Saturday, September 17, 2011

Amanda Bach Murder Case - Investigation of Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan [Crown Point Indiana PD]

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[IN] Amanda Bach Murder Case - 
Dustin McCowan's Appeal http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2014/04/in-amanda-bach-murder-case-dustin.html

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The Case:

Dustin McCowan: son of Crown Point Indiana police officer Joseph Elliott McCowan. Convicted in February 2013 of murdering Amanda Bach [Portage IN - September 16, 2011]. Sentenced to 60 years in prison [March 2013].

Immediately following the murder of Amanda Bach the Porter County SD also began investigating Dustin McCowan's father: Officer Joseph Elliot McCowan, for his possible role in hiding key evidence [ Amanda's cell phone; the gun; etc] in the murder case against his son / Dustin. In April 2013 the Porter County SD discontinued its investigation of Officer McCowan. The sheriff department, prosecutor, and Amanda's parents believe that Officer McCowan played a role in covering up the murder of Amanda.


The Porter County Sheriff Department said the investigation of Officer McCowan could be re-opened if they receive new information in the case.








Amanda Bach [Portage Indiana] - Murdered by her ex boyfriend Dustin McCowan -
September 16, 2011.









Dustin McCowan, son of Crown Point Indiana police officer Joseph Elliott McCowan - Convicted of Amanda Bach's murder [February 2013] and sentenced to 60 years in prison [March 2013].









Crown Point [IN] police officer Joseph Elliott McCowan - father of Dustin McCowan who was convicted of murdering Amanda Bach. Officer McCowan was investigated for his possible role in hiding key evidence in the Amanda Bach murder case.
The Porter County [IN] Sheriff Department said the investigation  of Officer McCowan could be re-opened if they receive new information in the case.





On September 16, 2011, Amanda Bach [Portage Indiana] was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Dustin McCowan [Wheeler, IN]

On September 17th, Amanda's body was discovered near a set of railroad tracks, approximately 300 yards from her ex-boyfriend Dustin McCowan's home [Wheeler IN], where he lived with his father, Joseph Elliott McCowan - a police officer with the Crown Point Indiana PD. Dustin McCowan was immediately arrested and charged with Amanda's murder.

On the day that Amanda's body was discovered, Officer McCowan, who had previously refused to allow the Porter County IN Sheriff Department to search his home, reported that one of his guns was missing.

Neither the gun that was used to kill Amanda nor her cell phone were ever recovered. It is believed by the Sheriff Department, the prosecutors, and Amanda's parents that Officer McCowan played a role in assisting his son in hiding evidence

Uncooperative with police, Officer McCowan would maintain his son's innocence by claiming that there was no physical evidence [the missing gun] to link Dustin to Amanda's murder.

In Janaury 2012, while Officer McCowan's son was in jail awaiting trial for Amanda's murder, private investigator Bill Warner [FL] recieved a phone call from a Valparaiso IN police officer. The officer claimed that police had reopened the investigation of Amanda's murder; and they were now linking Amanda's murder to a serial killer case which Warner was investigating.

Warner did some checking and discovered that the call came from the Crown Point PD - and the officer who had made the call was Dustin's father: Officer Joseph Elliot McCowan. Warner also discovered that Amanda's murder case was not being re-opened and was not linked to a serial killer.

In February 2012, Officer McCowan announced that an annoymous person was offering $10,000 for information leading to the 'real' killer of Amanda. It was later revealed that the 'annoymous' donor of the reward was Officer McCowan's mother.

At the murder trial in February 2013, testimony was given in regards to Dustin's claims that his father had 'taken care of' Amanda's cell phone; that the gun was buried; and that Dustin had admitted to having killed Amanda.

Dustin was convicted of Amanda murder's and sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Meanwhile, the Porter SD continued its investigation into the possibility that Officer McCowan played a role in covering up evidence in the murder case against his son. In April 2013, the SD announced that no charges would be filed against Officer McCowan for the possible role he may have played in Bach's death or in the attempt to cover up the murder.


The Porter County Sheriff Department said the investigation of Officer McCowan could be re-opened if they receive new information in the case.











Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan [Crown Point Indiana PD]



- County police have revealed that they believe McCowan's father, Elliott McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, may have aided his son in attempting to cover up the murder.

 
-Dustin McCowan is the son of a Crown Point police officer.

Amanda Bach's body was found the next day alongside train tracks just 300 yards from McCowan's home.

 
- Neighbors report seeing his Crown Point squad car at home shortly after Amanda Bach disappeared.

 
- Officer McCowan denied making any attempt to cover up his son's involvement in the case and confirmed the validity of work records showing he was on the job as a Crown Point police officer during and immediately following the Sept. 16, 2011, believed killing time. A neighbor of McCowan at the time testified she saw Joseph Elliott McCowan's police car at home on the night in question.

 
- Linda Phillips [a neighbor of the McCowans] also said she noticed all the lights on in the nearby McCowan house and Dustin McCowan's father's Crown Point police car parked outside, when he was supposed to be on duty.

 
- NBC 5 has also learned that McGowan is the son of a Crown Point police officer. The family home was searched on Sunday, but police won't say whether anything was found.

Bach's body was found around 3:45 p.m. Saturday, near some railroad tracks. According to police, her body was 300 yards from McGowan's home.

 
- Bolde said McCowan remained calmer than her as they spread news of 19-year-old Bach's disappearance that morning. He walked outside at one point to talk on the phone and after disappearing out of sight, sent her a text that his father and Crown Point police officer, Joseph Elliott McCowan, had picked him up for a short drive.

 
- Porter County Sheriff's Department Patrolman Roger Bowles said two drops of blood were found on the stairs leading to the front door of the McCowan home at the time and that it appears from injuries that Bach was dragged by her hair.

 
- McCowan’s parents didn’t want to talk on camera after Wednesday’s hearing, but said detectives "should be ashamed of themselves."

- The defense team was granted a few of its requests, including those prohibiting prosecutors from bringing up a previous arrest for which [Dustin] McCowan was not convicted or a long list of alleged character traits including accusations that McCowan is controlling, angry, sexually promiscuous, a marijuana user and was suicidal at one time.

 
- During opening statements, prosecutors said they have evidence that proves McCowan shot Amanda Bach with his father's missing gun, then dragged her body to where it was found.

 
- Police never recovered the gun, but instead relied on cell phone pings and text messages as evidence.

Dustin McCowan’s father is a Crown Point police officer. Investigators say they are looking into whether or not he helped his son cover up Amanda’s murder. So far, charges have not been filed.

 
- Dustin McCowan’s mother, Jamie Tome, told jurors Thursday morning she was concerned when she learned Bach’s body had been found near the Union Township home where her son had been living at the time with his father.

