Family of Colorado man last seen in Utah before his death asks SLC PD to reopen the case

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A Colorado family is pleading for Salt Lake City police to reopen a case after the remains of their only son, who went missing in 2012, were found a few months ago in Nevada. 

The Putnam family says their son was last seen alive in Salt Lake City when he was getting off of a train. Now that his remains have been found, his parents want Salt Lake City police to help them find the one they believe is responsible for murdering their son.

"We're not going to find any happiness after this because he was everything to us: everything,” said Doug Putnam, Robin’s father.

Robin Putnam, 25, was on his way home from California to Colorado in July of 2012. His parents say he stepped off an Amtrak train in Salt Lake City and was never seen again.

“We need an answer because we're still living the unknown,” Putnam said.

For years, Robin's parents have been speculating about what happened to their only son. They say several Amtrak employees told them they saw Robin leave the train with a woman at 3 a.m. during an hour-long layover in Salt Lake City.

"When he got off that train, I'm sure he had every intention of getting back on,” Putnam said.

Doug said his son left his laptop and journal on the train, and he believes Robin was a victim of a robbery.

“My feeling is Robin fell asleep in that observation car and somebody took his backpack and his duffel bag off the train,” Doug said.

Putnam believes that's when the woman approached his son.

“My guess, and it's all speculation, she said, 'Uh, I think somebody took your stuff off the train' and led him into a trap, and somehow they killed him,'” Doug said.

Weeks later, Robin's wallet was found in Chicago. Robin’s mother and father spent most of the 2012 summer searching the streets of Salt Lake City, still hoping he might be alive.

“All we had was sleepless nights, and we had endless tips that were obviously no good," Putnam said. "We just went crazy looking for him."

A few months ago, Robin’s remains were found in Nevada.

“On August 26th of this year, a railroad worker saw the remains and thought these might be human remains and called police,” Putnam said.

Robin's debit card and house keys were found in his pockets. They believe he was murdered and then pushed off a freight train.

“There's just no way he could have ended up on a freight train on accident and lost his life: It's just not possible,” Putnam said.

They say the key to finding Robin’s murderer is finding the woman that he left the train with, and  for that to happen they say they need the Salt Lake City Police Department to reopen the case.

“We don't know where we'll get with this, but we're trying," Putnam said. "And, like you asked why, and that's the reason: Because we don't have closure, and we don't want those people out there, and we want to know the truth."

The Putnams say Salt Lake City police dropped the case because there was not enough physical evidence to pursue it. FOX 13 News has reached out to police and Amtrak, but neither were available to comment on this story Saturday.

The family is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction in their son's case. To contact the family, visit the Facebook page "Robin Putnam, find Home."

7 comments

    • MayZ

      He went missing in Salt Lake. He left the train with a female. However he did not get back on. So the SLC should be looking out for the female

  • ERIC ANDERSOIN

    The chances of them ever identifying the killer are almost zero. The chances of them getting a conviction if they ever did identify a suspect are far far beyond zero.

  • Cindy Putnam

    Robin’s remains were NOT found along tracks that Amtrak uses on a regular basis, and NEVER at night!!! He came off a freight train…

  • LAYTONIAN

    While it is tragic that Robin Putnam’s life was taken the possibility of identifying the girl he was seen with would be next to impossible. If in fact they were to identify the girl her answer most likely would be: “yes, I saw the young man once. He was headed for the bathroom and I never saw him again”.

    At that point the police have no way of identifying a suspect, and even if they did they’d have nothing to charge him/her with unless they volunteered information that would implicate them. That just isn’t going to happen.

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