Wisconsin man accused of killing, dismembering woman while on a date

Authorities relied on text messages, witnesses, security video and phone-tracking data to build a case against a man accused of killing and dismembering a Milwaukee woman with whom he was on a date, court records show.

Maxwell Anderson, 33, also of Milwaukee, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse and arson in the slaying of Sade Robinson, 19. The two went on a date April 1, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office said in a criminal complaint filed last week.

Sade Robinson. (Milwaukee Police Dept.)Sade Robinson. (Milwaukee Police Dept.)

Sade Robinson. (Milwaukee Police Dept.)

A severed leg found the next day has been preliminary identified as belonging to Robinson, the complaint says. The right leg with painted toes was found near a 100-foot bluff by the water’s edge in Warnimont Park.

A woman who identified herself as Robinson’s grandmother said Wednesday afternoon that she was too distraught to talk about the teenager. No one else with Robinson’s family could be reached for comment.

Anderson remains at the Milwaukee County Jail in lieu of $5 million bail, according to jail and court records. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Anderson’s lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon. His relatives also could not be reached.

‘The toes on the feet had pink nail polish’

According to the complaint, someone reported finding the leg around 5:30 p.m. April 2.

“The leg was severed just below the hip socket and appeared to have been sawn off. The toes on the feet had pink nail polish. The leg did not appear to be decomposing,” the complaint says.

One of Robinson’s friends went to Milwaukee police that evening to report that Robinson was not her on phone and did not show up at work. The friend said Robinson’s last known activity was a post on Snapchat the previous night about how she was at a bar, according to the complaint.

The city’s fire department found Robinson’s 2020 Honda Civic the morning of April 2, with heavy interior damage from a fire, the complaint alleges.

Four days later, on April 6, Milwaukee police found a human foot adjacent to train tracks and human flesh in the same area where the car had been discovered. The foot and the right leg found days earlier appeared to belong to the same person because of skin tone, size and “having matching pink nail polish,” the complaint said.

‘Yes I love seafood’

Investigators also focused on forensic data before Anderson was charged. Evidence included text messages Robinson and Anderson exchanged on April 1.

Using those texts, along with tracking data from Robinson’s phone, investigators pieced together a timeline of what they believe were her final hours.

In text messages, Robinson and Anderson discussed meeting at a seafood restaurant where Anderson used to work. Robinson responded, “Yes I love seafood,” the complaint said.

Video from the restaurant showed the pair eating and talking for about an hour before they moved to a bar, officials said. According to the complaint, video from the bar shows Robinson exiting her car while Anderson leaves from the passenger side.

They remained at the bar until about 9:20 p.m., when data from Robinson’s phone placed her near Anderson’s residence, the complaint says. Her phone remained in that area until about 12:45 a.m., officials said.

Investigators used a location-sharing app on the victim’s phone to track its whereabouts for the next four hours, until the battery died.

Robinson’s phone appeared to be in the park where the severed leg was found from around 3 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. April 2, the complaint says.

Videos, a car ablaze and bloody bedding

In addition to witnesses, text messages and the phone-tracking data, investigators also collected other video.

Video from the area near where the severed leg was found shows a “human figure” descending the bluff toward the beach just after 3 a.m., the complaint says.

Hours later, around 7:30 a.m., video from a bus and a convenience store captured a man walking away from a burning vehicle, officials said. A witness walking by the area told investigators she saw a man get out of Robinson’s car from the driver’s side and toss a lit lighter inside, according to the complaint.

Anderson was allegedly seen soon after he boarded another bus heading in the direction of his home, the complaint says. The man on the second bus was wearing the exact clothing and backpack as the man seen walking away from the car fire, officials said.

Anderson was arrested during a traffic stop on April 4. A search of his car turned up a hooded coat that appeared to be the same one he wore on the bus, the complaint alleges.

Officials say they collected evidence during a search of Anderson’s home.

“[B]lood was located on bedding in one of the bedrooms and on the walls leading towards the basement. Several gasoline containers were located in the garage/storage area,” the complaint reads.

Milwaukee County Sheriff Denita Ball thanked her detectives and Milwaukee police in a statement for their work on the case.

“With little rest and a great deal of pressure, they have remained focused and relentless, 24-hours a day. Their efforts to carefully build this case with a host of other partners to locate and tie together evidence, will go a long way towards bringing justice and, hopefully, peace to the family and loved ones of Sade Robinson.”

If he is convicted on the homicide charge, Anderson could be sentenced to life in prison, according to the criminal complaint.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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