Cops: DNA From Coke Can Unravels Teen's 1989 Murder

It points to man who lived on same street as victim
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2017 11:37 AM CST
Cops: DNA From Coke Can Unravels Teen's 1989 Murder
Amanda "Mandy" Stavik   (Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office)

Home from college for Thanksgiving, 18-year-old Amanda "Mandy" Stavik took her family dog for a jog near Bellingham, Wash., on Nov. 24, 1989. The dog returned home that day, but Stavik's body, showing evidence of rape and possible drowning, was later found in a river. DNA was collected, and in the years after the murder, more than 50 people voluntarily provided DNA samples to police. Timothy Forrest Bass, who lived on the same street as Stavik's family, refused, report KIRO and the Sky Valley Chronicle. Decades later, however, authorities would get the sample they say has solved the case: Bass, 50, who works at a bakery, allegedly bragged about getting away with murder, leading a co-worker to collect a Coke can he discarded, per KIRO and CBS News. Police say DNA taken from the can matches DNA from Stavik's body.

Bass, who now lives in Everson, Wash., was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and rape, per the Bellingham Herald. His bail has been set at $1 million. Authorities say he has no criminal record, though his wife filed a protection order against Bass in 2010, accusing him of physical and emotional abuse. According to court documents, she said Bass told her "people have made me so angry before and I can see why people murder other people." His wife also said Bass watched TV shows about cold cases and once 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 divorce around the same time. Both the divorce filing and protection order were retracted months later when the pair reconciled. (This alleged killer was arrested after spitting on a sidewalk.)

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