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Dateline: Missing in America podcast covers the February 2019 disappearance of Jasmine Robinson in Archer, Florida

Josh Mankiewicz reports.

Play Episode 3 of the second season of Dateline: Missing in America Podcast below and click here to follow.

Read the transcript here:

Life can only be understood backwards, said a philosopher. Unfortunately, it has to be lived forwards.

Throughout the course of her 88 years, Miss Rosa Robinson has raised her children and some of her children’s children. The woman they call “Mama” has weathered many storms over the decades, humbly describing life’s twists and turns as “tough.” 

Having come through it, Miss Rosa beams with a sense of accomplishment, because all her kids and grandkids made it through the challenges, they encountered along their journey.

Well, make that almost all of them. These days, like the rest of her family, Miss Rosa is looking backwards, searching for a trace of her 23-year-old granddaughter, Jasmine Robinson.

Rosa Robinson: “Jasmine, I miss you. I just miss you, baby. I can't sleep sometime at night. I'd be wanting to see you, but I'd be thinking there, but no she's not there.”

Miss Rosa says she’ll never forget the moment when everything changed for her family. It was the winter of 2019, and a cool rain pelted the small town of Archer, Florida. It was cloudy, gloomy, and that darkness in the sky would soon settle in over the Robinsons, who’d made a life there for generations.

If you follow Florida State Route 24 southwest from Gainesville -- and if you don’t blink -- you’ll run right through Archer, population 1,100.

Shantavia Robinson: “Archer, it is a very small, little country town. We only have one red light, maybe like four stores -- four or five stores. We're from Archer. We have been in Archer all our lives.”

That’s Shantavia, Jasmine’s older sister. They were both born and raised in Archer by Miss Rosa, their grandmother.

The town always felt safe, like being wrapped up inside a security blanket of good neighbors. 

Until February 18, 2019, when -- just like that -- Jasmine vanished in the night.

I’m Josh Mankiewicz and this is Missing in America, a podcast from Dateline. This story, like so many, involves a family searching for answers. So listen carefully. You might have some information that can help them find Jasmine.

One thing the Robinson family has on their side is a dogged detective — someone who’s taken her case personally.

Josh Mankiewicz: “Why has this case stuck with you?”

Det. Chris Weitzel: “I've got children myself. I kind of -- I feel for the Robinsons. Because if this would happen to my family, I would want somebody to work as diligently as I have to try and give me some answers.”

Chris Weitzel is a detective with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. He believes the answers he’s seeking lie within the tiny borders of Archer.

Det. Chris Weitzel: “We're continuing this investigation. We're using new techniques and re-examining all evidence that we have on this case to bring her home.”

And while Weitzel is searching, Miss Rosa is praying... that he will uncover the truth about what happened to Jasmine that Monday night between 7 and 8 o’clock.

That day was really pretty typical for Jasmine, with the backdrop of a dreary winter. She had worked her usual shift at McDonald’s -- a job she loved -- and was ready for her grandmother to pick her up, since Jasmine didn’t have a car of her own.

Rosa Robinson: “She called me on the phone, and she got ready to get off of work, you know, before I get down. She said, ‘Mommy, you on your way?’ I said, ‘Yeah,’ and she said, ‘OK.’ So -- but when I got there, she looked like -- an attitude, like somebody had been calling her and messing with her mind and stuff.”

Jasmine did tell her grandmother she’d been getting some upsetting phone calls at work.

Rosa Robinson: “She told me something was happening. She didn’t tell me what, but she told me something was happening. And she --. Water was coming out of her eyes, ‘cause they had been trying to talk to her on the job and she got really offended.”

When Miss Rosa got to McDonald’s she tried to get more out of Jasmine, whom she called Jazz.

No luck. Her granddaughter still wouldn’t go into detail about what was bothering her.

Rosa Robinson: “So, I picked her up and took her to home. So I figured she went on in and took her shower and everything, and closed her room door and everything and I went in my room.”

Then the two went into their separate bedrooms for the night. It would be the last time Miss Rosa would see her granddaughter.

Rosa Robinson: “I was sleeping in the back room and Jazz was more on the front part of the house. And, uh, I don't even know what time she went. The next day I looked, and I called -- and no Jazz.”

No Jazz. This immediately struck Miss Rosa as bizarre, because most mornings, like clockwork, Jasmine would rise and shine, and then head for the kitchen to whip up some breakfast for the two of them. That morning, as the sun tried its best to peek through the cloudy skies, something was off about Jasmine’s absence from her home. It turned out she wasn’t at work, either.

