BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — A Whatcom County judge says prosecutors can use at trial DNA evidence that led to the December arrest of a man for the rape and murder of a teenager near Bellingham nearly 30 years ago.

A co-worker of Timothy Forrest Bass collected a plastic cup and Coke can that he discarded and gave it to detectives. Authorities matched Bass' DNA to evidence found on the body of Mandy Stavik. She vanished while jogging in 1989 near her home in Acme, east of Bellingham.

The Bellingham Herald reports that Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis ruled Tuesday that the co-worker did not violate Bass' rights against unreasonable search and seizure because she was not acting as agent of the state.

The co-worker said she came up with the idea because she felt an obligation to help.

Public Defender Stephen Jackson said he disagreed with the ruling but will respect it.