Suspect in 28-year-Old Murder Case ‘Done In’ by DNA Provded by Co-Workers
For 28 years, the case was cold, but officials had their suspicions. Then, thanks to a co-worker of the suspect, the case blew wide open.
You've probably heard about the arrest made in the 1989 abduction and murder of a CWU student named Amanda T. Stavik in rural Whatcom County, WA . The girl was out jogging November 24th, 1989 and never returned home. The Mt. Baker High grad was home for Thanksgiving from CWU.
She lived near a little town called Clipper near Highway 9, about 15 miles East of Bellingham. The family dog, whom she took with her, returned home about 3 hours later alone. 2 days later, her body was found, according to the Bellingham Herald, in the South Fork of the Nooksack River, and 3 1/2 miles from her home.
She showed signs of a blow to the head and sexual assault. DNA was taken from her and the crime scene, and over the next two decades a voluntary DNA retrieval program eliminated about 30 suspects. However, one potential perpetrator, Timothy Forrest Bass, 50, of Everson, WA refused repeated DNA requests. According to co-workers he often bragged while watching TV crime shows that he would never be caught over a crime, the people on TV. He had attended the same h.s. and was four years ahead of her.
Because of a variety of evidence, authorities suspected he was responsible. However, when his employer, Franz Bakeries, declined to allow authorities to swab the inside of his delivery truck, a co-worker retrieved a Coke can and plastic cup he knew Bass had used, and it provided the DNA to build a profile.
The DNA showed there was only a 1 in 1 quadrillion chance that Bass was not the perpetrator.
That ultimately led to the arrest of Bass on Tuesday. His next court appearance is December 22nd. When he was arrested he denied having any association with Stavik, even after being questioned for hours. But when confronted with the DNA evidence, he then changed his story and claimed he'd had 'consensual' relations with her.
Thursday evening, a spokesperson representing the legal counsel from Franz Bakery Co. in Portland released the following statement:
"We are saddened by the tragic news regarding Amanda Stavik and the potential involvement of one of our former employees who is alleged to have committed this crime prior to joining our company. Franz Bakery has a long history of supporting and cooperating with law enforcement. While the company recently learned there was an informal request for a DNA sample from this employee several years ago, law enforcement never provided the company with the proper documentation (I.e., search warrant, subpoena) that would have allowed us to provide this information. We are working and cooperating with law enforcement regarding this matter and will continue to do so. "