DNA Leads to Arrest in 1989 Murder of 18-Year-Old Woman

After 28 years, an arrest has been made in a 1989 cold case murder investigation.

On Dec. 19, Timothy Forrest Bass, 50, was arrested in connection with the 1989 kidnapping, rape, and murder of Whatcom County, Washington resident Amanda Stavik after his DNA was matched to DNA discovered on Stavik’s body, Kiro 7 reports.

The 18-year-old, who had been visiting home from college, had gone missing on November 24, 1989 after taking her dog on a jog. When the dog returned back to the family home several hours later but Stavik didn’t, her family contacted police.

Stavik’s body was found days later in the Nooksack River.

Over the course of the investigation, several suspects had emerged, including Bass, who had lived not far from Stavik’s house during the time of her murder and had often watched her basketball games at Mount Baker High. While investigators had collected voluntary DNS samples from more than 50 people, Bass had refused give a DNA sample.

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It is alleged that Bass had bragged to a co-worker about having never been caught and outsmarting police. Police were able to match his DNA the DNA recovered on Stavik’s body after one of Bass’s coworkers obtained a pop can discarded by the 50-year-old and turned it into the sheriff’s office.

On Dec. 21, Bass was charged with first-degree murder.