Student Found Slain in Remote Washington RiverbedANDREA BLANDER , Associated Press
Nov. 28, 1989 5:48 AM ET
ACME, WASH. ACME, Wash. (AP) _ A college student who disappeared while jogging alone was found dead in a riverbed three days later after a search by neighbors and residents of this small Northwest town.
An autopsy report was expected today on Amanda Stavik, 18. Whatcom County Sheriff Larry Mount said she was murdered.
''All these terrible things, all you can think is it doesn't happen to you. It doesn't happen on Strand Road. And it did,'' said Mary Stavik, the girl's mother, before the body was found Monday. ''People here aren't even careful about locking their doors.''
The body was found about noon Monday in the shallow South Fork of the Nooksack River, a few miles from Ms. Stavik's family home on Strand Road. The woman apparently had been abducted while jogging alone Friday.
As word spread, residents gathered at a supermarket in this farming community of about 350 residents in the Cascade Mountain foothills, 80 miles north of Seattle and 20 miles south of the Canadian border.
''I didn't think that kind of thing happened here,'' said Tiffany La Monte, 17, a friend of Ms. Stavik.
Many of the Staviks' neighbors had joined the search in the forested hills hills and along Washington 9, a winding two-lane road. Donations to a reward fund for evidence on the killer exceeded $8,300, said organizer Jim Kyle.
Ms. Stavik, a freshman at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, was seen by her 13-year-old brother, Lee, when she went jogging with her dog, Kyra, while home from college on Thanksgiving break. The dog returned alone.
Mount said the woman's body was naked except for her running shoes. There was no evidence of struggle at the site, leading investigators to suspect the body floated downstream, said Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Peterson.
A pair of sweat pants that may have belonged to the girl were found about 10 miles south of the Stavik home. Mount said the pants were being tested at the state crime laboratory.
The FBI was helping the investigation, and officials planned to enlist the Green River Task Force, a Seattle-based team of detectives with expertise in abduction. The task force was formed to pursue a serial killer, but there was no indication Ms. Stavik's slaying had any connection to the unsolved killings in the Seattle area.
At Central Washington University, 100 miles southeast of Seattle, a reporter found a note on a school riderboard with a message from Ms. Stavik seeking a ride to the Bellingham area for Thanksgiving. Acme is just outside Bellingham.
The FBI was interviewing Ms. Stavik's classmates.
Several of her friends broke into tears while watching television news reports on the case.
''I was just watching the news and couldn't believe it was anyone so close,'' said Michelle Mix, who lived a few doors from the victim in a dormitory.
''It just gives you a feeling like, gosh, we were seeing each other in the bathroom,'' Ms. Mix said. ''One day you see them. One day you don't.''
Mrs. Stavik said her daughter, known as Mandy, had been ''very happy and positive and feeling good about school.'' School spokeswoman Barbara Radke said Ms. Stavik had taken her Japanese roommate home for the holiday.