Josh Mankiewicz: “Were you worried? Was that frightening?”

Rosa Robinson: “Yes, it was. Because I never knew her to go off and not let me know where she's standing. I mean, I know sometimes young folks -- they don't tell you everything they do, but sometimes you can raise them right, and they will tell you some of the things that they're doing. But I never did find out, you know, exactly what she was doing.”

Jasmine was nowhere to be found. And the following day, on February 19th, she didn’t show up to her scheduled doctor’s appointment.

Her sister Shantavia:

Shantavia Robinson: “She wouldn't have skipped her doctor's appointment. And for her just to miss work and stuff like that, that's not her either.”

After calling around to friends and family, Shantavia reached out to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. She reported her baby sister, Jasmine, missing on February 20, 2019.

That was more than four years ago. No one’s heard from Jasmine Robinson since.

Josh Mankiewicz: “You must have been very worried.”

Shantavia Robinson: “Yes, sir, I was. Because not hearing or seeing my sister, you know, that's very unusual. I really don't know where she could have been, you know, because Jasmine never goes nowhere and really stays off like that. Especially not by calling anybody or -- you know.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “What went through your mind? I mean, did you think something terrible had happened?”

Shantavia Robinson: “After not hearing from her those couple of days, I don't want to say I was thinking anything happened to her. I want to say, you know, maybe she, you know, went off and just, you know, just hung out or, you know. But as of thinking something bad happened, I don't want to say I was thinking something, you know.

Josh Mankiewicz: “Because you don't wanna think about that.”

Shantavia Robinson: “And that's not her. You know?”

When Miss Rosa thinks about her granddaughter, she always goes back to the little girl she raised.

Rosa Robinson: “Jazz was a good kid. She was at school -- she was in a lot of things at school. And even to the --. She would go to Sunday school, this church on the Jonesville Road out there.”

Jasmine loved playing basketball and hanging out with her sister Shantavia, four years her senior. To Shantavia, now 31, Jasmine wasn’t just her younger sister -- she was her everything.

Shantavia Robinson: “Growing up with Jasmine, we had good times, we had bad times, we even had some of the best times it was. We all grew up as a family, around my grandmother and my granddad. She was a fun person to be around. She was a loving person.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “What kind of stuff did you two do together? She was four years younger. I'm guessing that growing up, she wasn't always your best friend.”

Shantavia Robinson: “She was always my best friend, but having other siblings, it wasn't anything bad. She was just --. You know how other siblings get on your nerves? It was just one of those types, but she was my best friend that I can talk to, call, text, hang out with.”

And on one of those days when the two were hanging out a few months before Jasmine’s disappearance, Shantavia learned something surprising about her sister.

And now Shantavia believes it could have a little -- or a lot -- to do with what happened to her.

Shortly after Jasmine Robinson disappeared, her missing person’s report arrived on the desk of Detective Chris Weitzel, with the Alachua County, Florida Sheriff’s Office. That was late February 2019. He’s been working on her case ever since.

Josh Mankiewicz: “What happened to Jasmine?”

Det. Chris Weitzel: “That's what we're trying to figure out, sir. We know on February 20th, Alachua County Sheriff's Office received a call from Ms. Robinson's family reporting her missing, and we've been backtracking her steps since then.”

Detective Weitzel has pieced together some key elements of the night she went missing. To him, a couple of things stood out. First, those upsetting phone calls Jasmine received at work. What were they about? And there was something else: Jasmine left her grandmother’s home without a car of her own.

Josh Mankiewicz: “She didn't have a car. Somebody must have come and gotten her.”

Det. Chris Weitzel: “Yes, sir. We don't believe Jasmine was going to be gone for an extended period of time. She had her money and personal belongings there at that home. We do know she took her cell phone with her.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “What’s your best sense of whether or not she left the house willingly? Or was forced or compelled to leave in some way?”

Det. Chris Weitzel: “We don't know at this time. Nobody at the residence saw her leave. So, we're trying to backtrack all her electronic data to help locate her.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “You're trying to find the path her cell phone took.”

Det. Weitzel: “Yes, sir. We're estimating from our phone activity from about 7 o'clock p.m. that night.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “And how far away did she go?”

Det. Weitzel: “We believe from the area in northern Alachua County that we searched, that's about -- roughly estimating off the top of my head -- possibly 10 miles, 20 miles north.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “Can you tell me anything about where you think she might've gone? I mean, you're able -- I presume you're able to track the path of her cell phone to some extent.”