 
- Tensions ran high as the McCowan’s father, Elliot, left the Porter County Courthouse. The Crown Point police officer is under investigation, for potentially helping hide evidence in Bach’s murder, according to police.

"Everybody has their own opinions," he said.

Said William Bach, "My gut feeling is he had something to do with it, to help him."

 
- Emotions were high in the packed courtroom Thursday, with a McCowan supporter storming out of the hearing after Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek called members of the McCowan family "dishonest, cowardly and pathetic."

 
- In an unusual argument, prosecutors blamed not only Dustin McCowan but also his family. The judge revealed today an unidentified relative was heard on a prison phone telling him:

"It would be appropriate if the deputy prosecuting attorneys' children were killed so they would know what it's like."

Dustin McCowan's father Elliott McCowan is a Crown Point police officer. The sheriff's office previously said they were looking into whether he helped hide the murder weapon.

 
- "Dustin McCowan is the way he is because of the adults in his life," Polarek said.

 
- "I'm his mother. The fact is, he's innocent and we will appeal," a defiant Jame Tome told reporters outside the Porter County Courthouse.

 
- Despite the conviction and sentencing, investigators say their work in the case isn't over. Prosecutors said they area looking into the possibility that McCowan's family tried to protect him by hiding evidence. It's an allegation McCowan's father, a Crown Point police officer, denies.

"Everybody has their own opinions," Elliot McCowan said as he walked away from the courthouse.

 
- While there's been a verdict in the case, investigators said their probe isn't over. Detectives vowed to continue to look into behavior of McCowan's father, a Crown Point police officer, who refused to let authorities search his property.

"This is not going to end. We've focused on a lot of stuff and there's still more information that we're going to focus on with this case," said Detective Cmdr. Jeff Biggs.

 

- The conviction frees up investigators to look into whether Dustin McCowan's police officer father helped him cover up the crime.

Neighbors report seeing his Crown Point squad car at home shortly after Amanda Bach disappeared.












Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan's missing gun:



- Dustin McCowan’s father is a Crown Point police officer. Investigators say they are looking into whether or not he helped his son cover up Amanda’s murder. So far, charges have not been filed.

 

- While there's been a verdict in the case, investigators said their probe isn't over. Detectives vowed to continue to look into behavior of McCowan's father, a Crown Point police officer, who refused to let authorities search his property.

"This is not going to end. We've focused on a lot of stuff and there's still more information that we're going to focus on with this case," said Detective Cmdr. Jeff Biggs.

 

- McCowan’s father, who is a Crown Point police officer, refused to allow a search of his property, authorities said.

Valparaiso investigators began a search nearby and found Bach’s body Saturday afternoon on railroad property about 300 yards from the McCowan home.

 

- Case timeline - Friday - 9 p.m. - Dustin McCowan's father denies police access to search his home and property. A judge later issues a search warrant.

 

- Sgt. Larry LaFlower, spokesman for the Porter County Sheriff's Department, said a search warrant was issued Saturday and executed Sunday on the McCowan family home.

LaFlower wouldn't comment on whether anything was seized from the home or about the gun used in the killing. McCowan's father is a Crown Point police officer.

 

- Other revelations to surface Wednesday include McCowan's father and Crown Point police Officer, Joseph Elliott McCowan, telling police a .38-caliber revolver is missing from his home and ammunition for that weapon appears to match the bullet taken from Bach's body.





- Police were hoping to find the murder weapon.

 
- Police also searched the McCowan house. McCowan’s service weapon has been ruled out as the murder weapon. LaFlower said Joseph E. McCowan owns other guns, which were being checked by police.

 
- Questions came up about whether Joseph Elliott McCowan's service weapon was used in the murder, but his superiors told NBC Chicago the officer was on duty and had his weapon with him at the estimated time of her death.

 
- "There were definitely some weapons that were involved. The dad had some guns that he didn’t take to work with him" that were for personal use, LaFlower said.

 
- Other revelations that surfaced included McCowan's father, Crown Point police Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan, telling investigators a .38-caliber revolver was missing from his home.
Along with that, ammunition for a .38-caliber gun appears to match the bullet taken from Bach's body.

 
- Alexa said a motion to return 29 guns confiscated from the home of McCowan's father should more appropriately be filed with the Sheriff's Department.

 
- The defense is looking to have firearms confiscated from the McCowan family home returned to the defendant's father.

 
- Prosecutors do not have the gun used in Bach's killing.

 
- Jan. 23, 2013 - Prosecutors reveal a former jail inmate claims McCowan told him while they were in lock-up that he shot someone named Amanda and buried the gun so well it never will be found.

 
- McCowan's father, Joseph Elliott McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, told police a .38-caliber revolver was missing from his home, according to testimony at a November 2011 bond hearing for Dustin McCowan. Ammunition for that weapon appears to match the bullet taken from Bach's body, according to court reports.

 
- Police never recovered the gun, but instead relied on cell phone pings and text messages as evidence.

 
- Grunhard, who is serving a six-year prison term after failing the county's drug court program on charges including aiding in a burglary and drug possession, said McCowan told him in October that he shot a girl "because she crossed me."
He said McCowan told him on another occasion he expected the case to be dismissed because authorities will never find the pistol he used.
"It was buried so far nobody would find it," Grunhard said he was told.

 
- Also testifying at the start of the third week of the trial was Charles Wade III, who said McCowan had told him while they were locked up together he was concerned about police discovering blood and gun powder evidence in connection with Bach's death.
McCowan said he accidentally struck Bach in the nose on the night in question while reaching for her cellphone and some of her blood may have dripped on the carpet of his home, Wade said. McCowan also reportedly told Wade he was getting a sweatshirt for the blood and the sweatshirt may have gun power residue on it from him shooting earlier while wearing it.

 
- An FBI firearm examiner testified Tuesday the bullet removed from Bach's body is of the "same design" as cartridges turned over by Joseph McCowan for the missing gun.

 
- The father of Dustin McCowan told jurors Thursday morning he discovered a .38-caliber, five-shot revolver missing from his then-Union Township home on the day his son's former girlfriend was found shot to death fewer than 300 yards from the house.
Joseph Elliott McCowan said he had the Smith & Wesson gun since 2005 or 2006 and had last seen the loaded weapon under a couch on Sept. 12, 2011, days before 19-year-old Amanda Bach was shot to death.

 
- In response to questioning from the defense, Joseph McCowan said police would not have known about the missing gun had he not offered the information.











Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan's Crown Point PD squad car:


- Linda Phillips [a neighbor of the McCowans] also said she noticed all the lights on in the nearby McCowan house and Dustin McCowan's father's Crown Point police car parked outside, when he was supposed to be on duty.

 

- Case timeline - Friday - 7 a.m. - McCowan's father reportedly arrives home from work, picks up his son and drives north in his Crown Point Police Department vehicle, toward the Canadian National Railroad tracks, according to an unidentified girl.

