Sheriff hopes Friday’s ’20/20’ special on Stavik murder inspires more to come forward

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Bass on trial for Stavik’s death

Timothy Bass was convicted in Whatcom County Superior Court for the 1989 murder of Amanda Stavik.

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ABC’s investigative series “20/20” will air a two-hour special focusing on the investigation into the 1989 the kidnapping, rape and murder of Amanda “Mandy” Stavik in Whatcom County and the conviction of Timothy Bass in the case earlier this year.

The episode “30 Years Searching” will air at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, on Channel 4.

Included among the people interviewed in the special are: Mary Stavik, Mandy’s mother; Gina Malone, Bass’ ex-wife; Kim Wagner, Bass’ co-worker who helped break the case; Molly Brighton, Mandy’s sister; Bridget Whitson, Mandy’s stepsister; Rick Zender, Mandy’s former boyfriend; David McEachran, former Whatcom County district attorney and prosecutor on the case; Bill Elfo, Whatcom County sheriff; and Kevin Bowhay, lead detective on the case.

“We appreciate ‘20/20’s’ work on this production, which will depict how good citizens came forward to help law enforcement solve this horrendous case of kidnapping, rape and murder,” Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said in a release about the episode. “My hope is that it will motivate people who may have suspicions about other cold case murders here or elsewhere, to come forward and provide information to law enforcement.

“While Mandy will not have justice in this life, we hope that the work of our detectives and prosecutors will help bring some comfort to her family.”

Bass, 51, was sentenced to nearly 27 years in prison on July 2 by Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Rob Olson after a jury convicted him May 24 of first-degree murder of Stavik, who was 18 at the time.

On Nov. 24, 1989, Stavik went for a jog near her home in Clipper, near Acme, and never returned. Her body was found three days later in the south fork of the Nooksack River. She was wearing only her jogging sneakers and socks.

In December 2017, Bass, 51 of Everson, was arrested in connection with Stavik’s 1989 death. Bass’ fellow coworker, Wagner, turned in a plastic cup and Coke can he drank from and discarded. The DNA from those items matched the suspect profile created from evidence taken from Stavik’s body during an autopsy.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.