Det. Weitzel: “Yes, sir. We conducted several searches here in Alachua County and in neighboring counties. It led us to Marion County, Florida, where we searched an area -- Levy County, Florida -- just south of Ms. Robinson's residence. And we also searched a local area in northern Alachua County.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “This is a rural area, meaning that she wasn't driving past a dozen houses with doorbell cameras.”

Det. Weitzel: “There are no video cameras out there.”

And of course, the detective had to tackle the big questions: Why would Jasmine leave the house that night? Could she be running away from something? And if she left with someone -- who was it?

The detective learned something he believed must have been on Jasmine’s mind in those days before she vanished. She was facing possible jail time on a theft charge. Weitzel pulled up a police report showing Jasmine’s arrest on September 13th, 2018, for grand theft and fraudulent use of a credit card. 

She was supposed to appear in court on February 28th but went missing just 10 days before her court date. Detective Weitzel said that case is still open, and a warrant was issued for Jasmine’s arrest after her missed court appearance.

Her family and the detective do not believe that brush with the law was the reason she went missing. That’s because of something else that was going on in Jasmine’s life. Shantavia told the detective that a few months before her disappearance, Jasmine was concerned and feeling ill. The two sisters made a trip to the hospital and received some stunning news.

Shantavia Robinson: “She was saying she couldn't hold anything down. So when we went to the emergency room, she found out she was pregnant.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “Yeah, there's nothing wrong with your stomach young lady, you're pregnant.”

Shantavia Robinson: “Right. Right.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “Was she happy about being pregnant?”

Shantavia Robinson: “She was happy, but then you could also tell that something was going on that she didn't want to tell anybody or talk to anybody about.”

Shantavia says eventually Jasmine did talk about it. And it came out in the hours before she disappeared, involving those phone calls Jasmine was receiving at work.

Shantavia says her sister told her the calls were part of an ongoing argument with a man -- and not just any man. According to Shantavia, it was the man Jasmine believed to be the father of her unborn baby.

Shantavia Robinson: “She was upset about the father of the unborn child -- about him calling her job and messaging her.”

The two sisters spoke by video chat after Jasmine finished handing out Happy Meals that night.

Josh Mankiewicz: “Who’d she tell you the father was?”

Shantavia Robinson: “She told me, is how she put it, she told me I knew the guy. I knew the guy because, you know, by being in Archer, she told me that I knew him. So I was asking her, well, you know, ‘Hey, who is it?’ And she wouldn't tell me, you know? And I kept pressuring her and pressuring her, and then she finally, you know, came out and told me.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “What kind of guy is he?”

Shantavia Robinson: “ I really don't know what type of guy he is. I never, you know, not really hung out of, like, how him and Jasmine did. I just know him, you know. Him being in Archer, you know, he had family in Archer.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “Did you ever see him and Jasmine together?”

Shantavia Robinson: “I didn't.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “Including after she was pregnant -- he was not hanging with her?”

Shantavia Robinson: “No, not that I can recall.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “I mean -- was he her boyfriend?”

Shantavia Robinson: “I’m not gonna say he was a boyfriend to her, because he was married. I think it was just like a friend thing. I don't think it was like a relationship-type thing.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “What -- do you know what his reaction was to Jasmine being pregnant?”

Shantavia Robinson: “Unfortunately, his reaction to her being pregnant was he didn't want her to have the baby.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “He made that clear.”

Shantavia Robinson: “Yes. He didn't want her to have the baby. And on top of that, his wife found out.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “You ever talk to him about this?”

Shantavia Robinson: “Talk to the father? No, sir. I don't.”

Detective Weitzel says there’s an electronic message trail that backs up some of what Jasmine told her sister. He was able to retrieve a heated exchange of Facebook messages from Jasmine’s phone in the 24 hours leading up to her disappearance.

Det. Weitzel: “I know there had been some social media postings that had been going on with Ms. Robinson and the suspected father of her child. She had outed who the father of her child was, and this caused his wife to find out about it.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “And that was right before she disappeared.”

Det. Weitzel: “Yes, sir.”

According to the detective, the next day Jasmine received those phone calls at McDonald’s.

Josh Mankiewicz: “That last day, you don't know who it was that called her at work.”

Det. Weitzel: “From cellular records, I believe I have a person of interest in that.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “Do you know what it was that Jasmine was told that last day that upset her?”

Det. Weitzel: “I can only speculate that makes her upset. And I know from speaking with the Robinsons, I know the father of her unborn child did not want to have a child because him himself was married.”

That wasn’t the only twist surrounding Jasmine’s pregnancy. Her grandmother and sister were more than happy to welcome a new addition to the family. Except, for those who knew Jasmine well, this new pregnancy had an added element of surprise.

