Mandy Stavik Cause of Death: How Did She Die?

Mandy Stavik


The day after Thanksgiving in 1989, 18-year-old freshman college student Mandy Stavik went out on a run with her family dog. Hours later, the dog returned home without Mandy.

Family, friends, and police searched frantically for the missing woman. It wasn’t until three days later that they found her body in a river about one mile away from her house.

Kim Wagner Helped Police Obtained Her Killer’s DNA Evidence

Nearly thirty years after Mandy’s death, Timothy Forrest Bass was charged with the abduction, rape, and murder of 18-year-old Stavik.

Bass, 51 at the time of his arrest, worked as a delivery driver for the local Franz Bakery outlet in Bellingham. The Bellingham Herald writes, “The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office had suspected Bass since at least 2013, according to Sheriff Bill Elfo. Detectives twice contacted him at his home, but he declined to give a voluntary DNA sample. Detectives then requested permission to collect a DNA sample from his work truck, but Franz denied the request. Bass was then arrested in December 2017 after a fellow coworker gave detectives a plastic cup and Coke can he drank out of.”

That coworker was Kim Wagner. Speaking to ABC News, Wagner shares, “They came in. They said that there’s an employee here under investigation for a case and they would like to get route information and maybe collect a cigarette butt in there. At that point, I just, I shut them down. I was like, ‘Yeah, no. This is not…this way above my pay grade,'” she said.

Several years later, however, Wagner agreed to help the police. Wagner obtained a DNA sample from Timothy Bass. She tells ABC, “I 100% volunteered to do it… The reason I wanted to know was I’m a mom now. If something happened to my daughter, I’d want someone to help me. And the thought of her mom never having an answer of who did that to her daughter, if I could help her find that peace, I wanted to do it.”

It wasn’t long after that Timothy Bass was arrested and taken to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

Bass Told Investigators He & Mandy Stavik Had a Sexual Relationship

How did Bass account for the DNA match? He told investigators that he was having a secret sexual relationship with Mandy. Neither the police nor Mandy’s family believed him.

“There’s no way my sister would have had a relationship, a physical relationship with Tim Bass,” Mandy’s sister said. “She was way, way, way out of his league, to put it bluntly.”

On December 17, 2017, Timothy Bass was charged with first-degree murder. He has since maintained his innocence. On May 24, 2019, he was convicted of murder in the first degree.

Before his sentencing, Bass told the courtroom, “I would first like to say that I am 100% innocent of this crime. I wish no ill will towards anyone here, not even today. But I am having a hard time with this.”

Today, Bass is incarcerated in the Clallam Bay Corrections Center on the Olympic Peninsula. The Bellingham Herald reports that he is under “close custody”, meaning he has “more supervision, less freedom of movement and limits on personal property and programs he can attend.”

Be sure to tune into tonight’s episode of ABC News’ 20/20 to learn more about Mandy Stavik’s case.

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