UPDATE: Funeral services set for Dennis Washburn, investigation - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Funeral services set for Dennis Washburn, investigation continues

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Dennis Washburn; photo courtesy Jet Lounge in Waterloo Dennis Washburn; photo courtesy Jet Lounge in Waterloo

UPDATE:  Funeral services are set for Dennis Washburn.  A memorial service will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Parrott and Wood Chapel of Memories at 965 Home Plaza in Waterloo with burial at Fairview Cemetery.  Family members say following the services, there will be a potluck dinner at the Jet Lounge in Waterloo, which is the last place Washburn was seen alive.   Family members say freewill donations will be accepted, which will be placed in a reward fund.

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"You hear the point that your dad's being Life-Flighted to Iowa City, and you get there, and find out he's in coma," said Andrew Washburn.

Andrew Washburn's father, 69-year-old Dennis Washburn, was found unconscious near the former Longfellow school in Waterloo, in bad shape.

"We believe he was beaten, and we're trying to put the pieces together to find out what happened," Washburn said.

His father was a regular at the Jet Bar & Grill in Waterloo, where Randy Barber is a long-time bartender.

"Whoever did this to him hurt him pretty bad," he said of Washburn.

He was with Washburn just hours before the incident. He said his friend had just a few drinks, then left the bar around seven or eight in the evening.

"It scares the hell out of me that something like that could happen to him, because it could happen to any of us down here," Barber said.

Washburn's children are feeling similarly, while wondering what happened to their father. They also have a message to those responsible.

"I hope you know know how I feel, I hope you know how this would feel if it was your dad, or your brother," Washburn said. "I hope you feel the pain that we feel someday. I hope it eats you alive."

He said he never thought he'd have to take his father of a ventilator.

"As a son, making that decision, is one of the hardest decisions I've made in 35 years," Washburn said.

ORIGINAL STORY: The daughter of a Waterloo man who was found unconscious in the early morning hours of Memorial Day confirms that her father has died.

April Washburn said her 69-year-old father, Dennis, died at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics days after medical personnel removed a ventilator.

Waterloo Police Lieutenant Michael McNamee said Thursday no witnesses have come forward with information, and the investigation has proven to be frustrating because of it.

"It's frustrating for us because we have to try and piece the things together and right now we don't have a lot to go on," he said.

"We didn't get the chance to talk to Mr. Washburn, so it makes it even more difficult," he added.

McNamee said Washburn's death is suspicious, however, investigators are waiting for the results of an autopsy which is scheduled for Friday at the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Crime Lab in Ankeny.

McNamee said Washburn's death is not called a homicide at this point.

"We're still working on this. It's not a closed case. It's a frustrating case, but it's something we're going to continue to work on until we hopefully find out what happened," he said.

McNamee urges anyone with information to call the Waterloo Police Department at 291-4340 or Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at (855) 300-8477.


April Washburn has no idea how or why her dad, Dennis, was found nearly dead in the grass outside the former Longfellow Elementary School in Waterloo early Monday morning.

Police have called it an assault, but said they have no witness accounts of what happened.

Washburn admits her 69 year-old dad was probably drinking at a nearby bar, but she has no idea why someone would beat him up and leave him to die.

"Drunk or not, nobody deserves it," Washburn said.

"If somebody wouldn't have happened to see him, he might not even be here right now," she said.

She said they didn't have a close relationship, but that they talked about twice a month.

When police called her early Monday morning, she had no idea how serious her father's injuries were until she saw him in the hospital.

Washburn said her dad is in a coma and not responsive to doctors or nurses.

"It was sad seeing him like that. I mean his entire face was swollen. He has like a baseball size bump on his head that's bruised and it looked like had been stitched back together. He has facial fractures, his neck is broken, you know, he's on a ventilator and they were drilling a hole in his skull to drain off fluid," she said.

According to Washburn, her dad was found in the grass by a passerby with his walker near him. She said his wallet was a few feet down the sidewalk but doesn't know if any money was stolen.

Now Washburn hopes someone will come forward with information.

"It's not fair at all. I wouldn't think it was fair if it was anybody," she said.

Police said they're still trying to see if any witnesses were in the area on Sunday night or early Monday morning. They're urging people to call them with information: (319) 291-4340

Shelley Russell contributed to this report.
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