A college student told friends she was excited for a first date. Part of her dismembered body was found on a beach a day later

Sade Robinson had been excited for her date. The 19-year-old had arranged to meet up with a man at a Milwaukee seafood restaurant on the evening of 1 April. Some time that later night she sent a Snap message to a friend from a bar near by. It was the last time she was seen alive.

The next day, police were called after a passer-by discovered a severed leg on a beach in Warnimont Park. The limb was cut off just below the hip socket and “appeared to have been sawn off”. The toes on the feet were painted with pink nail polish.

Robinson – who had dreams of pursuing a career in criminal justice – was reported missing that evening by a concerned friend, who told police that she had not turned up for work and was not answering calls. The friend showed officers the Snap, placing Robinson at Dukes on Water sports bar, which was the last contact they had had with her.

Investigators discovered that Robinson had arranged to meet 33-year-old Maxwell Anderson at the Twisted Fisherman seafood restaurant at around 5pm. “I love seafood,” she had written to him in some of her last text messages.

Surveillance footage from the restaurant showed the pair sitting at the bar enjoying drinks for around an hour before leaving together. Anderson was later identified as having been an employee at the bar.

Another friend of Robinson’s told detectives that after learning of her disappearance on the news she had used a phone app to look up her location. The last recorded location placed Robinson’s phone in Warnimont Park in the early hours of 2 April.

Anderson was arrested on 4 April and charged with first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse and arson charges relating to Robinson’s death.

Surveillance footage from the Twisted Fisherman restaurant in Milwaukee showed Robinson having drinks at the bar Maxwell Anderson, 33, (pictured) on April 1. He has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse and arson (AP)


Data collected from phone location tracking apps provided by friends and Robinson’s mother gave a more detailed picture of the teenager’s movements on the evening of 1 April, according to a criminal complaint against Anderson, filed in Milwaukee County circuit court.

Surveillance footage from Twisted Fisherman had shown the pair meeting at around 5.20pm where they stayed until 6.24pm. Anderson had told a bartender that the meeting had been a “first date”.

According to police, an employee of the building where Robinson lived said she would frequently see and speak with the teenager, who told her that she had been “excited” for the date.

From 6.29pm to 6.35pm Robinson had travelled to the area of Dukes on Water, where she appeared to have stayed for around two hours before heading to an address on South Oklahoma Avenue – later determined to be Anderson’s.

Location data appeared to show that Robinson had stayed at the address for almost three-and-a-half hours before the device was moved north to an area of Kern Park by part of the Milwaukee River at around 1am.

From there the phone travelled south to Warnimont Park, where it remained stationary and eventually ran out of battery at around 4.35am. A police report noted that the final location was in part of the park “that encompasses the location where the leg was discovered”.

Around three hours later, at 7.32am, members of the Milwaukee Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire in the west part of Milwaukee, near to Washington Park. Firefighters found that the vehicle – a 2020 Honda Civic – had sustained “extreme fire damage”.

A check of the registration revealed the car had belonged to Robinson.

A gruesome discovery

Police responded to reports of a human leg being found on the bluffs at Warnimont Park at around 5.30pm on 2 April. First responders were led by the citizen who called police to the leg.

Responding deputies located the right leg of what appeared to be a black female which was “severed just below the hip socket and appeared to have been sawn off,” according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint noted that the toes on the feet had pink nail polish, and the leg did not appear to be decomposing.

The individual who made the gruesome discovery told investigators that he and a friend were walking towards the beach when they saw the leg just north of the Warnimont pump house at the shoreline.

Milwaukee County Deputy Sheriff Leon Martin reported that the area where the leg was located contains a bluff that is approximately 100 feet tall. The leg was originally found about two-thirds of the way down the bluff, towards the water’s edge.

Video footage from near to the pump house later showed a vehicle driving through the area at around 2.50am on 1 April. An employee also stated that the building’s service gate had been struck by the vehicle. Broken vehicle parts collected later identified the vehicle as a Honda Civic.

According to further footage from the pump house itself, at 3.02am, a human figure was seen descending the bluff to beach level. The figure appeared to make multiple attempts to walk between the beach and the service drive for the pump house and leaves around 90 minutes later.

An examination by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office and DNA testing by the Wisconsin State Crime Lab provided a preliminary conclusion that the leg belonged to Robinson.

Additional human remains were found on 5 April and 6 April, including a human foot that was located in the area where Robinson’s car was destroyed.

Those remains have not yet positively been identified as belonging to Robinson, police said.

A burned out car

An eyewitness told investigators that she had seen a white male exit the driver’s door of Robinson’s Honda Civic early on the morning of 2 April. She then observed the man light a lighter and toss it into the driver’s door window of the vehicle.

Anderson was later identified having caught a bus heading away from the area where Robinson’s burned out car was found (Milwaukee County Circuit Court)

The woman had tried to flag the incident to passing drivers, with footage obtained by investigators, shouting “he did that!” pointing to the man and calling for someone to call the fire department.

The alleged arsonist, a male in dark trousers, a dark grey hooded top, and carrying a tan coloured backpack with tan straps, then boarded a city transit bus. Interior CCTV footage from the bus showed that Maxwell Anderson was on board.

The burned out Honda Civic was later searched and clothing consistent with that worn by Robinson on the evening of 2 April – a black puffer coat, light blue ripped jeans and white shoes – was found.

The remnant of an iPhone, consistent with the type of iPhone Robinson was known to have, was also recovered from the vehicle.

Anderson’s arrest

Anderson was arrested on Friday 4 April, two days after the initial discovery of Robinson’s remains and reports of her disappearance.

The complaint alleged that he had “intentionally killed and then dismembered Robinson with the intent to conceal the homicide, and it occurred between the arrival at the Defendant’s residence and his departure from the Warnimont Park area.”

Anderson was jailed for first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse and arson charges in the death of Sade Robinson, and held on a bond of $5m. A preliminary examination is set for 22 April.

The first charge of intentional homicide carries a potential sentence of life imprisonment.

Mutilating a corpse can result in a $25,000 fine, 12-and-a-half years in prison, or both, and the arson charge carries a potential of up to three-and-a-half-years in prison, a $10,000 dollar fine, or both.

Announcing the charges Milwaukee County Sheriff Denita Ball said: “I would like to thank our detectives and ISB supervisors, as well as MPD investigators, for their diligent work. 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.”

On 12 April Milwaukee County Sheriff’s office quashed rumours circulated online that he had been released from custody.

“For reasons we can’t fathom, irresponsible people are lying this evening, claiming accused murderer Maxwell Anderson has made bail. False! He is in custody, held on $5 million bail,” the department wrote on Facebook.

It added on X/Twitter: “Spreading [information] otherwise is insanely irresponsible, not to mention false!”

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