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Kewanee Police Still Looking at Leads in Case of Missing Former Kewanee Resident

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In 2003, former Kewanee High School graduate Clinton Washburn seemingly vanished. Cutting ties with his family in Kewanee, Washburn allegedly sent a letter to his mother, Margi Washburn, stating that he was cutting ties with the family, getting married, taking his new wife’s last name, and that he and his new wife would living off of her riches. The letter was, fair to say, suspicious. The family noted that the letter did not read like something Clint Washburn would write. He typically did not send his family a letter in the mail. And, the letter was fully typed and thus had no handwriting that could be scrutinized or compared to Clint’s handwriting.

After that, Clint Washburn went dark and his family heard nothing from him. Things changed when Clint’s father passed away in 2018. When Clint did not contact his family following his father’s death, Clint’s mother Margi began the process of trying to find him. In 2020, Margi Washburn, having exhausted other avenues, approached the Kewanee Police Department. WKEI RegionalMediaNews.com spoke with Kewanee Police Deputy Chief Stephen Kijanowski and Detective Sgt. Michael Minx about the case, the timeline of Kewanee Police involvement in the search for Clint Washburn, and the limitations that local law enforcement outlets have to navigate in a not so typical missing persons case.

On February 25th of 2020, Margi Washburn contacted the Kewanee Police Department for help. Kewanee Detective Rosa Rushing took the call and the case. Initially, Clinton Washburn was reported missing out of Peoria. That’s where he’d last been known to his family as living. This limited what Kewanee Police could do in terms of jurisdiction. Nevertheless, Kewanee Police tell WKEI that Detective Rushing did push forward with a search using the tools available to law enforcement. That search did lead to a couple of avenues of investigation that unfortunately did not lead to locating Clinton Washburn.

Kewanee High School Yearbook. Photo courtesy of Margi Washburn.

WKEI asked the Deputy Chief Kijanowski about investigating Missing Persons cases such as this and according to the Deputy Chief, he’s never seen a case quite like this one with multiple out of state jurisdictions and the amount of time that has passed since the last confirmed sighting of the supposedly missing person. Detective Sgt. Minx credits Margi Washburn with doing a lot of legwork in the case that has provided Kewanee Police with avenues to investigate. According to Detective Sgt. Minx, speaking with WKEI “Anything she’s (Margi Washburn) given us we’ve looked into and either forwarded it to the agency where that information was at or said ‘hey, this isn’t true or we can’t get any other information on it."”

Detective Sgt. Minx went on to say to WKEI RegionalMediaNews.com that “there is one person we are trying to get a hold of and it’s going to get to the point of having the agency in the town she lives in… see if she still lives there and then have her call us so we can follow up with what she had heard.” Deputy Chief Kijanowski followed up on that stating that Kewanee Police will investigate any lead that comes up and any lead that is brought to their attention. There are limitations to what Kewanee Police can do in investigating the case, in terms of jurisdiction, but they are still investigating leads.

Deputy Chief Kijanowski also told WKEI RegionalMediaNews.com that in the case of a Missing Person, there is no need to wait. Although it has often been said that it takes a person being gone more than 24 before they can be reported missing, that is not the case. The Deputy Chief says if you suspect a member of your family or a close friend has gone missing, you can contact the Police Department immediately and you will get help. There is no protocol requiring you to wait any period of time before reporting someone as missing.

As for the case of Clint Washburn is receiving new attention this week as the popular podcast The Vanished hosted by Marissa Jones covered Clint Washburn’s case this week. That show included interviews with Margi Washburn, along with several friends of Clint Washburn, and 0ne man who claims that his mother confessed to killing Clint Washburn. You can listen to The Vanished on most podcast platforms. Marissa Jones, host of The Vanished Podcast, will be a guest on Wake Up Tri-Counties next week, a specific date is still being set. Kewanee Deputy Police Chief Stephen Kijanowski tells WKEI RegionalMediaNews.com that they are aware of the podcast but have not listened to it yet. The Deputy Chief also stated that no one with the podcast contacted the Kewanee Police Department regarding the podcast.

 

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