Tags: mandy stavik | baker | cold case

Baker Turns DNA Detective, Helps Crack 30-Year-Old Cold Case

Baker Turns DNA Detective, Helps Crack 30-Year-Old Cold Case
Mandy Stavik's grave, located at St. Joseph Mission Cemetery in Acme, Wash. (Evan Abell/The Nellingham Herald via AP)

By    |   Friday, 20 September 2019 11:15 AM

It was the day after Thanksgiving in 1989 when 18-year-old Mandy Stavik went missing in Acme, Washington. Three days later her body was found in a nearby river and authorities concluded she had been sexually assaulted, knocked unconscious then drowned.

Thirty years later a bakery worker, who had been 19 when Stavik disappeared, helped police crack the cold case by sneakily obtaining the DNA from a co-worker who was the lead suspect in the case, according to a recent expose by ABC News.

"If something happened to my daughter, I'd want someone to help me," said Kim Wagner of her decision to volunteer.

"It was the first time something scary happened" in her life, Wagner told ABC News. "It changed everyone's perspective on our little corner of the world."

Police were able to obtain DNA profiles for Stavik and her assailant but could not find a match in the registry. They exhausted every lead, but the case eventually ran cold.

In 2013, they got a break. Several years prior, detective Kevin Bowhay was assigned to the case and he decided to run a systematic DNA sweep of the men living in the area in the year Stavik was murdered when their attention turned to Timothy Bass.

He had not been contacted by investigators but he lived on the same road as Stavik and his family knew hers. Shortly after the murder, he moved away and eventually got a job in a nearby town as a delivery driver at the Franz Bakery, which Wagner manages.

Investigators went to Bass' home to question him but when asked to provide a DNA sample he refused.

In 2013 authorities went to his workplace and approached Wagner for information but she was reluctant to help.

Several years later Wagner was at a bar with friends, when they mentioned that Bass had lived on the same street as Stavik.

A light went off in Wagner’s head and when police approached her a second time, she decided to help.

Wagner volunteered to obtain a DNA sample but investigators said they could not ask a civilian to collect evidence. She went ahead and did it anyway.

An opportunity arose when Bass threw away a plastic cup that he had been drinking water from. Wagner picked it up when he was not looking.

"I grabbed it and I put it in my desk drawer. I was like, 'Oh, my God. That just happened,'" she said.

The cup was sent away for testing and the DNA was matched to that obtained from Stavik's body.

Bass was arrested on Dec. 12, 2017, on charges of first-degree murder. He maintained his innocence but on May 24, 2019, he was convicted and handed the prison maximum sentence of 320 months.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
It was the day after Thanksgiving in 1989 when 18-year-old Mandy Stavik went missing in Acme, Washington. Three days later her body was found in a nearby river and authorities concluded she had been sexually assaulted, knocked unconscious then drowned.
mandy stavik, baker, cold case
458
2019-15-20
Friday, 20 September 2019 11:15 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved