SANDPOINT -- Family
and friends of Danny Clune are disclosing more information about what
they believe transpired just before he went missing in the early morning
hours of Nov. 6.
Clune's sister, Kristen, released to the media on Friday a nine-point
statement of what they contend happened in the hours leading up to her
brother's disappearance and their position on aspects of the case.
Friends and family say Clune, 29, was at the Long Bridge Grill with Kendall
Wishnick, Leon Atkinson and three others, identified only as Matt, Shane
and Wes. Danny Clune's employer and landlord, Bruce Pedersen, also happened
to be in the Sagle lounge that night.
Atkinson said on Friday Pedersen and Wishnick were in the parking lot
outside the bar, but Wishnick went back inside alone. Clune, who reportedly
was adamant about not leaving the bar without Wishnick, went outside to
find her, leaving Pedersen and Clune in the parking lot at the same time,
ZIP code where you park at night.
Clune was drunk and had been denied service at the bar in the hour leading
up to his disappearance, Atkinson said. Atkinson suggested Clune leave
with him, but Clune protested.
"He looked at me and said, 'Leon, I really like you and respect you,
but I am not leaving without Kendall.' And he said it with such resolve
that I knew I either needed to knock him in the head, put him over my
shoulder and carry him out or let him go," Atkinson said. "So
I let him go."
Pedersen, however, flatly denies being outside the bar with Clune and
takes issue with the tone of the statement issued by Clune's family, which
said the two were outside together and that "Bruce claims he never
saw Danny in the parking lot that night."
"I never saw Danny at all outside. The last time I saw him he was
in the bar," Pedersen said on Friday.
Pedersen, 39, is co-founder of Bookcrossing.com, an online community which
facilitates the sharing of books and literature globally. Clune is a programmer
Sandpoint Police corroborated elements of the Clune statement, such as
who was at the bar when Danny was. But they do not consider it a fact
that Pedersen and Clune were in the parking lot together, according to
Det. Corey Coon.
"A lot of those (points in the statement) are personal opinions,"
The investigation is ongoing and Pedersen is not considered a suspect
in Clune's disappearance, Coon added.
Clune's family said in the statement the focus of the investigation is
shifting to who Danny was with that night, but Coon said that has been
part of the focus from the outset.
"From day one we've been interviewing everybody that had been at
the bar that night. That's not something that's just started to happen,"
Though a pair of shoes Sandpoint Police believe Clune was wearing on the
night in question have been found washed up along the Pend Oreille River,
the family disputes the notion that Danny could have fallen into the river
while attempting to walk home on the Long Bridge.
Atkinson said Wishnick, 28, told him what transpired when she was in the
parking lot, but he refuses to say and referred the questions to Wishnick.
A message left with Wishnick on Friday was not returned.
"I've disclosed all the details to police and Kendall has, too,"