believe Danny Clune drowned in Pend Oreille River
SANDPOINT -- Kristen and Ryan Clune came to Idaho last week looking for
answers to their missing brother's whereabouts.
But it appears they will be leaving only with questions they've had since
Danny Clune went missing in the pre-dawn hours of Nov. 6.
"Here we are almost two weeks later and we're getting on a plane,
and we have no answers to go back to my parents with," said Kristen
Clune. "It's pretty upsetting."
Kristen and Ryan put their lives on the East Coast on hold last week to
come to Bonner County to try and locate their brother, a 29-year-old computer
programmer for BookCrossing.com in Sandpoint.
Danny Clune was last seen shortly before 2 a.m. at the Long Bridge Grill
in Sagle. He had just finished having drinks with a small group of friends
when they decided to head home, Kristen Clune said.
As they assembled in the parking lot, Clune went back inside to retreive
his blue hooded sweat jacket. That's the last time Clune's friends saw
Kristen Clune believes when Danny returned to the parking lot, his friends
were looking for him in the lounge. Mobile phone records show a call was
placed from Clune's phone to the phone of a woman in the group.
"It was obviously him walking around the parking lot looking for
her," Kristen Clune said.
But there was no message and no sign of Danny.
The prevailing theory about town is that Danny plunged into the Pend Oreille
River while walking back to town on the U.S. Highway 95 Long Bridge. But
Kristen Clune does not buy into such conjecture.
She points out her brother was already fixing to leave by car, and if
he did decide to walk home, he would have at the very least told somebody.
The New Jersey native is also a surfer who knows how to handle himself
in the water, his sister said.
Moreover, Kristen Clune's gut tells her Danny didn't plummet from the
"Me and my brother walked up on the bridge and as a soon as we saw
it we both said the same thing -- 'he's not in that water, he did not
fall off that bridge,'" Kristen Clune said.
Sandpoint Police Chief Mark Lockwood said members of the Bonner County
Sheriff's Marine Patrol searched both sides of the river this weekend
and found no sign of Danny.
If Danny did go into the river, there's a chance he might never be found,
Lockwood added. The body could be washed far downstream or become lodged
under snags or against rocks. Also, the river's temperature is cold enough
to slow or suspend the decomposition process, which produces gasses that
can cause a body to surface.
Lockwood said patrons and staff who were at the Long Bridge Grill at the
time of Clune's disappearance have been interviewed, but some recollections
are hazy due to the lateness of the hour and the fact that alcohol was
However, investigators are pursuing a number of leads, which Lockwood
declined to elaborate on. There was one report of a fight outside the
lounge that night, but it did not appear to involve Clune or any of his
friends, said Lockwood.
"We are moving forward with the investigation," he said. "It's
a perplexing case, there's no question. But that's how these cases go."
• Those with information about Clune's whereabouts are asked to
call Sandpoint Police at 265-1482 or Bonner Dispatch at 265-5525.