Jasmine Robinson was approximately six months pregnant when she went missing from the home she shared with her grandmother, Miss Rosa, back in February 2019.

Jasmine’s pregnancy wasn’t planned, but there was another aspect to it that surprised her friends and family.

Det. Weitzel: “I think, from speaking of the Robinsons, it kind of took them by shock. Jasmine was a lesbian, so I think it kind of shocked them when they found out she was pregnant and she was with child with this man.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “I guess they weren't the only ones shocked. How's that happen?”

Det. Weitzel: “I don't know, sir.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “Well, that does, sort of, it does put a different light on this, doesn't it?”

Det. Weitzel: “Yes, sir.”

Now Jasmine’s pregnancy -- and the circumstances surrounding it -- became a major focus of Detective Weitzel’s investigation.

Josh Mankiewicz: “You're convinced that she was not interested in men at all, except this man.”

Det. Weitzel: “From what all our interviews have brought up that Jasmine was a lesbian.”

Interviews with people like her sister Shantavia, who says she knew only of Jasmine dating women. And to her knowledge, the father of Jasmine’s baby was the only man her sister ever had a sexual encounter with.

Det. Weitzel: “So, we still haven't determined why Jasmine had this relationship or if it was a one-time thing. But we don't know.“

Josh Mankiewicz: “And ultimately, that doesn't really matter.”

Det. Weitzel: “No, sir. She is still a crime victim. The child is still a crime victim.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “And they're both still missing.”

Det. Weitzel: “They’re both still missing.”

Law enforcement has no way to verify who the father of Jasmine’s child actually is. 

Her baby hadn’t been born, and she had not taken a paternity test. Detective Weitzel was able to confirm the name of the man Jasmine believed to be the father: a 56-year-old man named Christopher Wiggins.

Wiggins is a one-time resident of Archer and by no means a stranger to law enforcement.

According to Detective Weitzel, prior to Jasmine’s disappearance, Wiggins was a nine-time convicted felon. Among his crimes: cocaine possession, robbery with a firearm, and felony battery.

Det. Weitzel: “I personally had never had any interactions with him prior to this, but he does have a lengthy history. I know he was arrested after the disappearance of Ms. Robinson for an armed robbery, and he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for that.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “And he's locked up right now, as we speak.”

Det. Weitzel: “Yes, sir. Correct.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “That was an armed robbery in which he had a gun.”

Det. Weitzel: “There was a firearm involved and two other co-defendants in that case.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “You've spoken to the other co-defendants about his possible involvement in Ms. Robinson's disappearance.”

Det. Weitzel: “I've spoken to them about his involvement and possibly their involvement as well.”

According to the arrest report, obtained by Dateline, Wiggins, and the other two defendants robbed a Bojangles restaurant in Florida on February 13th, 2019. They took hostages at gunpoint and later left the scene with nearly $2,000. Detective Weitzel confirmed that four days later, on February 17th, Jasmine had that heated exchange on social media, outing the man she believed was the father of her baby to his family on Facebook messenger.

The next day, according to the detective, Jasmine received the phone calls at work that she said upset her. And then, later that night, on February 18th, Jasmine vanished.

Christopher Wiggins wasn’t arrested for the armed robbery until July, months after her disappearance.

Beyond Wiggins’s criminal past, which is documented, his history with Jasmine isn’t quite as clear on paper or otherwise.

Josh Mankiewicz: “What have you learned about the relationship that existed between Jasmine and Chris before the pregnancy?”

Det. Weitzel: “I don't know if there was really a relationship before Jasmine became pregnant. From our interview standpoint and speaking of people -- Archer’s a tight-knit community. We believe Ms. Robinson possibly just hung out with these folks in an area and got to know Chris.”

There’s one thing her family believes in their hearts when it comes to Christopher Wiggins.

Josh Mankiewicz: “You think he had something to do with Jasmine disappearing and you think it's about that baby.”

Shantavia Robinson: “Yes, sir. Because she said she was not gonna get rid of her baby.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “He wanted her to have an abortion.”

Shantavia Robinson: “He told her that he would pay for the abortion, and she wanted to have the baby.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “Because she loved him? She thought he would leave his wife and marry her? Or she just wanted to be a mom?”

Shantavia Robinson: “I think she just wanted to be a mom. I don't think it had anything to want to, you know, to be with him or for him to leave his wife and to be, you know, and to be with her. I don't think or see it that way.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “So, she wanted to just keep the baby, be a mom. But in that situation, he would have to pay child support.”

Shantavia Robinson: “Right.”

