Transcript for No DNA match in Mandy Stavik murder case: Part 5
I can't believe something like this could happen to such an innocent person. I hope they catch the people that did this to her. I pray for the mother every night. It just seems so, so terrible. I can't see how that could happen. In these tough times when there's nothing to do, you can't do anything. You know, you want to do something, but Mandy's dead, you can't do anything about that. So what do you do? They had the memorial service in our school auditorium. No church within miles is large enough for all the people. More than 1,000 of them who want to say good-bye to Mandy stavik. Well, you couldn't believe how many people were there. Today we come together to share the deep sorrow that has ripped our hearts. I think it was, like, standing room only. A classmate of mine, Pete Stewart, and I wrote Mandy's song for her memorial. The words that we wrote were true then, and they're still true now. Can't believe evil's taken innocence away "Can't believe evil's taken innocence away." Evil did take Mandy's innocence away, but I also feel like it took away the innocence of our community. All the newspapers and TV stations were there. And then they had a little graveside service at the burial. That was very private. She's buried in the cemetery, right up the street from my house. There was a photo of Rick Zender, he's standing at the gravesite holding a teddy bear. It's the teddy bear I got her which is going to sound silly, but she loved that bear. When I had to go back to college and pack her stuff up, one of the things was this teddy bear still smelled like her, but it faded. Once there was a criminal investigation launched, then the police were very careful about what information they gave us. They only want to release the information that could generate more leads. The sense was, who could've done this? Is this is something that a community member would've been involved in? They found another victim of this country's worst known serial killer. The green river killer was a national story. He made headlines across the country. Nobody knew who was behind all these disappearances. Nine more women are missing, and presumed dead. It's a series of unsolved crimes, a serial killer and it was in the green river area. It was in Seattle. It was just a huge number of victims there. He would go out and look for women. And he would kill them and then bury them in the area of the green river. All the victims appear to be white females, ranging in age from their late teens to mid-'30s. Could Mandy have been one of the green river killer's victims? Her age was right. Her looks were right. It was like, uh-oh, the green river killer come up here. It would be easy to make that leap of, "Could this be another serial killer in the area?" Certainly the officers talked about that, and they thought about that. There was a giant task force. And our investigators, when Mandy happened, and we were coming up short, nothing solid we could go on, they took all the documentation and went and met with the green river task force. They pretty much said to them, "Do we fit?" And it didn't match the profiles of what they were working with. Mary continued to put herself out in the public eye. Please welcome Mary stavik. To keep interest in the case so that there would be a better chance of finding the person who did it. It was important for Mary and for us to make sure that her story was still out there, because we didn't have any answers. We didn't have any leads. Why come here? Why talk about it again? Well, I guess because I'm hoping that somebody who's out there listening will remember something that will help the law enforcement people help find the person who killed my daughter. The tip line was set up after Mandy was found. Crime stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest and charge. The tips were coming in faster than the department can handle. They were numerous. I mean daily, hundreds of tips, and we ran every single one of them down. It was massive. They had an FBI profile that projected it would be someone in the community. Paul Malek was an early person of interest for several reasons. First of all, he was a neighbor of the staviks. He lived very close by. Also he was one of the last people to see Mandy alive. He indicated to law enforcement that he had seen Mandy and he had seen a car drive by. As he was backing out of his driveway, he saw Mandy jogging by. He also said that he saw a dark pickup truck, but he couldn't give any details, like what make was it? What model was it? Who exactly was driving it? He tended to maybe act like he was inserting himself into the investigation, which is sometimes a red flag for investigators. Are they looking for information, and fishing, or are they trying to help you solve this? What's their motivation? He was interviewed several times by our agency. They asked him to do a DNA sample, which he initially refused. So they went and got a court order and forced him to do it. I worked with the detectives, we had a search warrant for his blood. We excluded him. Time and time again, they would have a person of interest, they would question that person, but something would rule them out. They had a good alibi, or ultimately their DNA did not match. This case dragged on. It becomes a cold case. But after 10, 15, 20 years, it's like, well, it's never going to be solved. When a new detective would come in, they would bring different eyes to it. New people are going to look at different things. You have one person that can answer some questions because they're the ones that own that DNA. We thought this would be the key, that this would solve this case. Maybe it was a neighbor, maybe it was a friend. And from that, the sweep was born. We decided to go out and try to interview and collect DNA from as many of the males that we knew that lived in that area. We weren't going to give up until it was solved. That it would happen like this, I never would have guessed. I saw breaking news. And I saw a picture of Mandy. Oh, my gosh, is this really what I think it is? It was stunning. How could this have happened after so long? It was so out of the realm of anything we could have ever have expected. Couldn't possibly imagine it'd be somebody we knew. From a hunch or gut feeling to solving a case that is 30 years old. I don't know what I had in my hand, but I dropped it. I never expected it to be them, I never suspected them. It was just like, "You've got
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