) that you are a former investigator with the VA Hospital in Chicago and investigated items/things that “went missing” from the hospital, to include veterans that disappeared. It’s not uncommon for veterans (or even civilians for that matter) to voluntarily leave a medical facility, but when VA patients go missing, there’s at least a reasonable amount of knowledge as to where the patient may “likely” have gone. Not so with civilian cases, particularly when one appears to have just vanished into thin air.

            Jody at ICC

            • Patrick Kerrigan says:

              I was just responding to Frank’s comments. I was looking into stuff about the Missouri River. If you are familiar with the missing Guthrie Family from New York. The local authorities said that her vehicle could not have gone through the ice into a local lake. That you could have driven a car onto the ice.

              However, someone who lived in the area commented that she would not consider it smart to have driven a car or other vehicle onto the ice of this lake or any other one. So, I was looking at the Missouri River, to satisfy my interest, in one way.

              Since, we have found a few stolen vehicles in one of artificial canals that were built or added on to the Chicago River. The Chicago River’s flow was changed to take the garbage, and whatever down stream and away from Lake Michigan.

              One of them contained the remains of a Diane Masters, whose husband was an attorney for the Chicago Mob, and involved in corruption in law enforcement and political areas in this neck of the woods. He decided to get rid of her before she revealed his connections,

              • FrankC says:

                A human body is one thing, it is fairly small and will decompose over time. But the truck can’t fly away, is easily indentified by license plate or VIN, and will not decompose. So it should have turned up by now. So, unless you are inclined to believe he met with foul play (I strongly doubt it), the truck, and probably him, is in all likelihood submerged in a body of water. What are the other options? Truck isn’t gonna disappear. Go ahead and google the lake in Oklahoma where two cars were found containing the bodies of 6 missing persons from the 60’s and 70’s. Or the 3 missing vermillion girls found in the creek in their car after 40 years. If a person and their vehicle disappear into thin air, it’s submerged or foul play was involved, period, end of story. I lean very strongly towards he accidentally drove into a body of water.

                • Patrick Kerrigan says:

                  Frank, I agree with your comments about the the lake in Oklahoma. I have been trying to collect information on these cases from around the country. Sometime last year a man, while cutting his grass noticed part of a vehicle sticking out from a pond on his property. The authorities drained it and found the vehicle of a woman missing after leaving a veterans post supposedly driving home, on a Indian reservation.

                  Side scanning sonar has been used in a number of these cases. It also expensive to conduct a search. I have been looking at one of the tools we used in the U.S. Navy, to search for submarines called Magnetic Anomaly
                  Detection. It’s was something we had on land based P-3C Orions, and also on some navy helicopters.

                  It might something faster. Also, I wonder about the Unmanned Underwater vehicles the U.S. Navy is testing. They might be more useful, to use, with a model, with out all the bells and whistles, they have.

  6. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    I am frustrated that someone with that diagnosis was still driving. He puts himself and others at risk. He been missing since 2013, and presumed deceased. He should have been monitored more closely.

  7. Leslie says:

    I’m from the other side of the state. are there bodies of water near where he disappeared or was possibly sited? This breaks my heart

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