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Arrest made in case of 2017 disappearance of Akia Eggleston

Akia Eggleston was eight months pregnant when she disappeared in May of 2017

On Thursday, February 3, 2022, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby held a press conference to announce the arrest of a suspect in the case of missing Maryland woman, Akia Eggleston. Eggleston vanished in May of 2017. She was eight months pregnant at the time of her disappearance. “On Tuesday at 4 p.m., in Muskegon, Michigan, officers arrested Michael Robertson for the murder of 22-year-old Akia Eggleston, and her unborn child,” Mosby announced from the podium where she was joined by Akia’s family, Baltimore Police Department detectives and Supervisory Special Agent Shayne Buchwald of FBI-Baltimore. Robertson was the father of Akia’s unborn child.

Akia was reported missing by family members on May 7, 2017, after she failed to show up to her own baby shower. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the last time anyone saw Akia alive was on the afternoon of May 3, 2017. Akia’s case was featured in Dateline’s Missing in America series in September of that year. At that time, very little was known about Akia’s movements in the days before she disappeared.

On Thursday the state’s attorney’s office released the full statement of probable cause in Akia’s case. “Based on her pattern of life, the time passed, extensive publicity, multiple searches, and monetary reward for information in this case,” the document stated, “the fact that Eggleston has not returned to her family or been electronically or physically located overwhelmingly indicates that she is in fact, deceased.” The document details Akia’s last days as revealed “by interviews, financial records, telephone records, and social media communications,” and alleges that the investigation “revealed the only person with the motive, means, and opportunity to murder Eggleston was the purported father of her unborn child, Michael Robertson.”

While Akia’s body has not been found, the statement of probable cause revealed that in October of 2017, following the airing of a local television news report on Akia’s case, “Robertson’s Google searches for “where does Baltimore city trash go when picked up”, “BALTIMORE City Dumpster pickup”, and “baltimore city landfill” indicate what may have happened to Eggleston’s remains.”

Michael Robertson is being held on bond in Michigan, where he currently resides. In its press release Thursday, the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s office stated that Robertson faces “a maximum penalty of two life sentences in prison if found guilty of all charges which include two counts of First Degree Murder,” while also cautioning that “an arrest is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial.”

At Thursday’s press conference, Baltimore State’s Attorney Mosby said, “I give a special thanks to the family of Akia Eggleston, for never giving up in their pursuit of justice for Akia and her unborn child.”

Supervisory Special Agent Shayne Buchwald with FBI-Baltimore also spoke. “For nearly five years, the people of Baltimore have searched, hoped and mourned with Akia’s family and friends,” she said. “But they never gave up, and neither did we.” Buchenwald added that while Akia’s body still hasn’t been found, “we hope this arrest brings a level of comfort and closure to Akia’s family.”

Members of Akia’s family also addressed the media Thursday. “Thank you to everyone for their thoughts and their prayers,” Akia’s aunt, Sanobia Wilson, said. “For keeping hope for our family that we would find her alive. Even though the evidence says something different -- that she’s not. We just want to say thank you and just to please continue to keep us in your prayers.”

Akia’s stepfather, Shawn Wilkinson, took to the podium to thank the investigating agencies who worked on Akia’s case. He also brought attention to an issue that is all too common. "Domestic violence is real and when it happens, we need to address it," Wilkinson said. "The family seeks justice in Akia's case. It has affected so many relationships and we will continue to stand united as a family until the final judgment in this case has been rendered."