DNA found of Bastian’s clothing, linked to Washburn

Local News

The suspect in a Tacoma, Washington cold case who was arrested in central Illinois on Thursday, voluntarily gave his DNA to the FBI last year. 60 year old Robert Washburn was arrested for the 1986 death of Jennifer Bastian. The 13 year-old was found dead in a wooded area, weeks after riding her bike to a park in Tacoma.

In 2016, cold case detectives working Bastian’s case made a list of suspects whose DNA they needed. Washburn’s name was on the list and he agreed to provide his DNA to the FBI.

Last week, DNA results came back linking Washburn to Bastian’s death. That’s when local officials were called to help arrest him. In the quiet Eureka neighborhood where Washburn had lived for 13 years people tell WMBD they had trouble sleeping Thursday night and coming to terms that an alleged murderer lived among them for more then a decade.

One neighbor says she’s now second guessing every move Washburn ever made.

“He would close his blinds every day at 4 PM and would always put a tarp on his car,” said neighbor Tracy Reese-Sturgeon. She adds, “He always had cameras in his windows watching everything, but we thought it was for our own good.”

Washburn appeared in Woodford County Circuit Court Friday morning and waived extradition to the state of Washington where an arrest warrant for murder in the first-degree had been issued earlier this week. He will be held without bond pending his return to that state.

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