Tacoma Police Department detectives, in consultation with the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, have developed probable cause to arrest a suspect in the 1986 child murder case of Jennifer Bastian. This case was never closed as the department continued to investigate new tips and review existing case files. Detectives have located and detained the suspect, who is currently out of state, and will transport the suspect to Washington to face prosecution.
On August 4, 1986, 13-year-old Jennifer Bastian left her home in the 2100 block of N. Winnifred at approximately 2:30 p.m. She rode her 18-speed Schwinn bicycle to Point Defiance Park to train for an upcoming bike tour in the San Juan Islands. Bastian left a note saying she would be home by 6:30 p.m.
Several credible sightings of Bastian were reported around the 5-mile drive of Point Defiance Park as late as 6 p.m. that day. She never returned home and a massive search took place at the park. Bastian’s body was located on Aug. 28, 1986, in a wooded area off the 5-mile drive.