Robin Abrams: Missing since 1990

Published: Updated: 16 comments

My loyal readers know how I feel about police/government cover-ups. I hate them. And when those said cover-ups involve the disappearance or murder of INNOCENT people, my blood boils. Because if you can’t “serve and protect,” then GTFO! 

I JUMP AT IT when I get to write about these types of cases. Why? Because they are ridiculous. This next case is a perfect example of a police cover-up. 

I worked with a reliable source on this post, and I want to thank this person for their help and support. They gave me a lot of information as they are close to Robin and the case.


Robin Abrams, 28, grew up in Orland Park, Illinois. Her family later settled into Beecher. She was a beautiful woman and the type of person who would do anything for her family and friends. She was intelligent and career-driven. By 1987, Robin began showing an interest in law enforcement.

Around this same time, Robin met Anthony (Tony) Marquez, a Will County sheriff’s auxiliary officer, at the Frankfort McDonald’s where she worked, and they struck up a friendship. Marquez encouraged Robin to become a police officer and work for the Will County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO). Robin went to the police academy and was hired shortly after by WCSO in January 1988.

It was a move that would prove to be a disastrous decision on Robin’s part.

This friendship between Marquez and Robin would evolve into a deadly,  full-blown relationship, and one Robin would never get out of alive.

A Dangerous Affair

From May 1988 to October 1988, Robin began an affair with Marquez, who was in his 40s.

It was a rocky relationship from the start. Robin did not know Tony was married, and when she did find out, she wanted no part of it. After five months, Robin wanted to end the affair, but Marquez didn’t take too kindly to that. He was a powerful, abusive man who wouldn’t let go of her that easily. Marquez always got what he wanted. There are reports of Marquez hitting her, and officers who saw bruises on Robin.

When Robin did end the affair, her supervisor warned her to keep her mouth shut, but she refused, and on November 2, 1988, Robin received a letter from Chief Deputy Robert Brown.

Robin Abrams: screenshot of disciplinary notice
Click to enlarge

What happened when she disobeyed her superior? He fired Robin.

Robin Abrams: termination letter
Click to enlarge

After this, Robin’s situation took an even darker turn. Marquez used his power and connections against her.

Marquez had claimed that Abrams was after him and had filed dozens of complaints against her, alleging telephone harassment, reckless driving, disorderly conduct, and more (Rastrelli).

Conveniently, Robin was arrested on December 16, 1988, outside a dry cleaning shop and detained in the sheriff’s building without charges filed against her. Several months later, in August 1989, she was charged with reckless driving. During one arrest, the police put Robin in a cell with TEN MALE felons. Robin’s charge was a misdemeanor, so she did not belong in that cell, let alone with only male prisoners. When Robin told officers it was not standard procedure to do this, she was told, “You’re the exception.”

Robin Abrams: mugshot photo
Robin Abrams mugshot collage. Click to enlarge

According to my source, Robin was deemed NOT GUILTY when brought to court by a judge or jury. At times, court dates were changed without her notice. On one of the final times, officials brought her to court on another false charge; a judge finally listened and saw what was happening. He placed an order of protection against Marquez for Robin and her mother in November 1989. Yet, believing someone was on her side and thinking she had a bit of a safety net, she filed a lawsuit.

The Lawsuit

On December 13, 1989, almost one year after being terminated, Robin filed a federal lawsuit against Marquez and seven other Will County Sheriff’s Department members, including Sheriff John Johnsen, alleging wrongful termination and sexual harassment.

Robin Abrams: names in lawsuit
Click to enlarge

It was a brave move on her part, going up against an entire police department. The bond between officers is strong, and when one betrays that bond, there is no telling what can happen.

Ten months after Robin filed the lawsuit, she vanished 16 days before the trial started.

Where is Robin?

At around 4 p.m. on October 4, 1990, Robin Abrams and her father, Donald Abrams, exchanged waves as their cars passed on Goodenow Road in Beecher, Illinois. Robin was driving her 1989 red Dodge Daytona hatchback.