 

- Bolde said McCowan remained calmer than her as they spread news of 19-year-old Bach's disappearance that morning. He walked outside at one point to talk on the phone and after disappearing out of sight, sent her a text that his father and Crown Point police officer, Joseph Elliott McCowan, had picked him up for a short drive.

 

- Also Friday afternoon, Porter County police met with McCowan's father, Elliott McCowan, at his home on County Road 625 West in Union Township, just south of where police found Bach's car.

According to court documents, Elliott McCowan told police he was working midnights as a Crown Point police officer and his son was home alone.

 

- He [ Porter County SD LT Young] also explained that McCowan's father's Crown Point police car was investigated because McCowan had reportedly taken a drive with his father on the morning Bach is believed to have been killed.

 

- Police confiscated the marked Crown Point police car of Joseph Elliott McCowan, the father of Dustin McCowan. Authorities said Joseph E. McCowan was not cooperative on Saturday when the car was taken to process it for evidence.

According to the charging document released Tuesday, an unidentified girl told police she was with Dustin McCowan between 4 and 7 a.m. Friday. LaFlower cited the charging document saying McCowan’s father took his son for a short ride in his squad car after he came home from work.

 

- LaFlower said police confiscated the marked Crown Point police car of Joseph Elliott McCowan, the father of Dustin McCowan. LaFlower said Joseph E. McCowan was not cooperative on Saturday when the car was taken to process it for evidence.

LaFlower cited the charging document saying McCowan’s father took his son for a short ride in his squad car after he came home from work.
 









Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan's
Cell Phone Records:


- Warrants were issued for records of an acquaintance of McCowan and one of his relatives, both of whom said they were texting him in the hours before Bach's disappearance.

 

- According to documents filed in Porter Superior Court, police and prosecutors are requesting records for a cellphone belonging to Joseph Elliott McCowan, Dustin McCowan's father. He is a Crown Point police officer.

 

- Crown Point Police Chief Pete Land said the cellphone in question is not McCowan's department-issued phone and the officer has been off duty since his son's arrest, using personal time.

 

- Valparaiso police want to search the cell phone records of homicide victim Amanda Bach, 19, and her accused murderer's father, Joseph Elliot McCowan.

- Joseph McCowan's phone will be checked for calls, text and data from Sept. 2 to Sept. 20.
 









Amanda Bach's missing cell phone:


- McCowan’s father, who is a Crown Point police officer, refused to allow a search of his property, authorities said.


-Valparaiso investigators began a search nearby and found Bach’s body Saturday afternoon on railroad property about 300 yards from the McCowan home.

 

- Case timeline - Friday - 9 p.m. : Dustin McCowan's father denies police access to search his home and property. A judge later issues a search warrant.

 

- Sgt. Larry LaFlower, spokesman for the Porter County Sheriff's Department, said a search warrant was issued Saturday and executed Sunday on the McCowan family home.

 

- In court documents, detectives and prosecutors state the location of Bach's cellphone still is unknown.

 

- Also testifying at the start of the third week of the trial was Charles Wade III, who said McCowan had told him while they were locked up together he was concerned about police discovering blood and gun powder evidence in connection with Bach's death.


-McCowan said he accidentally struck Bach in the nose on the night in question while reaching for her cellphone and some of her blood may have dripped on the carpet of his home, Wade said. McCowan also reportedly told Wade he was getting a sweatshirt for the blood and the sweatshirt may have gun power residue on it from him shooting earlier while wearing it.

 

- Wade said McCowan told him when he realized he still had Bach's cellphone after she left, he discarded it in an abandoned house near where he lived. McCowan said his father later found Bach's phone, Wade said.

 

- Eric Rivera, a friend of Bach, testified that McCowan somehow got his cellphone number to notify him Bach was missing.

He said the only prior contact he had with McCowan was over Bach's cellphone, which is missing.









Officer McCowan - $10,000 reward money

and false claim that police linked Amanda's murder  to a serial killer




- Elliott McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, announced a supporter of his son, Dustin, posted a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Bach's killing.

 

-Family and friends of Dustin McCowan believe it was not the 19-year-old who killed his former girlfriend Amanda Bach, but someone else, possibly a multistate serial killer.

Now, they're putting up a $10,000 reward to find the person they believe is responsible for what they see as McCowan's wrongful incarceration.

 

- "I had somebody contact me saying they wanted to put out a $10,000 reward for any information that ultimately results in an arrest and conviction," Elliott McCowan said. "Obviously they're a supporter of my son. They think he's innocent."

 

- "Someone contacted me and wanted to do it, and they wanted to remain anonymous," the elder McCowan said.

 

- Sheriff’s Detective Jeff Biggs said he didn’t want the public to be led into thinking the department was connected to the reward.

 

- Cops are now re-investigating the execution style murder of petite teen Amanda Bach, cops are looking at other murder cases of petite females around the country to determine if there is any link.

In a phone conversation on Thursday 1/05/2012 with Law Enforcement in Indiana, I was asked if I knew how Karen Swift had been murdered, (shot, strangled, knifed?),

 

- "I get the phone call from a supposed police officer claiming to be in Valpariso IN. I had no idea where Valparaiso was," Warner said." Warner blogged about the case and within hours, that blog posting was linked on three different Facebook sites maintained by McCowan supporters.

 

-Warner said he wanted to know where he was getting his information, so he traced the number and determined it was from an inside line at the Crown Point Police Department, where McCowan’s father works. The more I looked into it, the more fishy things got."


-"I feel like I'm getting played here," Warner said.

 

- "I took what the police officer told me that day as fact about specific aspects of the Amanda Bach murder case and possible links to other unsolved cases, but now that I know the police officer who called me on the registered phone line to the Crown Point Police Department is the father of murder suspect Dustin Mccowan, serious doubt comes into play about the truthfulness of what was said and just what the hell was Crown Point police officer Elliott McCowan trying to do, "I feel like I'm getting played here by a cop..."

 

- Porter County SD Detective Biggs said reports surfacing on the Internet that the case is being reinvestigated are not true, and alternative theories regarding the case, like that involving a multistate serial-killing trucker, seem to be based on false information or tying together loose connections.


- UPDATE 2/16/2012 … BILL WARNER PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR ON AMANDA BACH MURDER CASE, THERE IS NO CONNECTION TO ANY OTHER CASE…..The phone call I got from someone claiming to be a police officer, on Jan 5th, 2012, concerning the Amanda Bach murder case came from phone line, 219-662-3245 , which is registered to the Crown Point Police Department.









