New DNA evidence has helped to potentially solve a 30-year-old murder case in Washington state.
Evidence sourced from a drinking cup has led to the arrest of the alleged perpetrator of a 1989 rape and murder of a teenage girl.
Police announced the arrest of 50-year-old Timothy Forrest Bass on suspicion of murder, kidnapping, and rape, according to Fox News.
“He’s been a suspect for several years, but he was not a suspect when the crime occurred,” Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said at a news conference, according to Fox.
Eighteen-year-old Mandy Stavik was last seen jogging with her family’s dog on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, 1989, in Deming, east of Bellingham.
“The dog returned home several hours later, but Mandy did not,” the sheriff’s office said.
Stavik was found three days later, naked in a river. She had been raped, according to authorities at the time.
‘Biggest Case Ever’
“I think this is about the biggest case ever in Whatcom County,” said Sheriff Elfo at the news conference.
Timothy Bass was a neighbor of Stavik. It was only when a co-worker gave police a cup with his DNA on it that they could finally connect him to the murder, reported Fox.
“Deputies forwarded DNA samples from Mr. Bass to the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory, who reported that this DNA matched DNA recovered from Mandy’s body in 1989,” Elfo said.
Bass has no criminal convictions in Washington, although court records obtained by The Bellingham Herald show that his wife alleged physical and verbal abuse against him in 2010.
Q13 Fox quoted a local man, Max Zender, who was just 7 years old when the murder took place as saying it left the town “very devastated.”
“Anytime something tragic happens in a small town area, it affects everybody,” he said.
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