Suspect in child's murder arrested in Illinois

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Robert Washburn, 60 Robert Washburn, 60
Pictured: Jennifer Bastian Pictured: Jennifer Bastian

EUREKA, Ill. (WAND) – Illinois State Police helped arrest a murder suspect believed to be responsible for a child's death.

Troopers worked with detectives to identify and arrest 60-year-old Robert Washburn, who is believed to be connected to the death of Jennifer Bastian in 1986. The 13-year-old child disappeared after leaving her Tacoma, Wash., home on the afternoon of Aug. 4 in that year.

Bastian left a note promising to be home by 6:30 that night after riding her 18-speed Schwinn bike from her house (2100 N. Winnifred St.) to Point Defiance Park in Tacoma. She was training to for a bike tour in the San Juan Islands. Police say credible reports claimed to see her as late as 6 p.m. around the 5-mile drive of the park.

Investigators found her body in a wooded area close to the park.

WEEK reports Tacoma police hope to move Washburn to Washington state by Monday.

The Tacoma Police Department and Pierce County prosecutors say the case never closed. They’re still looking for tips and examining case files.  

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