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Suspect in Tacoma girl's 1986 murder extradited to Washington to face charges

Jennifer Bastian. (File photo)

TACOMA, Wash. - Robert Washburn, the man charged with first degree murder in the death of Jennifer Bastian in 1986, has been extradited to Washington state.

Court documents show he was booked into Pierce County Jail Wednesday night.

He is expected to appear in court Thursday. On Thursday, his charge was amended to premeditated first-degree murder. Prosecutors says sexual motivation and deliberate cruelty are aggravating factors.

Washburn, 60, was arrested in Eureka, Illinois, east of Peoria, last week.

Police say in court documents that DNA found on Bastian's clothing matches that of Robert Washburn, who lived in Tacoma at the time of the murder.

Bastian, then 13, had gone on a bike ride through Point Defiance Park on Aug. 4, 1986. When she didn't come home, police and volunteers fanned out with fliers looking for the little girl. Her body was found a few weeks later in a remote area of the park.

Police never closed the case and continued to pursue leads.

The break in came when a DNA profile sketch was made a few years ago.

Washburn voluntarily gave a DNA sample in March 2017 after a national search did not find any matches from data bases for the DNA from the bathing suit, court documents say. The Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory alerted Tacoma police about the match on May 3, 2018.

Washburn is set to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.


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