KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — After nearly 40 years, progress in a missing person’s case out of Kansas City, Missouri and questions surrounding human remains found in Clay County collide.
The Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) and Clay County Sheriff’s Office are now trying to figure out how Gwendolyn Robinson died and who killed her.
Robinson disappeared in 1983, nearly 40 years ago.
“I’m asking for the community’s help,” daughter Deoina Mitchell said.
She was only 2 years old when she saw her mom for the last time.
“I’ve spent my entire life looking for my mother, wondering where was she at, what happened to her,” Mitchell said.
She recently got some of those answers.
This summer, Mitchell walked into KCPD to reignite her mother’s missing persons case that had gone cold.
That’s when KCPD Analyst Darin Lee saw Robinson’s picture and remembers a composite he saw five years prior. The composite was created from a 3D scan of a skull found in rural Clay County.
“I thought it was very close similarity,” Lee said. “That’s when we decided to go down that road to see if it was.”
Robinson’s DNA and the remains were a match.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office found the human remains nearly 40 years ago.
Since then, cold case detectives followed about 300 investigative leads, taking them to missing persons cases all over the country, according to Investigation Sgt. Chris Johnson.
“Remains were thought to have been missing people from Chicago, to Florida, to Missouri and to serial murders out of Overland Park, Kansas,” Johnson said.
At one point, they had information that remains belonged to an 18-22-year-old white female. Further testing showed it was actually a 17-23-year-old Black woman. In 2016, they came out with a new composite, which helped Lee make the connection.
“I hope this will bring renewed faith to people that are still out there, victims, families that are still out there,” Clay County Public Media Relations Manager Sarah Boyd said. “Sometimes these cases get solved in a day, and sometimes it takes years for these cases, and we’re waiting for that missing link, that missing piece of evidence to come forward.”
“Never to give up,” Mitchell said. “When you’re told no, keep going until you have the answers that you need.”
Johnson said this opens up a large box of new leads and new people to talk to, “you’re trying to put together nearly 40 years of history here because you didn’t know who she was, but now that you do, you’ve got to put together her life.”
He hopes this huge development will help them catch Robinson’s Killer.
KCPD and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office are now combining their case files in order to solve Robinson’s murder and give Mitchell some peace.
They’ve already discovered something ironic. Robinson’s remains were found on her birthday, 21 years after she was born.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information on Robinson’s murder to come forward. Contact Sergeant Johnson at 816-407-3723. You can also remain anonymous here.