Cold case: Man arrested in 1989 rape, murder of Washington state teenager

Timothy Forrest Bass was arrested Tuesday in 1989, the rape and murder of Mandy Stavik.

(Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office/Q13 FOX)

A cup helped solve a 30-year-old murder in the state of Washington, police say.

Police say new DNA evidence that has arisen from a cup has led to the arrest Tuesday of the rape and murder of a teenage girl who was last seen going jogging with her dog in the family.

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that the 50-year-old Timothy Forrest Bass was arrested on suspicion of murder, kidnapping and rape in connection with the killing of Mandy Stavik.

“He is a suspect for several years, but he was not a suspect when the crime was committed,” Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said at a press conference.

Mandy Stavik’s body was found along the South Fork of the Nooksack River three days after she disappeared.

(Q13 FOX)

Stavik,18, was last alive seen on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, 1989, when she went for a jog from her home in Deming, located east of Bellingham, around 1:50 pm with the family dog, according to the sheriff’s office.

“The dog returned home a few hours later, but Mandy did not,” the sheriff’s office said.

Three days after she went missing, her nude body was found along the South Fork of the Nooksack River. Authorities said she was raped and think that she is still alive when she was dumped in the river, according to The Bellingham Herald.

“I think this is about the greatest thing ever in Whatcom County,” Elfo told reporters during a press conference, adding that detectives have worked the case “stubborn” for decades.

The prosecutors said new DNA technology helped them finally connect Bass — a neighbor who saw her jogging in front of his house, as a suspect in Stavik death. A colleague had the police with a cup that Bas had his DNA on after drinking it, police told Q13 FOX.

“I think this is about the greatest thing ever in Whatcom County”

– Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo


“Deputies forwarded DNA samples of the Lord Bass at the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory, which reported that this DNA matched the DNA recovered from Mandy’s body in 1989,” Elfo said.

Timothy Forrest Bass was arrested Tuesday in 1989, the murder of Mandy Stavik.

(Q13 FOX)

According to Whatcom County Superior Court records obtained by The Bellingham Herald, Bass the woman filed for a domestic violence protection order in August 2010. In the court filing, she claimed physical and verbal abuse and sought to protect themselves and their three children, but then terminated the order a few months later. The 50-year-old has no criminal convictions in Washington.

Stavik, who is a graduate of Mount Baker High School in 1989, she was an athlete, an honor student and a cheerleader, was attending Central Washington University at the time of her murder.

Max Station, which is only 7 years old when Stavik was murdered, told Q13 Fox said that the killing of the city “very devastated.”

“Always something tragic happens in a small town, it affects everybody,” he said.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @travfed

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