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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

No leads in case of missing man

 (The Spokesman-Review)

Sandpoint police say a shoe that washed up on the north end of the Long Bridge belongs to computer programmer Dan Clune, who was last seen at a bar at the south end of the bridge, nearly one month ago.

In addition, the reward for information leading to Clune’s whereabouts has grown to $10,000.

The discovery of the shoe raises the likelihood that Clune, 29, somehow wound up in the chilly waters of the Pend Oreille River, police said. Repeated searches of the river, including a search Tuesday by four Bonner County Sheriff’s Office divers, have failed to find Clune’s body. The bridge, more than a mile long, crosses the river where it leaves Lake Pend Oreille between Sagle and Sandpoint.

The shoe apparently was spotted just a day after Clune disappeared from the Long Bridge Grill in Sagle at closing time in the early morning hours of Nov. 6, but was not reported to police until Nov. 12.

Detective Steve Feldhausen of the Sandpoint police, said a man spotted the shoe along the shoreline Sunday Nov. 7, but didn’t think anything of it until reading newspaper accounts of the missing man later that week.

“A close friend who lived with Mr. Clune at one period recognized the shoe as the property of Dan Clune,” Feldhausen said. Police recovered a shoe box from Clune’s house and Feldhausen said the style, color and size information on the box matches the Adidas shoe found on the shoreline.

Clune, who recently moved to Sandpoint, had spent the evening at the Long Bridge Grill with friends. As the popular night spot was closing down between 1:30 and 2 a.m. Clune became separated from his group. His friends, who had been waiting in the parking lot, went back inside to try and find Clune, stopped to check with pedestrians crossing the bridge and even checked at Clune’s house.

Feldhausen said there are too many variables to officially conclude that Clune is in the water. He did note that police in the past have investigated several cases of pedestrians going over the guard rails or of walkers being surprised the bridge is actually two spans and plunging through a gap in the middle as they go from one side to the other.

Clune was said to be in a good mood that night, and did not in general appear to be depressed.

Lt. Cary Kelly, supervisor of the sheriff’s marine unit, said deputies “spent several days going from the Long Bridge all the way down to the railroad bridge between Dover and Laclede. We combed every inch of shallow water – anyplace we could get our boat – and surveyed the rest,” with sonar and radar.

The four divers on Tuesday went over the waters around the Long Bridge from south to north. “We just wanted to give it a good combing over in case we missed anything,” Kelly said.

The waters around the bridge are typically 10 to 20 feet deep this time of year – in the aftermath of the fall drawdown – Kelly said, but are cold enough that a drowning victim’s body would likely stay submerged even in relatively shallow water.

Kristen Clune, Dan Clune’s sister, said Wednesday from New York that the family is still holding out hope Clune can be found alive.

An online book trading company,, for which Dan Clune had done some programming, matched the family’s original $2,500 reward, Kristen Clune said, and her employer, Sporn Co., a maker of pet supplies, has matched that amount, bringing the total to $10,000.

The reward offer has not so far attracted any meaningful tips or leads, Kristen Clune said. She said she and her mother each contacted psychics – on opposite sides of the country – and each psychic said Dan Clune was alive.

“When I was in Sandpoint I contacted Connie Stewart one night when I was staying in the Motel 6 and asked if she would mind coming to the motel,” Kristen Clune said. “There was nothing coming from anywhere else and I needed somebody who could maybe get on another level.”