Slain woman's parents sue convicted killer, dad
August 07, 2013
NWI Times
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/state-and-regional/indiana/slain-woman-s-parents-sue-convicted-killer-dad/article_25d8200e-871e-5363-9425-7dc1fae47dd0.html

The parents of a northern Indiana woman fatally shot in 2011 are suing the man convicted in her killing and his father.

William and Sandra Bach's civil suit seeks an unspecified amount of money from Dustin McCowan and his father, Joseph Elliott McCowan.

Dustin McCowan was sentenced in March to 60 years in prison in the fatal September 2011 shooting of his 19-year-old ex-girlfriend, Amanda Bach of Portage.

The Bachs' suit accuses Joseph McCowan of contributing to the murder by not properly securing his firearms, one of which Dustin McCowan is believed to have used to kill Bach.

The Times of Munster reports ( http://bit.ly/11K9Sj8) police have said they believe Joseph McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, may have helped his son try to cover up the murder.











Suit targets convicted murderer Dustin McCowan, his father
August 06, 2013  - 12:40 pm
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/suit-targets-convicted-murderer-dustin-mccowan-his-father/article_80df615e-ac4c-5dab-b7d4-521a1f522b7c.html



VALPARAISO - The parents of murder victim Amanda Bach have filed a civil lawsuit against the young man responsible for her death and his father.

William and Sandra Bach are seeking an unspecified amount of money in their suit against Dustin McCowan and his father, Joseph Elliott McCowan.

The Bachs are claiming they are entitled to reasonable compensation from Dustin McCowan for their loss.

The suit accuses Joseph McCowan of contributing to the murder by not properly securing his firearms, one of which Dustin McCowan is believed to have used to shoot and kill 19-year-old Bach on Sept. 16, 2011.

"Defendant, Joseph Elliott McCowan, had a duty to properly secure his firearms when he was not home," the suit states.

The Bachs cite the Indiana Child Wrongful Death statute to justify their claim against Joseph McCowan.

Dustin McCowan was sentenced in March to 60 years in prison for murdering the Portage resident, who was a former girlfriend.

A jury heard evidence for nearly a month before finding him guilty of shooting Bach in the throat during the early morning hours after she showed up at the Union Township home he was living in at the time with his father. Bach's partially clothed body was found the following day less than 300 yards from the house in a wooded area along County Road 625 West at the Canadian National Railroad tracks.

County police have said they believe Joseph McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, may have aided his son in attempting to cover up the murder.

Dustin McCowan failed in his first shot at overturning his sentence and conviction in May. Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa tossed out claims that he erred by not stepping aside after learning about a telephone call with McCowan from the jail that included derogatory and threatening remarks about prosecutors, police and their family members.

An appeal is expected in the case.










Amanda Bach’s parents suing murderer and father
By James D. Wolf Jr.
Post-Tribune correspondent
August 5, 2013  6:38PM
http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/porter/21744326-418/amanda-bachs-parents-suing-murderer-and-father.html





VALPARAISO — The parents of Amanda Bach are suing both the man who killed their daughter on Sept. 16, 2011, and his father.

A lawsuit filed in Porter County on July 31 names both Dustin McCowan, now 20, and Joseph Elliott McCowan, a police officer with the Crown Point Police Department.

Dustin was convicted of 19-year-old Bach’s murder on Feb. 26 after an almost month-long trial.

Porter Superior Court Judge William Alexa sentenced the younger McCowan to 60 years in prison March 28 for the death of the Portage girl.

The attorney for William and Sandra Bach, David E. Woodward of Woodward and Blaskovich, said his clients did not want to comment on the matter.

John Vouga of Vouga and Associates, who with Nick Barnes defended Dustin McCowan, said that he has an appointment to meet with the elder McCowan on Friday.

"Our official stance is it’s not worth commenting on right now," Vouga said.

Dustin McCowan’s appeal is now being handled by a public defender.

The Bachs’ suit states that the parents are suing under the Indiana Child Wrongful Death statute and "are entitled to recover for loss of love, affection and companionship, as well as all other damages permitted."

They included the father in the suit because he "failed to properly secure his firearms in which his son, Defendant, Dustin McCowan, had access," the suit states.

"A direct and proximate cause of Amanda Bach’s death and fatal shooting, was the carelessness and negligence of the Defendant, Joseph Elliott McCowan," according to the suit.

Police were made aware of Bach’s death when her car was found abandoned in downtown Wheeler, north of where the McCowans lived then.

Search parties found her body Sept. 17 in a copse of trees near tracks, close to where the McCowans lived and where Dustin was known to dispose of trash from parties.

She had been shot in the neck by a .38 caliber gun, and the elder McCowan’s .38 pistol that was kept under a sofa was discovered to be missing shortly after the body was found.










McCowan fails in first bid to overturn murder conviction
May 03, 2013 - 4:35 pm
Bob Kasarda NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/mccowan-fails-in-first-bid-to-overturn-murder-conviction/article








VALPARAISO - Dustin McCowan has failed in his first shot at overturning his 60-year sentence and conviction for murdering former girlfriend Amanda Bach.

Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa on Friday tossed out claims that he erred by not stepping aside after learning about a telephone call with McCowan from the jail that included derogatory and threatening remarks about prosecutors, police and their family members.

Public defender Mitch Peters argued 20-year-old McCowan's original defense team did not know about the call until Alexa commented on it during sentencing or it would have asked the judge to recuse himself.

The judge mentioning the call indicated "a personal prejudice and animosity against the defendant," Peters said.

Alexa said in his Friday order that the court is made aware of any potential threats involving staff or participants in order to determine whether there is a risk to personal safety. That is what occurred in this case, and Alexa said he determined there was no threat.

This type of communication is carried out for safety reasons and does not require recusal, he said.

Alexa also said in his order that Peters filed the challenge April 18, before a written transcript was even available of the March 28 sentencing hearing.

According to Friday's order, Alexa had said during the sentencing hearing that McCowan said no when it was suggested during the recorded telephone call that it would be appropriate for prosecutors' children to be killed "so that they would know what this is all about." As a result, Alexa said he did not take the call into consideration when he decided on a sentence.

The call in question was between McCowan and an unnamed person.

Peters has said this failed motion to correct errors was a prerequisite for appeal when addressing newly discovered evidence that could not have been discovered at the time of trial. He reserves the right to take up other issues on direct appeal, but first must review the record considering he did not represent McCowan at the time of trial.

A jury found McCowan guilty in February of shooting his former girlfriend, 19-year-old Bach, of Portage, in the throat during the early morning hours of Sept. 16, 2011, after she showed up at the Union Township home he was living in at the time with his father.

Bach's partially clothed body was found the next day, less than 300 yards from the house in a wooded area along County Road 625 West at the Canadian National Railroad tracks.

McCowan, who has maintained his innocence, has been transferred to the Pendleton Correctional Facility to begin serving his time. He is listed on the DOC's online offender search site with a release date of Sept. 17, 2041.











