Rape suspect presumed dead in ‘09 found deceased in LA

The 2009 disappearance and assumed suicidal jump from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge by a Kitsap County rape suspect has been brought back to light 15 years later after his body was discovered in California last month.

A man identified as Mark Clemens died Feb. 26, but examination from the Los Angeles County coroner says his true identity is Christian Robert Basham.

Bremerton police in a March 14 statement says Basham was arrested and charged with second-degree child rape in 2008.

Released on $350,000 bail, Basham reportedly jumped off the Narrows Bridge on March 29, 2009, witness reports say. Police found his car and a suicide note left behind.

“Several agencies engaged in a search for his body using a WSP airplane; Tacoma, Gig Harbor and Tacoma fire department boats, but Basham’s body was never found,” officials said.

Police found out recently he had been living in Los Angeles under the assumed identity of Clemens and was working as a handyman. Bremerton police were informed of that March 13.

Officials said while the case is closed, they want to determine where Basham was during the missing time period. “Bremerton detectives will be doing follow-up regarding Basham’s movement and actions since his supposed death in 2009,” a BPD statement says.