Accounts differ in Clune case
Posted: Saturday, Dec 18, 2004
By KEITH KINNAIRD News editor

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, Atkinson said.
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 for Bookcrossing.com.

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," said Coon.
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," he said.

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," Atkinson said.