30-Yr-Outdated Rape/Homicide Case Solved in Most Uncommon Means

Mandy Stavik, ABC's Nightline


Mandy Stavik, ABC’s Nightline

Over 30 years in the past, teenager Amanda “Mandy” Stavik disappeared whereas out for a run in her rural Washington city. Her physique was later found in a close-by river. Forward of 20/20’s rebroadcast of the episode about how her homicide was solved 30 years later, right here’s what it’s essential to know concerning the crime and the way her killer was lastly apprehended.

Stavik Was Sexually Assaulted and Murdered in 1989

On November 24, 1989, 18-year-old Stavik was residence from school for Thanksgiving when she went out for a run close to her residence in Acme, Washington, and didn’t return. At trial, Mandy’s mom Mary testified that after a number of hours, the household turned involved and referred to as the sheriff’s workplace. Three days later, her nude physique was discovered three miles away within the Nooksack River.

A lot of neighbors, together with Judy Strachila, Brad Gorum, and Jeremy Anderson, testified they noticed Mandy throughout completely different components of her run, in accordance with the Bellingham Herald. And a person who helped the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Workplace with search and rescue, Allen Pratt, testified that he seen Mandy’s canine, Kyra, who had gone with Mandy on her run and returned residence with out her, was “cowering along with her tail tucked when he bought to the Stavik residence” and that there was silt from the river on the canine’s hindquarters.

Two Mothers Chatting Concerning the Case Gave Police a Lead

In line with CBS Information, in June 2013, two girls, Heather Backstrom and Merrilee Anderson, who had attended the identical highschool as Stavik, took their youngsters to a neighborhood waterpark and bought to speaking about Stavik’s unsolved homicide as a result of it was one thing that had rocked their small, tight-knit group.

Immediately Backstrom blurted out that she knew who did it and Anderson stated she did too. They exchanged tales and found they had been speaking about the identical man, Timothy Bass.

Anderson advised CBS Information that Bass was a good friend of her husband’s and that one evening a couple of years after Stavik’s demise, he got here to their home and made sexual advances towards her. Backstrom stated she had an identical expertise with Bass a couple of months earlier than Stavik’s homicide when she was simply 15 and Bass was 21.

After this dialog, Anderson contacted a fellow classmate of theirs who labored for the Whatcom Sheriff’s Workplace and advised him about their suspicions of Bass, which is what led to an investigation.

Bass’ Co-Employee Kim Wagner Helped Get the Essential Proof Towards Him

In line with ABC Information, when authorities started investigating Bass, his spouse on the time, Gina Malone, advised them he was very controlling and that he additionally cherished to look at true crime reveals and say that he “wouldn’t be silly sufficient to get caught.”

When police questioned him, he claimed he couldn’t keep in mind who Stavik was, which police discovered suspicious as a result of, in that small group, everyone knew about Stavik’s case. Plus, Bass had lived a couple of homes down from the Stavik household on the time of Stavik’s homicide. Lastly, he refused to present the police a DNA pattern to match to the DNA discovered on the crime scene. Sheriff Invoice Elfo advised ABC Information that that shot Bass to the highest of the suspect record.

In 2013, investigators went to Bass’ office, a bakery outlet retailer, within the hopes of acquiring a DNA pattern from his supply truck. The supervisor, Kim Wagner, directed them to the corporate’s human assets division and didn’t suppose an excessive amount of of it as a result of they hadn’t given her any specifics concerning the investigation.

At the moment, the police couldn’t get a DNA pattern as a result of the corporate wished a search warrant and so they didn’t have possible trigger for a warrant.

However a number of years later, Wagner and her husband and a few pals had been speaking about Bass and it got here up that he used to dwell on the identical road because the Stavik household.

“This mild went off in my head and I assumed, ‘Is that why the police had been at my work?’” Wagner stated. The subsequent time police got here round asking about Bass’ supply routes, she provided to assist them get a DNA pattern.

“Tim mainly took his trash residence,” Det. Kevin Bowhay stated. “He didn’t go away any likelihood that someone would discover one thing.”

Whereas police needed to decline Wagner’s supply as a result of they couldn’t enlist a civilian in an investigation, they did inform her they might settle for proof dropped at them, so Wagner watched Bass till in the future he threw away a water cup at work in 2017.

“I regarded within the rubbish and my coronary heart was like…beating out of my chest,” Wagner advised ABC Information. “I grabbed it and I put it in my desk drawer. I used to be like, ‘Oh, my God. That simply occurred.’”

When authorities examined the cup, Bass’ DNA matched the DNA taken from Stavik’s physique. Through the investigation, Bass claimed it was as a result of he and Stavik had been having a secret relationship, however the one one who may have corroborated these claims was Bass’ father, who had died.

Malone, who was nonetheless Bass’ spouse at this level, initially gave him an alibi, which she later rescinded, telling police that he requested her to lie for him and she or he couldn’t inform the reality till she felt secure.

“What do you say to somebody like that? Like, you must watch out about what you say. I felt like I simply needed to agree with every part he’s saying as a result of if I don’t, I might be subsequent. … I wasn’t a robust individual again then. … I used to be very weak however I ought to’ve gone with my intestine intuition,” stated Malone.

On Might 24, 2019, a jury convicted Bass of homicide within the first diploma. The rape cost had been thrown out because of the statute of limitations expiring. Bass was sentenced to 27 years in jail.

20/20 airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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