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Suspect in 1989 cold case arrested almost 3 decades later

cold case cold case solved mandy stavik murder timothy bass

Back in 1989 Amanda Teresa Stavik, known as “Mandy” to friends and family, was just 18 years old.

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The blonde haired, bright-eyed teenager lived in the rural, picturesque area of Whatcom County, Washington, where she was a resident of a census-designated place known as Deming. She had moved to the area when she was 12 years old, and was a popular young woman in the sparsely populated community.

Mandy had graduated from Mount Baker High School and was a freshman at the Central Washington University in Ellensburg, where she partook in various sports, such as basketball and softball. She also ran track, and would regularly go jogging along the same route around the local area in order to keep fit.

On the 24th of November, 1989, Mandy grabbed her Walkman and left her childhood home with the family dog, a German shepherd named Kyra, to go on one of her routine jogs. She was visiting home for Thanksgiving, but like the dedicated athlete she was, kept up with her daily fitness regime. Reports state that she left home at around 1:50pm.

Several hours passed and Mandy had not yet returned to the family home. A while later, her dog, Krya showed up without her. This sent her family into a state of panic and they quickly reported her missing (at 7:29pm) and began searching for her in the local and surrounding area. Despite searching the entire evening, they could find no trace of Mandy. Due to the lack of clues as to what had happened to the missing teen, investigators began to entertain the idea that she had been kidnapped.

The following morning the search was extended and police had additional resources such as officers from the nearby Skagit County, helicopters and horses to aid them in the hunt for missing Mandy Stavik. Locals searched for her on foot and in their own vehicles but her body eventually discovered in the Noosack River by investigators searching the body of water by boat. 

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 The light sweatshirt, green joggers, undershirt, underwear and sports bra that she had been wearing when she left home had been removed. She was still wearing her socks and blue running shoes. It was almost immediately evident that foul play was involved. According to this report the position of Mandy’s body suggested that she’d been struck across the back of the head and drowned in the river. An autopsy would later reinforce the theory as medical examiner Dr. Goldfogel determined that the cause of death was drowning as well as evidence of trauma to the back of the head.

Evidence of recent sexual activity was also present, but it could not be confirmed if sexual activity had taken place before death or after.

According to this report, police retrieved two pillowcases from around the same area. A long blonde hair was found on one, and a long dark hair on another. The hairs were tested but couldn’t be officially confirmed as belonging to Amanda Stavik. It is not known if they are connected to the case.

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It’s been 28 years since Amanda Teresa Stavik was found dead, but investigators never gave up. Over the years many tips had been called in, the majority of them pointing the finger of blame in the direction of a (now 50 year old) man named Timothy Forrest Bass. Although authorities were suspicious about this individual, they could not convince him to voluntarily submit DNA in order to be ruled out as a suspect (apparently over the years many residents submitted their DNA to be ruled out, but when Bass was asked he declined). Bass was around 22 years old at the time that Mandy went missing and apparently lived nearby the Stavik family home at 3260 strand road, Whatcom County in 1989. He also attended her basketball games as a spectator despite being a few years her senior.

Due to Mr. Bass’ reluctance to provide DNA, and the tips received from the public, he became the main suspect in the case. Police attempted to gain access to the delivery truck Timothy Bass drove for his job at The Franz Bakery Corporation, but the request was declined. They eventually obtained a DNA sample from a co-worker of Bass, who retrieved a discarded cup and cola can that he had witnessed Bass drink from and submitted it to the police. The DNA lifted from the cup was compared with that of the semen found inside Stavik which was taken at autopsy via a swab and retained. It was a match.

He was consequently arrested but continued to insist that he had no relation to Amanda Stavik. When informed that his DNA sample had matched that of the DNA found on the victim’s body he changed his story and claimed that the two engaged in sexual intercourse on the day of the murder. He denied killing the teenager.

On December 14th 2017 Bass was charged with the first degree kidnapping, rape and murder of Mandy Stavik.

Mandy’s mother lived to see the arrest made and the Sheriff handling the 30 year old cold case said it was the best moment in his career to put the cuffs on the suspect. In an interview with KTVB he said the department had become obsessed with solving the case and almost felt as if Mandy was speaking to them.

Timothy Bass may have a clean criminal record in the state of Washington; however he does not have clean slate in the way of violence against women. Numerous reports online detail a restraining order filed against him by his own wife in 2010. Apparently he was both physically and verbally abusive to both her and their children. She also claimed that he had an interest in TV shows covering various cold cases and proclaimed that he’d never be dumb enough to get caught for a murder. According to the Bellingham Herald the couple got back together eventually and Bass’ wife withdrew the restraining order after several months.

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Bass is currently detained



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