Robert Washburn, 60, has been arrested in the cold case murder of 13-year-old girl Jennifer Bastian in Tacoma, Wash., in 1986. (Q13 Fox/Woodford County Jail in Illinois)
BREAKING – An Illinois man has been arrested in the cold case rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl in Washington state that happened more than 30 years ago, according to police reports.
Jennifer Bastian, who was last seen riding her new 18-speed Schwinn bicycle in a local park in Tacoma on Aug 4, 1986, had been strangled, local media reported. Police found her body near a wooded trail in the park 24 days later, Fox News reports.
The 60-year-old was identified as Robert D. Washburn of Eureka, Illinois, according to multiple media outlets.
The Tacoma News Tribune reports that he is a former Tacoma resident, who lived near the park at the time of the murder.
“I think everybody who has been involved with this over the years is extremely happy that it’s been solved,” Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said, according to the paper.
“Not a day goes by that we don’t think of her,” Patti Bastian, Jennifer’s mother, told the newspaper in 2013. “She’s our little girl.”
Kelly Rosati lived across the street from the Bastians and remembers the fear and heartbreak after the child went missing.
“Everybody remembers this. It was huge,” she said Thursday through tears.
Rosati said the neighborhood kids all looked up to Bastian. Her death rocked the neighborhood and instilled a sense of fear that still bubbles up when Rosati sees the Bastians’ home.
She said she’s relieved someone was arrested in the girl’s death and hopes it brings closure to her family.
“I think of everybody worrying if the person is still out there, hurting anyone else, and not having an answer,” Rosati said. “I’m glad there’s justice for Jennifer and her family.”
THIS MONSTER WILL ROT IN HELL.
Rest in peace young lady.