A nearly 30-year-old cold case involving the rape and murder of Mandy Stavik may have been solved by a combination of police work and advances in DNA testing. Suddenly, this cold case is red hot and a suspect is behind bars.
The Murder of Mandy Stavik
On November 24, 1989, 18-year-old Mandy Stavik was home from school for Thanksgiving in Whatcom County, Washington. Stavik went out for a run with her family’s German shepherd. The dog made its way back home, but Stavik did not.
A search immediately began for the missing college student. Stavik’s body was discovered three days later in the south fork of the Nooksack River.
She had been raped and, according to the autopsy, her death was not inconsistent with drowning. This means there’s a very good chance that Stavik was dumped in the river to die.
Timothy Bass’ Arrest
For years the case was cold, but a suspect emerged recently: Timothy Bass, 50 years old. He lived a few doors down from Mandy Stavik’s home.
He has no criminal record, but, according to his wife, he did say a few things to her that seemed suspicious. While Bass was once watching a cold case crime television show, he allegedly told her, “I wouldn’t get caught because I’m not that stupid. It would be easy to get away with it.”
Bass’ wife filed for a domestic violence protection order in 2010. Bass allegedly warned her that the protection order would not protect her from him. His wife terminated the order a few months after filing it.
The police eventually managed to obtain a DNA sample from Bass and they compared it with a DNA sample taken from Stavik’s body. There was a match. According to the lab that did the testing, the probability of a match was one in 11 quadrillion.
Bass has been charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and rape. His bail has been set at $1.0 million.