Robin later stopped at a gas station in Joliet to purchase gas. It was the last sighting of Robin. She vanished without a trace sometime after.

Robin’s car was recovered early the following day near 152nd Street and Winchester Avenue in Harvey, about 30 miles north of Beecher. The doors were locked, and the keys and a camera were inside, but Robin was nowhere to be found.

A nearby resident saw two men in a tow truck drop the car off around 10 p.m. A few hours later, somebody called the police to report someone breaking into the vehicle.

The Search

On October 5, 1990, Robin’s father filed a missing person report when he realized his daughter was nowhere to be found and might be in trouble.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “Three days after Robin’s disappearance, Donald Abrams said a woman telephoned him, saying her father found Robin’s purse three blocks away from the car’s location. The missing woman’s wallet and credit cards were gone, but her checkbook was still in the purse.”

Will County officials had the investigation for the first three days before Illinois State Police took over and began searching for Robin. Will County Sheriff John Johnsen issued a press release at that time, saying that he was turning the case over to the state police on the advice of then-Will County State’s Attorney Edward Burmila.

Cook County, where Robin’s car was found, did not have jurisdiction in the case because Robin was missing from Will County, and therefore, Cook County did not process the vehicle. Officials there turned it over to Will County. In a missing person case, the town or county the victim resided in at the time of their disappearance is usually the one with jurisdiction. It does not matter where the victim was last seen.

Despite the search for Robin, she remains missing.

Aftermath

Robin Abrams: suspects
(Photo credit: Facebook)

After 12 years as an auxiliary officer, and shortly after Robin vanished, the newly-elected sheriff fired Marquez from the sheriff’s department on December 12, 1990, due to the state police investigation into Robin’s disappearance.

The Herald-News reported, “In 1991, Marquez and Romo were subpoenaed by a grand jury to appear in a lineup and provide fingerprints, hair, and blood samples connected with Abrams’ disappearance. They fought the subpoena, and the Illinois Supreme Court eventually ruled that there was no justification for it because the pair had not been charged with a crime.”

To this day, anyone trying to get records on Robin’s case or pictures of those named in the lawsuit from WCSO is denied, including newspapers. Her family cannot even get a death certificate.

In March 2015, former Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupus received a 10-page anonymous letter threatening to harm Kaupus and his family. It also mentioned retired Deputy Chief Nick Ficarello. The letter referenced Robin’s case.

Tony Marquez remains married to his wife, and they still reside in the Will County area. Some other officers have either passed away or moved out of state.

Robin’s sister, Jody Walsh, has dedicated her life to finding Robin and bringing justice to her sister. Robin’s parents have since passed away.

You can keep updated with this case by visiting the following:

True Crime Diva’s Thoughts

This case ticks me off. This young woman was harassed, threatened, and humiliated by a man who should have kept his d**k in his pants.

I do not believe Robin is alive. She went missing right before the trial for the lawsuit was to begin. Coincidence? I think not. Some people were anxious about what would come from that.

I believe Marquez, probably with the help of his step-brother, Romo, and perhaps others, killed Robin and disposed of her body in a way no one would ever find it. As others do, I believe the Will County Sheriff’s Office has been covering it up for 25 years by invoking the blue wall of silence.

I also think that some of those named in the lawsuit helped either commit the murder, dispose of the body, or both.

What’s ironic about this case is that those involved were willing to permanently silence Robin for talking about the affair and filing the lawsuit. They wanted her to keep quiet about everything. Yet, she ends up missing, people find out about the affair and suit anyway, and now we associate Marquez with Robin and her mysterious disappearance. Marquez’s wife never left him, even AFTER finding out about the affair, so what the hell was he so worried about? What were the officers worried about if Robin was not silenced?

