Timothy Bass, suspect in 1989 murder of Mandy Stavik, faces new charge

Timothy Forrest Bass, the Everson man accused in the 1989 abduction, rape and murder of 18-year-old Amanda “Mandy” Stavik of the Acme area, is facing a new first-degree rape charge, according to charging papers filed late Tuesday afternoon by Whatcom County prosecuting attorney David McEachran.

Normally the statute of limitations for adults for rape is three years, but McEachran said because Bass was identified through DNA evidence taken from Stavik’s body, prosecutors had a year from identifying Bass – in December – to file a rape charge.

Bass will be arraigned on the new charge at 9 a.m. on Feb. 9, McEachran said.

The death penalty cannot be sought in this case, because Bass is not charged with premeditated murder, McEachran said.

Bass’ trial remains tentatively set for Feb. 12.

Bass, 50, was arrested Dec. 12 by the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged Dec. 14 with first-degree murder.

Starck Follis, Bass’ public defense attorney, said the case is in the very early stages.

“He’s presumed innocent. We’re investigating it very vigorously to determine where to go from here,” Follis said.

Bass remains in the Whatcom County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

The case

Stavik went missing Nov. 24, 1989 while jogging near her home on Strand Road in Clipper, a community clustered along Highway 9 between Acme and Van Zandt.

She was home for Thanksgiving break from her freshman year at Central Washington University and was last seen at about 2:30 p.m. that day with her German shepherd dog, Kyra.

Stavik’s body was found three days later in the south fork of the Nooksack River, about 3 ½ miles from the family’s home. Stavik’s cause of death was drowning, according to an autopsy done by Whatcom County medical examiner Dr. Gary Goldfogel.

Goldfogel also found a blood clot on the back of Stavik’s head, which was indicative of a blow to the head that could have knocked her unconscious, according to court records.

Semen was removed from her body and preserved, authorities said. No injuries were observed on her body, other than a few superficial scratches stretching from her thighs to her knees, which could have been caused by running through the brush, according to court records.

DNA evidence was taken from Stavik’s body during the autopsy, and a DNA profile was created. After Bass denied to voluntarily give a sample of his DNA several times when he was asked by law enforcement, his coworker at Franz Bakery saw Bass drink out of a plastic cup and a Coke can and turned in the items to authorities, according to court papers.

Bass’ DNA matched the DNA suspect profile, according to court papers filed in the case.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt

Related stories from Bellingham Herald