Eureka residents say suspect kept to himself - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Eureka residents say suspect kept to himself

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More details are emerging about the Eureka man who was arrested Thursday in connection with a three decade old  murder case.   Some Woodridge residents we spoke with say 60-year-old Robert Washburn did not work,  but devoted his time to taking care of his disabled daughter. 

Residents say Washburn pretty much kept to himself but often times would give children at the Eureka apartment complex candy. 

"I never would have imagined it would have happened, but I'm not surprised.  I said to everybody out here the moment it went down mark my words murder is involved in some way shape or form" said one resident who wanted to remain anonymous.

The woman said she was home when about 20 vehicles filled with Illinois State police and Washington state authorities stormed into Washburn's apartment Thursday morning.  Washburn is being charged in connection with the death of 13-year old  Jennifer Bastian whose body was discovered in August of 1986 in a Tacoma Washington park.  Authorities said the girl had been strangled and raped.   They add that  at the time Washburn lived less than nine blocks from the teen's home.
But at some point he moved to Eureka... where residents tell us he'd been living in the Woodridge apartments for 13 years. and some claim he acted strangely.

"Like he knew everybody that was coming and going in this place.  He had cameras in his truck, so he could watch the whole parking lot, cameras in the front window," said Woodridge resident Tracey Reese-Sturgeon.. 

"He always had candy to give out to kids here when his kid didn't eat candy.  She was on a feeding tube.  He always had his car covered in a tarp," said the woman who wanted to remain anonymous.

But another resident said he was surprised by Washburn's arrest. 

"I was shocked because you wouldn't think that he'd ever do something like that for how nice he was to everyone he tried helping everyone,"  said resident Justin Boertlein.

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