McCowan seeking to toss out conviction/sentence
April 19, 2013 - 8:00 pm
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/mccowan-seeking-to-toss-out-conviction-sentence/article



VALPARAISO - A public defender brought in to handle the appeal for convicted murderer Dustin McCowan is seeking to toss out the conviction and/or 60-year sentence because Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa did not step aside after learning about a telephone call with McCowan from the jail that includes derogatory and threatening remarks about the judge.

The original defense attorneys, who did not learn about the recorded call until Alexa made reference to it during the March 28 sentencing, would have asked the judge to recuse himself had they been made aware of it ahead of time, said attorney Mitch Peters.

Alexa mentioning the call during sentencing indicates "a personal prejudice and animosity against the defendant inspired by said conversation," Peters wrote as part of his motion to correct errors filed Thursday.

Alexa said at sentencing that the call by McCowan at the jail included a comment that prosecutors would have to experience the murder of their own children to understand what the McCowans were going through.
No hearing had been set on the motion as of Friday.

Peters argues that state trial rules say that "the court, if it determines that prejudicial or harmful error has been committed, shall take such action as will cure the error." The potential remedies include a new trial or modifying the original judgment.

Peters said this motion to correct errors is a prerequisite for appeal when addressing newly discovered evidence that could not have been discovered at the time of trial. He reserves the right to take up other issues on direct appeal, but first must review the record considering he did not represent McCowan at the time of trial.

Those original defense attorneys — John Vouga and Nicholas Barnes — submitted a sworn affidavit supporting the claims that they were not made aware of the recording before the sentencing hearing and would have asked Alexa to recuse himself had they been provided a copy ahead of time.

A jury found McCowan guilty in February of shooting his former girlfriend, 19-year-old Amanda Bach, of Portage, in the throat during the early morning hours of Sept. 16, 2011, after she showed up at the Union Township home he was living in at the time with his father.

Bach's partially clothed body was found the next day less than 300 yards from the house in a wooded area along County Road 625 West at the Canadian National Railroad tracks.

McCowan, 20, who has maintained his innocence, has been transferred to the Pendleton Correctional Facility to begin serving his time. He is listed on the DOC's online offender search site with a release date of Sept. 17, 2041.












No charges will be filed against Elliott McCowan in Bach murder
April 05, 2013 - 9:35 am
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/valparaiso/no-charges-will-be-filed-against-elliott-mccowan-in-bach/article


VALPARAISO - No charges will be filed against Elliott McCowan, the father of convicted murderer Dustin McCowan, in the death of Amanda Bach.

Sgt. Larry LaFlower, Porter County Sheriff's Department's public information officer, issued a statement Friday morning saying the decision has been made not to pursue charges against the elder McCowan. He said the decision was reached by his department and the Porter County prosecutor's office because there is no probable cause at this time.

That, he said, will end the investigation into any possible role Elliott McCowan may have played in Bach's death or in the attempt to cover up the murder.

LaFlower said the investigation could be reopened if his department receives new information in the case.

Elliott McCowan is a Crown Point police officer.

Dustin McCowan was sentenced to the near-maximum 60 years in prison for the Sept. 16, 2011, murder of his former girlfriend, Bach, of Portage. Bach was 19 at the time of her death.

Dustin McCowan, 20, was sentenced March 28 after being convicted of shooting Bach in the throat during the early morning hours after she showed up at the Union Township home he was living in at the time with his father. Bach's body was found the following day less than 300 yards from the house in a wooded area along County Road 625 West at the Canadian National Railroad tracks.









For murder trial testimony, man gets jailtime break
April 01, 2013 - 2:15 pm
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/valparaiso/for-murder-trial-testimony-man-gets-jailtime-break/article

VALPARAISO - While Charles Wade was not promised anything for agreeing to testify in February against convicted murderer Dustin McCowan, he was rewarded Monday.

Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford said he considered Wade's cooperation when deciding to suspend seven of the 15 years of prison time Wade was given for a 2010 carjacking.

Bradford also said he had no objection to a request by the defense to allow 29-year-old Wade to continue to be held at the jail in Pulaski County to keep him out of harm's way after cooperating in the Porter County murder case.

Wade pleaded guilty a year ago to felony counts of carjacking and confinement stemming from accusations of abducting his former girlfriend at knifepoint in July 2010 and returned the following day to commit the same offense against the woman and her daughter.

Wade showed up in a different courtroom during the third week of the McCowan murder trial in February to tell jurors how McCowan had told him while they were locked up together he was concerned about police discovering blood and gun powder evidence in connection with the slaying of Portage resident Amanda Bach, 19.

McCowan said he accidentally struck Bach in the nose on the night in question while reaching for her cellphone and some of her blood may have dripped on the carpet of his home, Wade said. McCowan also reportedly told Wade he was getting a sweatshirt for the blood and the sweatshirt may have gun power residue on it from him shooting earlier while wearing it.

Wade said McCowan told him when he realized he still had Bach's cellphone after she left, he discarded it in an abandoned house near where he lived. McCowan said his father later found Bach's phone, Wade said.

McCowan's defense team accused Wade of lying in hopes of easing his sentence in the carjacking and criminal confinement case.

McCowan was sentenced last week to a near-maximum 60 years behind bars for the Sept. 16, 2011 shooting death of Bach, who was his former girlfriend.










Amanda Bach murder:
Dustin McCowan sentenced to 60 years in prison

Thursday, March 28, 2013
Ben Bradley
WLS- TV Chicago IL
abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local



video
[IN] Amanda Bach murder- Dustin McCowan sentenced to 60 years in prison- Mar 28, 2013

(VALPARAISO, Ind.) (WLS) -- Portage, Indiana teen Amanda Bach was found dead about 300 feet from her one-time boyfriend Dustin McCowan's home in September 2011.

On Thursday 20-year-old McCowan received the near-maximum sentence Thursday for the shooting death of Bach. He was convicted for the murder in February 2013.

Before his sentence was handed down, McCowan refused to make a statement to the court.

"I don't think this court deserves it," he said defiantly.

McCowan offered a slight smile in the courtroom just minutes after a Porter County judge sentenced him to 60 years behind bars.

Amanda Bach's mother Sandy Bach took the stand at the sentencing hearing to describe the impact of loss of her daughter at the age of 19.

Though tears, she said, "I will not let you get the best of me Dustin, I will not. You can't even look at me, can you?"

In an unusual argument, prosecutors blamed not only Dustin McCowan but also his family. The judge revealed today an unidentified relative was heard on a prison phone telling him:

"It would be appropriate if the deputy prosecuting attorneys' children were killed so they would know what it's like."

