Platte City authorities looking for child rape suspect Wendell Lee Washam
Washam didn't show up for trial in Tennessee
11:26 AM, Dec 27, 2012
6:44 PM, Dec 27, 2012
PLATTE CITY, Mo. - Platte City detectives are searching for an elderly man accused of raping a 9-year-old girl in Williamson County, Tenn.
Wendell Lee Washam, 82, never reported to his Dec. 3 trial, and when the Williamson County Sheriff's Office began searching, investigators realized Washam's last known address is 1100 Pleasant Hill in Platte City.
Lt. Tony Phillips of the Williamson County Sheriff's Office told 41 Action News Washam is accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl multiple times between April and September of 2011.
Platte City Lt. Al DeValkenaere told 41 Action News officers are assisting the Williamson County Sheriff's office in finding Washam.
"We conducted residence checks of the home," DeValkenaere said. "We believe he lived their with his girlfriend, but we later realized the home is vacant."
Neighbors said they hadn't seen Washam in months and were very surprised to hear of about his charges.
"He seemed so nice," said a neighbor who did not want to be identified. "It's very concerning especially since I have two girls."
DeValkenaere said the department continues to search for the suspect.
"We know from experience that those people who commit those crimes continue to victimize children," DeValkenaere said. "We don't want this to continue We want to isolate him and take him into custody before another victim is identified."
A $1,000 reward is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest. Tipsters are encouraged to call the Platte City Police Department at 816-858-5150 or the Williamson County Sheriff's Office at 615-790-5554.