Det. Weitzel: “He is a person of interest. We have several suspects in this case. He has been interviewed regarding this investigation.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “Where was Christopher Wiggins the night Jasmine Robinson disappeared?”

Det. Weitzel: “He was in Archer, Florida, sir.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “So, conceivably, he could have been the person that came over to her house and got her to leave.”

Det. Weitzel: “Possibly.”

We sent a letter to Christopher Wiggins -- formerly of Archer and now residing in the Florida State Correctional system -- asking what he knows about Jasmine Robinson’s disappearance. We haven’t heard back.

In our interview, Detective Weitzel made clear Wiggins is just one of his persons of interest; he believes others could also have been involved. He told me he couldn’t give many more details because the case is still an active investigation.

Josh Mankiewicz: “What lies ahead in this investigation? I mean, you've talked to a bunch of people, you have some persons of interest. You certainly have been asking questions of the man that she identified as the baby's father, but nobody's given it up.”

Det. Weitzel: “No, sir. Archer is a real tight-knit community. Both the Robinson family and our, presumably, child's father -- he has a very large family as well. It's a very close-knit, down-to-earth town, so people are often hesitant on talking when you're dealing with these tight-knit communities. But I’m hoping this will generate some more leads -- get people talking. We need to do the right thing by the Robinson family and bring Jasmine home.”

In our interview, Detective Weitzel wanted to speak directly to the community he serves and protects -- hoping to give the Robinson family some answers, even though he now thinks they won’t be the answers Miss Rosa has been praying for.

Det. Weitzel: “It’s been four years. It's time to bring Jasmine home. Her family needs some closure. They need to move on. And both Jasmine and this young child -- they need to be given a proper burial and start this grieving process for the family. They've been heartbroken for the past four years. They have no answers, and they just want her home.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “You’re convinced there are people who know what happened to Jasmine – people who are not currently incarcerated?”

Det. Weitzel: “Yes, sir.”

When Jasmine disappeared in 2019, she was preparing for the May birth of her baby.

Josh Mankiewicz: “And she knew she was having a little girl.”

Shantavia Robinson: “Yes, which she had the name Jamilia.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “How'd she find that name?”

Shantavia Robinson: “I think it was just a name that she just thought of, you know, and her name started with a J and she was wanting the baby name to start with a J.”

She was excited to become a mother and her family was filled with that same joy and eager to help out.

Shantavia Robinson: “She has family that was going to be there for her and the baby. We have my aunties, we have cousins.”

Jasmine Robinson never came back. And the questions about her disappearance have never gone away. Did she leave on her own? Did she want to start a new life with her child? Was she running from something or someone? Or did someone take her away?

All those questions remain unanswered.

Josh Mankiewicz: “Do you believe Jasmine Robinson or her daughter are still alive?”

Det. Weitzel: “She was a young female. There has been no cellular activity on her device, no social media activity on her devices, and no banking activity. There has been no births with this child. So there's been nothing. Jasmine Robinson and her child have disappeared off the face of the earth.”

Today, Jamilia would be 4 years old and Jasmine would be 27. Shantavia says these last four years have been unbearable.

Shantavia Robinson: “I love her and I would want for her and the baby to come home and we all be home together and talk about, ‘Why have this been going on for so long and nobody heard from you?’”

Josh Mankiewicz: “You think about her every day, don't you?”

Shantavia Robinson: “Yes, sir.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “You think your sister's still with us?”

Shantavia Robinson: “That's how I want to feel.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “Is this one of those times when your heart and your head are telling you two different things?”

Shantavia Robinson: “Right.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “But you're gonna hang on.”

Shantavia Robinson: “Yes, sir.”

Josh Mankiewicz: “Because she's your sister.”

Shantavia Robinson: “Yes, sir. Just knowing that we normally hear from her and over four years now that we don't hear from her. So we don't know what to think -- to think that she's not here with us or she is here with us.”

Every day Miss Rosa pleads with God to bring her granddaughter and her great-granddaughter home.

Rosa Robinson: “Just praying and praying that one day, you know, God would reveal it, you know, or something. God is a good God. He knows everything.”

Jasmine Robinson is 5’2” and 150 lbs. She wears black-framed glasses and has brown eyes and black, braided hair.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for Jasmine’s disappearance -- which was in February 2019.

If you have any information, call Detective Chris Weitzel with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, at 352-367-4161 or call Crimestoppers, at 352-372-7867. 

Any tips can remain anonymous.

To learn more about other people we’ve covered in our “Missing in America” series -- and to view photos of Jasmine -- go to

There, you’ll be able to submit cases you think we should cover in the future.