DNA Leads To Arrest In 1989 Cold Case Murder Of College Freshman Mandy Stavik

Amanda T. “Mandy” Stavik [The Bellingham Herald (screenshot)]

ACME, WA — She was an 18-year-old college freshman who came home over Thanksgiving in 1989, went out for a jog — and was never seen alive again.

Timothy Forrest Bass, 50, was just arrested Tuesday morning by the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office in connection with the abduction and murder of Amanda T. “Mandy” Stavik in Washington state. Stavik went missing November 24, 1989, while out for a run near her home on Strand Road in Clipper.

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A freshman at Central Washington University, Stavik was home visiting her family for the holiday. She was last seen at about 2:30 P.M. the day she went missing heading out with her dog, Kyra. The dog came home alone later that afternoon — but, chillingly, there was no sign of Stavik.

Bass was a neighbor of Stavik’s at the time, and would have been 22 at the time of the murder. It’s also known that he used to attend basketball games that Stavik used to compete in.

Stavik’s body was found three days later in the south fork of the Nooksack River, around three miles south of the family’s home. An autopsy determined that she had drowned, and the medical examiner also reportedly found a blood clot on the back of her head.

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A forensic examination also revealed that Stavik also engaged in sexual activity either before or after her death. Semen was taken from her body and, though a DNA profile was created, testing on several suspects revealed that their DNA did not match that of the DNA taken from Stavik’s body.

Sheriff Bill Elfo said that new DNA evidence led detectives to the arrest of Bass. Although Bass refused to provide a sample voluntarily, a coworker of his turned in a Coke can from which Bass had drank. “The laboratory determined that the match probability was 1 in 11 quadrillion,” he said.

Bass has no criminal history in Washington state, but in 2010 his wife filed for a domestic violence protection order in which she alleged physical and verbal abuse, according to Whatcom County Superior Court records.

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Bass’ wife also claimed that Bass watched cold-case television shows, and during one incident, told her, “I wouldn’t get caught, because I’m not that stupid. It would be easy to get away with it,” the court records show. Despite the protection-order filing, the couple later reconciled.

Bass has been charged with first-degree murder, and also faces charges of first-degree kidnapping and first-degree rape. His bail has been set at $1 million.

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Read more:

The Bellingham Herald 

The Bellingham Herald (2)

Main photo: Amanda T. “Mandy” Stavik [The Bellingham Herald (screenshot)]


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