Dustin McCowan's father Elliott McCowan is a Crown Point police officer. The sheriff's office previously said they were looking into whether he helped hide the murder weapon.










Ex-Boyfriend Gets 60 Years in Teen's Murder
Investigators say they continue probe into Dustin McCowan's family

Thursday, Mar 28, 2013
Updated 8:48 PM CDT
Charlie Wojcifchowski
NBC News - Chicago, IL
nbcchicago.com/news/local/dustin-mccowan-sentence-amanda-bach-murder-200532401


video
[IN] Ex-Boyfriend Gets 60 Years in Teen's Murder- Mar 28, 2013

Emotions ran high outside an Indiana courtroom Thursday afternoon after Dustin McCowan, the man convicted last month of killing his ex-girlfriend, was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

His family vowed to appeal.

"I'm his mother. The fact is, he's innocent and we will appeal," a defiant Jame Tome told reporters outside the Porter County Courthouse.


By contrast, McCowan, 20, was stoic as Judge William Alexa handed down the sentence for his role in the September 2011 shooting death of Amanda Bach. Earlier, he'd declined to make a statement to the court.

I don’t think the court deserves it, your honor," he said.

Amanda Bach's parents said the sentence was bittersweet.

"I guess what we would like would be life without parole. I mean, he doesn't deserve to talk the streets," said Bach's father, William Bach. "He'll be younger than me when he gets out of prison."

Bach's body was found in a wooded area near McCowan's home in Union Township three days after the 19-year-old disappeared.

Despite the conviction and sentencing, investigators say their work in the case isn't over. Prosecutors said they area looking into the possibility that McCowan's family tried to protect him by hiding evidence. It's an allegation McCowan's father, a Crown Point police officer, denies.

"Everybody has their own opinions," Elliot McCowan said as he walked away from the courthouse.

In her remarks, deputy prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said Dustin McCowan is a product of his environment and of those with whom he lives.









Dustin McCowan sentenced to 60 years in murder of Amanda Bach
March 28, 2013 - 6:30 pm
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/dustin-mccowan-sentenced-to-years-in-murder-of-amanda-bach/article

















VALPARAISO - Dustin McCowan smiled with jail guards as he was escorted out of the courtroom Thursday afternoon after being sentenced to a near-maximum of 60 years in prison for the Sept. 16, 2011 murder of his former girlfriend Amanda Bach of Portage.

The 20-year-old, who has grown a beard since last month's trial, declined an opportunity to comment before sentencing, saying only, "I don't think the court deserves it your honor."

He was found guilty of shooting 19-year-old Bach in the throat during the early morning hours after she showed up at the Union Township home he was living in at the time with his father. Bach's partially clothed body was found the following day less than 300 yards from the house in a wooded area along County Road 625 West at the Canadian National Railroad tracks.

The victim's father, Bill Bach, called the sentence bittersweet, pointing out that McCowan could be Bach's age when released from prison, if he is eligible to cut his terms in half with good behavior and participation in various programs.

"I guess what we would like would be life without parole," he said.

His wife, Sandy Bach, objected to the defense comparing McCowan going to prison to her daughter's death.

"Their loss doesn't compare to our loss," she said.

While the sentencing brought an end to the local stage of the high profile case, which included a nearly month-long trial in February, Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa appointed the public defender's office to begin work on the appeal.

Emotions were high in the packed courtroom Thursday, with a McCowan supporter storming out of the hearing after Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek called members of the McCowan family "dishonest, cowardly and pathetic."

Polarek also referenced a recorded telephone call with McCowan at the jail that the judge later explained included a comment that prosecutors would have to experience the murder of their own children to understand what the McCowans were going through.

"Dustin McCowan is the way he is because of the adults in his life," Polarek said.

County police have revealed that they believe McCowan's father, Elliott McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, may have aided his son in attempting to cover up the murder.

Sandy Bach fueled the emotional atmosphere of the courtroom with a lengthy statement describing the many levels of pain she has suffered as a result of the murder and the challenges she faces without Amanda in her life.

"I will not let you get the best of me, Dustin, I will not," she said repeatedly during the statement. "You don't like hearing that, do you?"

Bill Bach, described the pain he felt watching McCowan plug his ears and look toward the floor whenever photos of his dead daughter were shown and discussed during the trial.

"I will have to leave his fate in the hands of God," he said.

The McCowan family declined comment as they left the courtroom, but defense attorney John Vouga characterized the near-maximum sentence as "a mere formality" that offers more fuel for the appeal that he voiced confidence would result in a reversal and chance for a new trial with an unbiased jury from outside the county.

McCowan's defense team spent much of the trial criticizing the police investigation as inadequate. The defense has raised questions about the involvement of other individuals, including the Wheeler man who helped police locate Bach's body.









Boyfriend Gets 60 Years In Portage Woman’s Murder
March 28, 2013 - 4:58 PM
CBS News - Chicago, IL
chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/03/28/boyfriend-gets-60-years-in-portage-ind-womans-murder


video
[IN] Boyfriend Gets 60 Years In Portage Woman’s Murder- Mar 28, 2013

(CBS) — While family and friends searched for his missing girlfriend, Dustin McCowan partied, according to police. Now, he’ll be spending 60 years in prison for her murder.

The sentence was handed down Thursday afternoon in Valparaiso, Ind.

McCowan, 20, was apparently jealous in his rocky relationship with Amanda Bach, 19, of Portage. Police found her body close to railroad tracks, about 300 yards from McCowan’s home in Wheeler, Ind. in September 2011.

Prosecutors said the bullet in her body matched the ammunition in McCowan’s father’s gun, which was missing.

Bach’s father, William, says the 60-year sentence is not strict enough.

"I guess what we would like is life without parole. I mean, he doesn’t deserve to walk the streets," he told reporters.

McCowan’s lawyers claimed the police investigation was flawed. They also raised questions about the involvement of other people.

Tensions ran high as the McCowan’s father, Elliot, left the Porter County Courthouse.

The Crown Point police officer is under investigation, for potentially helping hide evidence in Bach’s murder, according to police.

"Everybody has their own opinions," he said.

Said William Bach, "My gut feeling is he had something to do with it, to help him."










Police examine role of killer’s cop father in Bach murder
March 01, 2013
Regionally Speaking
Steve Walsh
lakeshorepublicmedia.org/police-examine-role-of-killers-cop-father-in-bach-murder/



[IN] Police examine role of killer’s cop father in Bach murder - Feb 28, 2013

A day after Dustin McCowan was found guilty of killing his former girlfriend, 19 year old Amanda Bach, Police in Porter County held a press conference (2-27-13) to announce that they were turning their attention to the potential role of Dustin’s father, Crown Point Police officer Joseph Elliot McCowan in what police believe may have been a cover-up.

