82-Year-Old Child Rape Suspect on the Run

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Wendell Lee Washam, 82, is wanted for the rape of a 9-year-old child.

PLATTE CITY, Mo. — A nationwide search is underway for an elderly Platte County man who’s charged with raping a 9-year-old girl in Tennessee.

For the last two weeks, detectives with the Platte City Police Department and the Platte County Sheriff’s Office, along with officers in Tennessee and the U.S. Marshal’s Office, have all been looking for 82-year-old Wendell Lee Washam.

Washam, who used to live at 1100 Pleasant Hill Drive in Platte City, is wanted for the rape of a child in Williamson County, Tennessee more than a year ago.

“He’s believed to be driving a 2010 white Doge pickup with a white tunnel cover. At this time, we don’t have any license information,” said Captain Erik Holland, a spokesman for the Platte County Sheriff’s Office.

Tennessee detectives first arrested Washam on October 16, 2011. Prosecutors charged him with raping a child. Washam posted bond and on December 3 he was expected to plead guilty to the crime, but Washam never returned to court. Meantime, the Platte City house where authorities say he used to live with his girlfriend is now vacant and up for lease.

Several of Washam’s former neighbors on Pleasant Hill Drive say they barely knew him.

“He seemed nice and quiet,” one woman told FOX 4’s Robert Townsend.

“Yeah, I was shocked,” said another woman in the area. “It’s disturbing when you think about your neighbor.”

Washam faces a number of charges including two counts of rape of a child, solicitation to commit rape of a child and exploitation of a minor by electronic means.

Anyone who sees Wendell Lee Washam or knows of his whereabouts should call the Tips Hotline at 816.474.TIPS or call the Platte City Police Department or the Platte County Sheriff’s Office.

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