BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Authorities have arrested Michael Robertson and charged him with murder in the 2017 disappearance of Akia Eggleston, a woman with whom he was having a child who went missing just days before her baby shower, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Thursday.
He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the killing of Eggleston and her unborn child. He faces a maximum penalty of two life sentences in prison if found guilty.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Severe Storm Threat and Flood Alert Prompts Alert Day Saturday
In late 2017, Robertson moved to Michigan, where he was apprehended by U.S. Marshals, officials said at a press conference.
“I hope that today’s arrest brings some sense and some measure of hope in the first phase in our pursuit of justice for Akia Eggleston,” said Mosby. “Let me also say this to the people of Baltimore City: Our pursuit of justice is unyielding. We do not give up on the victims of crime in Baltimore City. Ever.”
She said investigators used interviews, financial records, telephone records and social media messages to construct a timeline of the case.
Eggleston, 22, was excited to move in with the father of her child, Robertson, who was in a relationship with another 22-year-old woman. That woman had recently given birth to the couple’s second child, Mosby said.
According to a statement of probable cause, Eggleston and Robertson first met in the 1990s when his grandmother babysat her as a child. They reconnected in 2016 and began dating.
Investigators allege the 41-year-old sent Eggleston pictures of an apartment interior on May 2, 2017.
About 1:24 p.m., Eggleston purchased two money orders totaling $450 after making several ATM withdrawals from her savings account, Mosby said.
Moments later, Eggleston messaged Robertson on Facebook, “I called u I got the money order.”
That afternoon, Eggleston unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw cash twice from an ATM at a Wells Fargo location downtown.
Authorities allege Eggleston and Robertson were texting back and forth on May 3, the day law enforcement officials now believe she was killed.
That day, Eggleston was seen on surveillance video depositing the two money orders and a paycheck from her employer at a BB&T location in the central business district. She then withdrew $450 dollars.
According to the statement of probable cause, Eggleston told a bank employee, whom she knew from high school, she had to cash the orders because the property manager “only only takes cash.”
About 4 p.m., Robertson allegedly took a Lyft ordered by Eggleston to the Cherry Hill neighborhood. Phone records indicate Robertson was in the area near Eggleston’s residence from 5:35 p.m. to 6:18 p.m., Mosby said.
At about 5:22 p.m., Eggleston sent a friend an invite to her baby shower on the following Sunday, Mosby said. It was her last known communication.
According to Mosby, phone records show a telemarketer tried to call Eggleston at 6:57 p.m. At that time, both her phone and Robertson’s were located downtown, she said. Eggleston’s phone activity ends there, indicating the device was either turned off or disabled, Mosby said.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Severe Storm Threat Prompts Alert Day Saturday
Using a reverse image search, investigators determined the apartment picture Robertson had sent the day before was a completely different residence from the one he had named.
Mosby indicated investigators learned of a “volatile argument” between Robertson and the mother of his children the night before Eggleston disappeared. That evening, Eggleston had shared a sonogram picture on Facebook.
On the day of Eggleston’s shower, family members said they found her apartment nearly cleaned out. Police first thought this was a clue that she walked off on her own.
Robertson was interviewed several times during the investigation, but “notably has displayed a consistent pattern of hiding or avoiding police contact
for weeks or months at a time between interviews,” according to the statement of probable cause.
During an interview on June 15, 2017, he claimed he last saw Eggleston on Monday, May 1.
“I was there Monday and when I left and went to work and when I came back my s— was packed for me,” he said. “So I took that as the hint.”
In July 2017, a police spokesman said investigators had come to believe that foul play may have been involved.
Speaking with investigators in October, Robertson claimed he changed his phone number after receiving threats from Eggleston’s relatives, but phone records showed he got a new number the day before the baby shower, according to the statement of probable cause.
In November 2017, the FBI Baltimore Field Office offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts.
Her father, Shawn Wilkinson, told WJZ in 2019 “[t]here were no signs that any of us saw that she would just want to pack up and leave.”
Wilkinson said he feels the pain every day.
“I am missing a daughter and you know where your loved ones are,” he said. “You know where your daughter, your sister, your mom, whomever you care about are. I don’t know where my child is and I don’t know where my grandson is.”
In May 2021, the Baltimore Police Department again asked for help locating Eggleston.
Investigators need your help. Akia Shawnta Eggleston was last seen May 3, 2017. pic.twitter.com/KgrjYz2OMd
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) May 3, 2021
Police said at the time they had invested more than 1,000 man-hours into the case.
Speaking Thursday, Wilkinson thanks local and federal law enforcement agencies and made a plea to address domestic violence.
“When it happens, we need to address it,” he said. “It is not the answer and there’s always an alternative.”MORE NEWS: Baltimore Police Stepping Up Deployment On Fourth Of July Weekend, Commissioner Says
He said the family is seeking justice for Akia and “will continue to stand united as a family until the final judgment in this case has been rendered.”