Suspect arrested in Eureka possibly linked to decades-old cold c - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Eureka man arrested in connection with decades-old cold case murder

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Jennifer Bastian Jennifer Bastian
ROBERT D WASHBURN ROBERT D WASHBURN
EUREKA, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

The Illinois State Police have arrested a suspect in Eureka in connection with a decades-old cold case murder in Washington state.

The Woodford County Jail said 60-year-old Robert D. Washburn of Eureka is in jail on a Washington state murder warrant. Woodford County officials at the jail confirmed Washburn is a suspect in the 1986 murder of 13-year-old Jennifer Bastian of Tacoma, Wash. 

Illinois State Police Lt. Matthew Boerwinkle said the ISP assisted the Tacoma, Wash. Police Department in the arrest of a suspect in the case when asked if the ISP had involvement in an incident in Eureka Thursday. 

Washburn will be transported to Tacoma, Wash. for potential prosecution. Tacoma police said they hope to have the suspect extradited to Washington state by Monday.

Neighbors said Washburn lived at the Woodridge Apartments in the 700 block of E. Bullock St. in Eureka. LexisNexis records shared by KING-TV in Seattle also show Washburn once lived nine blocks away from the Bastian home in Washington state.

The 13-year-old Bastian left her home in the 2100 block of N. Winnifred in Tacoma at 2:30 p.m. on August 4, 1986 on a bike. She was training for an upcoming bike tour, and left a note saying she would be back by 6:30 p.m. that evening.

Bastian was seen as late at 6 p.m. by some observers, but never returned home. A massive search eventually led to the discovery of her body on August 28, 1986 in a wooded area. 

25 News spoke to neighbors in Woodridge Apartments who said they were shocked by the news. 

Jennifer Hailey said her daughter, who is just shy of her twelfth birthday, would go over to Wasburn's apartment all the time. When her daughter got off the school bus Thursday, Hailey hugged her extra tight. 

Another neighbor, Gary Winthorpe, said he was really nice and friendly. 

"I didn't have a dad so he taught me stuff I didn't know," said Winthorpe. 

Some neighbors, like Danielle Cecil, said he had some odd behaviors. 

"He talked about putting cameras on his license plate, on his car, and he also always had his car covered with a tarp. I mean all the time, 24.7," said Cecil.

"It was kind of weird too, how he had the camera set up in his house. I did think that was weird," added Winthorpe. 

Additionally, Winthorpe said Wasburn never wanted to talk about his past when asked.

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