Bass was arrested Tuesday at his Franz Bakery job for investigation of first-degree murder, kidnapping and rape in the Stavik case.
Before his arrest, Bass allegedly bragged about never being caught and outsmarting police. A co-worker obtained a soda can discarded by Bass. It was turned into the Sheriff's Office.
Deputies sent DNA samples from Bass to the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory, which reported that his DNA matched DNA recovered from Stavik’s body in 1989. The lab determined that the probability of a match was 1 in 11 quadrillion.
Closing the case has been a priority of the Sheriff's Office for nearly three decades.
"If you commit a murder in Whatcom County, and even though it remains unsolved for a number of years, it remains actively investigated," Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said. "We will follow any leads necessary to any part of the world to solve it."
About Mandy Slavik
At the time she was killed, Slavik was a first-year student at Central Washington University and well-known in the east Whatcom County community.
She had graduated from Mount Baker High School earlier in the year and would have celebrated her 46th birthday this year.
Her mother and other family members asked for privacy while they come to terms with the arrest.
Bass has no criminal record, but his wife filed a protection order claiming physical and emotional abuse. He refused to give a voluntary DNA sample in the years following the slaying. Investigators collected voluntary DNA samples from more than 50 people.
The Basses lived near Highway 9, just miles from where Slavik’s mother still lives today.