It makes me wonder if Robin knew something MORE about those officers than we know about. Something more than sexual harassment, say, illegal activities such as money laundering, for example, within the police department. I don’t get killing someone over an affair or even a lawsuit. It seems petty and lame, to be honest. I’ve written and researched enough on police corruption to know that sometimes shit happens, and police officers go the other way while maintaining their good cop image and job. I think they wanted to silence her for way more than the affair.

Or maybe they were just assholes who loved to bully and hurt people. Was Robin the first to disappear? The last?

You know there’s a possible cover-up going on when LE doesn’t seem to care that Robin had an order of protection against Marquez AND written documentation of harassment by Marquez against Robin. Not to mention that he was the LAST person seen with her in the evening she disappeared. But, nope, let’s not give a shit about any of THAT. Let’s look the other way. 😉

I think Romo and Marquez were the two men dropping Robin’s car off in Harvey.  However, I was told that the tow truck belonged to two mob brothers brought up on federal drug charges around Robin’s disappearance. So, now I have to wonder if the mob was in on this. Maybe that’s a long shot or sounds too TV-like, but nothing surprises me anymore regarding true crime. I’ll tell you one thing – the mob knows how to make a person disappear forever.  If Marquez had ties to the mob, then maybe, at the very least, the mob disposed of her body.

And speaking of tow trucks, do you know many tow truck companies that DROP off an abandoned car instead of TAKING it to a local pound or garage? I don’t.  😉

Her dad saw Robin at 4 p.m. that day. Witnesses saw her at a gas station in Joliet after that. Some say Marquez was with her at the gas station. How did Marquez get Robin to meet him there if that were the case? Did he call her at home? What about phone records? Were there any calls placed to Robin on or around the day of her disappearance? If so, who made those calls, and how long did they last?

I want to know where Robin was between the gas station sighting and 10 p.m. when her car was found. We’re talking several hours here. Where was she taken to? Was she raped and tortured for hours? Or was she murdered right off the bat?  Considering the people who may have been involved were major slimeballs tells me the former could have happened by more than one person. If she was raped and tortured, it was done as another way to punish her before ultimately killing her. Make her suffer like she made them suffer.

The fact that Robin’s purse was found days after she vanished says this was an abduction/murder because a woman doesn’t go anywhere without her purse. So, the theory that she took off willingly doesn’t ring true to me. I think it would have been natural for her to take her purse with her. If she had voluntarily left, there would have been reported sightings of her throughout the years, and there have not been.

This wasn’t a robbery gone wrong, either. Why would the perpetrators take the credit cards but NOT the checkbook? Why didn’t they take the camera? It was probably a lousy attempt to make it seem like a robbery. Maybe that’s why her purse was found so close to where the car was.

One might wonder if dropping Robin’s car off with the keys locked inside and items of Robin’s still in the car was made to look like her car broke down. She left to get help and was abducted.  I have been told that Harvey is not a very safe town. I don’t believe Robin would have been there in the first place. Her father once said she had never been there as far as he knew. So, could the car have intentionally been dropped off here, hoping somebody would break into it, leaving their DNA in the car?

I believe that Marquez’s wife knows what happened to Robin but is probably too afraid to come forward. Who can blame her? Her husband might be a killer. I wouldn’t want to live with a secret like that. Can you imagine how that would be? You know what happened to this girl, but you have to keep your mouth shut. I think that would drive you crazy. But then again, maybe the wife was involved, too. Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned.

Additional Sources

  • Rastrelli, Ira. “Who Killed Deputy Sheriff Robin Abrams?”.  Baltimore Post Examiner. October 17, 2014.
  • Shmay, John. “Mom Clings To Hope For Daughter.” Chicago Tribune. October 1, 1991.
  • Stanley, Brian. “State Police Take Another Look At Abrams Case.” Herald-News. December 12, 2013.

16 comments

Guest February 27, 2017 - 2:57 AM

Rumor I heard today that she was messing with all of them maybe referred to her suing all of them and not sleeping with more than 1. That may have been taken out of context. I hope they can find her. She was brave to sue them all.