On Regionally Speaking, Host Steve Walsh talked to Det. Jeff Biggs about the case after playing an exclusive interview with Elliot McCowan from February 20, 2012, when the father was promoting a $10,000 reward for information leading to information in the Bach murder.









Sandra and William Bach:
Parents of Amanda Bach Speak about their daughter and her killer

February 28, 2013
Regionally Speaking
Steve Walsh
Lakeshore Public media
lakeshorepublicmedia.org/parents-of-amanda-bach-speak-about-their-daughter-and-her-killer



[IN]Sandra and William Bach: Parents of Amanda Bach Speak about their daughter
and her killer - Feb 28, 2013


The conviction of 20-year-old Dustin McCowan on February, 25, 2013, brings to a close one chapter in the life and untimely death of 19 year old Amanda Bach of Portage. Her body was found about 300 yards from McCowan’s home in Wheeler Sept. 17, 2011.

Amanda’s parents, Sandra and Bill Jr. talked about their daughter and the man convicted of her murder on Regionally Speaking with Steve Walsh.










Indiana Man, 20, Convicted in Amanda Bach Murder

20-year-old Dustin McCowan found guilty in September 2011 murder

Thursday, Feb 28, 2013
Updated 12:33 AM CDT
NBC News - Chicago, IL
nbcchicago.com/news/local/Indiana-Man-20-Convicted-in-Amanda-Bach-Murder-193526871

A northern Indiana jury has convicted a man in his ex-girlfriend's fatal shooting following a nearly month-long trial.

The Porter County jury found 20-year-old Dustin McCowan of Wheeler guilty of murder late Tuesday night in the September 2011 killing of 19-year-old Amanda Bach.

Friends of the slain woman shouted "Remember Amanda" outside the courtroom following the verdict, while McCowan closed his eyes and sat down after the verdict was read. A judge set McCowan's sentencing for March 28.

Bach's mother, Sandy Bach, said she and her husband were pleased that the verdict provided justice for their daughter.

"Amanda did not not deserve to die at the hands of this sick, jealous coward," said Bach. "She had so much more to share and give of her life."

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Matt Frost tells The Times of Munster he's gratified by the verdict.

Bach's body was found about 300 yards from McCowan's home.

While there's been a verdict in the case, investigators said their probe isn't over. Detectives vowed to continue to look into behavior of McCowan's father, a Crown Point police officer, who refused to let authorities search his property.

"This is not going to end. We've focused on a lot of stuff and there's still more information that we're going to focus on with this case," said Detective Cmdr. Jeff Biggs.










Dustin McCowan guilty of murder in
2011 NW Ind. case

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
WLS-TV Chicago IL
Ben Bradley
abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local/indiana&id=9008943



video
[IN] Dustin McCowan guilty of murder in 2011 NW Ind. case - Feb 27, 2013

(VALPARAISO, Ind.) (WLS) -- Jurors handed down a guilty verdict in the murder trial of northwest Indiana's Dustin McCowan, who was accused of killing his former girlfriend.

The verdict came late Tuesday. McCowan, 20, of Wheeler, did not take the stand in his own defense. The son of a Crown Point, Ind., police officer, McCowan was charged with the murder of Amanda Bach, 19, in September of 2011.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Matt Frost tells The Times of Munster he's gratified by the verdict.

Friends of the slain woman shouted "Remember Amanda" outside the courtroom following the verdict, while McCowan closed his eyes and sat down after the verdict was read. A judge set McCowan's sentencing for March 28.

There were hugs after the verdict came down but it does not end Bach's parents' heartbreak.

"Our lives have totally changed," her mother Sandy Bach said. "It's not the same without Amanda."

Bill and Sandy Bach broke their public silence to praise the work of police and prosecutors who earned a conviction against McCowan.

"Amanda needed some justice," her father Bill Bach said. "This wasn't really justice but it was small, little, it was a small piece of satisfaction I guess."

"This is a bittersweet victory. Although justice has been served there really are no winners here," Sandy Bach said.

For nearly three days, while friends and family searched for Amanda Bach while she missing, McCowan went on a road trip.

While her parents prayed, he partied.

Bach's body was eventually close to railroad tracks found about 300 yards from McCowan's home.

Prosecutors said the bullet in her body matched the ammunition in McCowan's father's gun, which was missing.

Dustin McCowan was said to have been jealous about his and Bach's drifting relationship.

The conviction frees up investigators to look into whether Dustin McCowan's police officer father helped him cover up the crime.

Neighbors report seeing his Crown Point squad car at home shortly after Amanda Bach disappeared.

It's an emotionally charged case, not just for Amanda Bach's friends and family, but also police and prosecutors who view them like family.

"I've gotten to know them. Sorry. This was tough," Porter County Sheriff's Police Capt. Jeff Biggs said.









Police believe McCowan's father may have helped in cover-up
February 27, 2013 - 10:03 am
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/police-believe-mccowan-s-father-may-have-helped-in-cover/article_3e895058-a124-585a-8e79-7cd0f1a1770e

















VALPARAISO - Porter County police confirmed Wednesday morning they are looking into the possibility that the father of convicted murderer Dustin McCowan — Crown Point Police Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan — aided his son in attempting to cover up the crime.

Capt. Jeff Biggs, commander of the sheriff's detective bureau and lead investigator in the McCowan case, said during a news conference that the effort will focus on determining whether Joseph Elliott McCowan aided in getting rid of evidence in the case.

Dustin McCowan, 20, was found guilty late Tuesday of murdering his former girlfriend, 19-year-old Amanda Bach, of Portage, on Sept. 16, 2011, and dumping her body just 300 yards from his then-Union Township home.

Two messages left Wednesday on Joseph Elliott McCowan's voicemail at the Crown Point Police Department were not returned and a home phone number could not be found. But he had denied under oath Feb. 13 during his son's trial that he was involved in any cover-up.

Crown Point Assistant Police Chief Jim Janda did not return a call Wednesday seeking comment, but Chief Pete Land said Joseph Elliott McCowan is currently scheduled off using his vacation time.

A former inmate at the Porter County Jail testified during the three-week trial that Dustin McCowan told him he hid Bach's cellphone in an abandoned house near his own home and his father later collected it.

A neighbor of the home Joseph Elliott McCowan and his son were living in at the time of the murder told jurors she saw the elder McCowan's police car at home on the night in question.

McCowan confirmed the validity of work records showing he was on the job at the time in Crown Point.

Prosecutors told jurors that Joseph Elliot McCowan picked up his son in his squad car on the morning Bach went missing and took a short drive before returning to the house and saying nothing to his friend's son, who was there for support.

Police never have found the gun used in the killing or Bach's cellphone.

Joseph Elliott McCowan testified he discovered a .38-caliber, five-shot revolver missing from under a couch at his home on Sept. 17, 2011, the day Bach's body was found.

