The father of a missing pregnant Baltimore woman’s unborn child has been arrested on murder charges nearly five years after her disappearance, authorities said Thursday.
Michael Robertson, 41, was arrested Tuesday in Michigan on two counts of first-degree murder charges in the death of Akia Eggleston and the couple’s unborn child, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby told reporters at a press conference.
Eggleston, 22, was reported missing by her family after she failed to show up to her baby shower on May 7, 2017. The woman who was eight months pregnant at the time was last seen alive four days earlier, Mosby said.
“Eggleston was excited to be moving in with the father of her child, Michael Robertson, who was in a relationship with another 22-year-old woman that had recently given birth to his second child,” Mosby told reporters.
But Robertson had other plans, Mosby said, ultimately concocting an elaborate ruse about a fake move that led to Eggleston withdrawing cash for a down payment.
The expecting mom was last seen on May 3 on surveillance camera at a bank where she deposited $572 before making a cash withdrawal, Mosby said.
Eggleston then returned to her Baltimore home, Mosby said, citing phone records that put her there at about 3 to 4 p.m. on May 3. Robertson’s phone, meanwhile, was at his job when he received a phone call from Eggleston at 3:44 p.m. – their last contact between them, according to a statement of probable cause.
Hours later, Robertson’s next call was made near Eggleston’s home and investigators believe they were together at her apartment that afternoon.
Eggleston sent a friend an invite to her baby shower that evening – the last known message sent by the pregnant woman to anyone, according to the probable cause statement.
About an hour later, Robertson’s phone moved away from Eggleston’s apartment and headed toward downtown Baltimore as he texted the other 22-year-old woman he was dating, records show. Eggleston’s phone, while in the same area as Robertson’s, was then “disabled or turned off” after an unanswered call — possibly from a telemarketer.
All cellphone and social media activity by Eggleston, who is survived by a 2-year-old daughter, stopped on May 3, the day investigators believe she was killed.
Her remains have not been found despite extensive searches, but authorities said evidence “overwhelmingly indicates” that she’s dead.
“Investigation revealed the only person with the motive, means, and opportunity to murder Eggleston was the purported father of her unborn child, Michael Robertson,” according to the statement of probable cause.
In October 2017, after a local TV station ran a report on Eggleston’s disappearance, Robertson searched on Google about trash or dumpster pickup schedules in Baltimore, Mosby said. He later moved to Michigan after being interviewed by cops at the time.
“Let today serve as a reminder to the people of Baltimore City that your State’s Attorney’s Office will never give up in our fight for justice,” Mosby said in a statement. “This case has been open for nearly five long years leaving this family to search nonstop for their missing daughter.”
In October, investigators tried to speak with Robertson at his Muskegon home, but he declined to be interviewed and then left his residence, investigators said.
“Further, the few statements Robertson has provided to law enforcement have been contradictory and deceptive,” according to the statement of probable cause. “Robertson falsely led Eggleston to believe they were going to move in together.”
Investigators said they believe Robertson killed Eggleston, whose phone has never been recovered.
Robertson also did not show up to her baby shower – and was instead at a hotel with his other 22-year-old girlfriend, identified as Hali Pomeroy, investigators said.
Pomeroy gave birth to her second child with Robertson in August 2016, a month before Eggleston got pregnant. Robertson then started staying with Eggleston in April 2017 after being evicted from the apartment he shared with Pomeroy, according to the statement of probable cause.
Eggleston’s disappearance has been featured by advocacy groups like the Black and Missing Foundation, which seeks to highlight cases involving people of color who often don’t get the same media attention as their white counterparts.
Eggleston’s stepfather, Shawn Wilkinson, who went on “The View” in 2019 to plead for help in solving his daughter’s disappearance, thanked investigators Thursday for never giving up on the case.
“Domestic violence is real, and when it happens, we need to address it,” he said. “It is not the answer and there’s always an alternative. 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.”