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truecrimediva March 1, 2017 - 7:49 AM

Yes, she was! I hope they find her, too!

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Guest February 26, 2017 - 10:58 PM

Will County war on women just like Drew Peterson. But this case is from 20 plus years ago. Robin’s middle name is Renea which means Reborn/Renew so I think these people are goin down. I heard a rumor today that she was sleeping with more than 1 cop in the department. So what! That gives no one the right to murder a woman.

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truecrimediva March 1, 2017 - 7:48 AM

Exactly! Who cares? She did not deserve what happened to her!

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Kristinbreanna D. December 19, 2016 - 11:21 AM

Hi Crime Diva, being that top law officials were involved… Do u think they may have bribed/blackmailed a funeral home owner into cremating her body so it could never be found? I just found this site and have read all of the archives… I’ve wanted to comment….but I had to bring up that theory . I really hope one day her family gets justice for her.

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truecrimediva December 20, 2016 - 1:34 PM

You know that is a possibility. Nothing these people would do would surprise me. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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Karen Abrams December 19, 2015 - 7:33 AM

I am her sister Karen Abrams I just want closure robin and I were one year apart I just want someone who knows anything to come forward

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Friend13 October 18, 2016 - 8:40 PM

Has anyone checked that old creepy abandoned house its been empty since 85 or 87 and its right by where she was last seen and I know cause I tried getting info on this house I wanted to buy it but we found another anyway it was just odd to me that nothing comes up on the internet and its in a trust but still vacant whose to so say she ever really left?

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Good girl November 15, 2015 - 7:27 PM

Hi! I love how you write!! I have read a lot of your opinions about this unsolved mysteries and while I read about them, I look for more information. I had a project in my school about unsolved mysteries and I picked Amy Bradleys case. I was crying when I first read about it. This other case about Robin was just si heartbreaking, so I searched for Tony on Facebook and I found him. The first thing I wanted to do was to send him a message to tell him a lot of disgusting things cause this case is sooo sad! but I put this case in change.org to collect votes and make justice

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Angel December 9, 2015 - 4:49 PM

what is the name of the case in Change.org?

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superunknown September 25, 2015 - 2:08 PM

They’re good at serving and protecting………….themselves!

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truecrimediva September 25, 2015 - 3:33 PM

Ha ha, yes they are! 😉

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Belinda Haynes September 21, 2015 - 11:35 PM

I’m a loyal reader. Keep up the good work. Thank you for all the work and care you put into each case you post.

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truecrimediva September 22, 2015 - 11:57 AM

Thank you so much! 🙂

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Josette September 21, 2015 - 6:10 PM

I remember seeing or reading about this case. I do believe she isn’t alive, sadly. I also agree with you about it being a major cover-up. I don’t think whatever happened to her was due to the lawsuit, I feel like she knew too much. And the guilty parties were too afraid that the stuff would come out. A affair can be denied, a wrongful termination can be paid off. I feel like she knew too much. I am sure the wife knows things too and she’s too scared to speak up.

I don’t understand why people cannot get information,wouldn’t that fall under the freedom of information act. I also wonder if the Justice Department has ever been contacted.

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truecrimediva September 22, 2015 - 11:56 AM

Hey Josette! 🙂 Yep, she had to know more of what was going on in that police department. I wonder if she threatened Marquez to go public with the information. There is no record of that but I’m wondering if she did so on the day she disappeared.

Well, it does fall under the Freedom of Information Act but they can still be denied the request. In this case, they’re saying that the photographs, for example, are considered “‘private information’ due to the ‘biometric identifiers’ they contain”about Marquez and that’s why they can’t release pictures. I think they are just protecting him. However, people can file an appeal against the denial, I believe. I doubt it will get them anywhere.

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About Me

True Crime Diva

True Crime Diva

I've blogged true crime since 2010, happily taking up only a tiny corner of the internet. I'm not here for attention; I'm here to tell you their stories.

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