He said he had the Smith & Wesson gun since 2005 or 2006 and had last seen the loaded weapon Sept. 12, 2011, days before Bach was shot once in the front of the throat.

An FBI firearm examiner testified during the trial that the bullet removed from Bach's body is on the same design as cartridges turned over by Joseph Elliott McCowan for the missing gun.

The examiner said the bullet could have been fired from a few different types and makes of guns in the .38-caliber family. The defense argued investigators would not have even known about the missing weapon if Joseph Elliott McCowan had not provided that information.

A former inmate at the Porter County Jail has said Dustin McCowan told him while they were locked up together that he shot someone named Amanda and buried the gun so well it will never be found.

Dustin McCowan, who showed little reaction to Tuesday's guilty verdict, is scheduled to be sentenced at 2 p.m. March 28 by Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa.










Dustin McCowan Convicted Of Killing Ex-Girlfriend Amanda Bach
February 27, 2013 - 9:04 AM
CBS News, Chicago, IL
chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/02/27/mccowan-convicted-of-killing-ex-girlfriend-amanda-bach/"/mccowan-convicted-of-killing-ex-girlfriend-amanda-bach



video
[IN] Investigation of Officer Joseph Elliot McCowan in Amanda's murder- Feb 27, 2013

VALPARAISO, Ind. (CBS) – 19-year-old Amanda Bach was shot and killed two years ago. Now a jury convicted her ex-boyfriend Dustin McCowan of murder.

CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey talked to Bach’s family about what it took to catch the killer.

Sometimes hugs are the only way to say thank you and today Amanda Bach’s parents said "thank you" to those who, after months of agony, helped convict their daughter’s killer.

"Amanda needed some justice and this really isn’t justice for her but it’s a small little piece of satisfaction I guess," said Bill Bach, Amanda’s father.

20-year-old Dustin McCowan was found guilty Tuesday of murdering Bach in 2011.

Investigators say after a short relationship, McCowan became jealous. He shot Bach once in the throat, then dumped her body on traintracks just 300 yards from his house.

There was no DNA and police never recovered the gun, but instead relied on cell phone pings and text messages as evidence.

"This was a largely circumstantial case which I like to analyze it as each piece of evidence is a small arrow that pointed at the guilt of Dustin McCowan," said Matt Frost, Porter County Chief Prosecutor.

And with the trial now behind them, Amanda’s family and police say goodbye. A bittersweet ending to a story that should never have happened.

Dustin McCowan’s father is a Crown Point police officer. Investigators say they are looking into whether or not he helped his son cover up Amanda’s murder. So far, charges have not been filed.

Dustin McCowan will be sentenced in March.










Murder trial ending Tuesday
February 25, 2013 - 1:50 pm
Bob Kasarda NWI Times 
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/murder-trial-ending-tuesday/article_5cb266c1-f256-5c02-a50e-192b38979ab6


VALPARAISO - After three weeks of evidence and testimony, the jury is expected to begin deliberating Tuesday on the fate of Dustin McCowan -- accused of murdering his former girlfriend Amanda Bach.

Security, heightened during the trial for the large crowds of supporters present for each family, is expected to be enhanced even further Tuesday. There is also talk of demonstrations outside the courthouse.

Prosecutors and the defense will be given up to two hours each Tuesday morning to sum up the weeks of evidence presented during the trial.

The jury will then be provided with instructions from the court before heading off behind closed doors with the goal of coming up with a verdict. The group needs to come up with a unanimous decision to either free or convict McCowan.

The defense wrapped up its case Thursday after presenting 11 witnesses over a two-day period. Prosecutors presented 43 witnesses over the 2 1/2 weeks prior.

McCowan, 20, is accused of shooting 19-year-old Bach in the throat during the early morning hours of Sept. 16, 2011 after she showed up at the Union Township-home he was living in at the time with his father. Bach's partially clothed body was found the following day less than 300 yards from the house in wooded area along County Road 625 West at the Canadian National Railroad tracks.

Prosecutors have presented witnesses who said they saw McCowan walking in the area on the night in question and heard gunshots, a man's voice saying, "Amanda get up," and a female responding, "I can't believe this is happening."

An FBI witness also testified a puncture in the sidewall of Bach's car tire appeared to have been created by a stabbing from a knife.

McCowan, who opted against taking the stand to tell his side of the story, maintains his innocence. His defense team spent much of the trial criticizing the police investigation as inadequate. The defense has raised question about the involvement of other individuals, including the Wheeler man who helped police locate Bach's body.

Conflicting evidence was presented about the whereabouts of McCowan's cellphone during the time period in question and how long Bach's body had been lying outside based on the maturation of fly eggs. There was testimony McCowan repeatedly sent text messages to a friend from 1:36 a.m. to 4:07 a.m. on the day in question saying he was coming over and yet never showed up.

There was no DNA or other bodily evidence presented directly linking McCowan to the crime. While the gun used in the crime was never found, McCowan's father testified that one that could have been used was discovered missing from his house. An FBI witness said several types and makes of guns could have been used.

Both sides also presented testimony about McCowan's decision to follow through on a planned trip to Indiana University in Bloomington on the day Bach went missing, and his decision not to return to help search for her body.









Inmate tells jurors McCowan admitted to shooting a girl
February 20, 2013 - 5:30 pm
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/inmate-tells-jurors-mccowan-admitted-to-shooting-a-girl/article_30e72fbd-2426-57d5-a918-28e3aae5ef89

VALPARAISO - One of the first witnesses called on behalf of Dustin McCowan told jurors Wednesday that McCowan had sent her a text on the night his former girlfriend Amanda Bach is believed to have been killed saying he was not home.

Witness Shelby Reilly said he then sent a text a little more than an hour later at 12:34 a.m. Sept. 16, 2011, to ask if she would like to come over to the Union Township home he was living in at the time. Reilly described herself as a friend of McCowan and someone who once loved him and had a physical relationship with him.

Reilly said she did not find McCowan's change in status that night strange, but did think it odd when he sent her another text later that morning notifying her of Bach's disappearance. She said she never formally met Bach and was a little jealous of her relationship with McCowan.

She denied telling detectives she was glad Bach was dead, but said of her death: "It affected me on Dustin’s part. On her part, no."

The testimony came a few hours after prosecutors wrapped up their case against 20-year-old McCowan, who is accused of shooting Bach. Her body was found Sept. 17, 2011, fewer than 300 yards from his former Union Township home.

The final witness for prosecutors was Daniel Grunhard, who testified that while serving time at the jail, McCowan told him and at least one other inmate he had shot a female.

Grunhard, who is serving a six-year prison term after failing the county's drug court program on charges including aiding in a burglary and drug possession, said McCowan told him in October that he shot a girl "because she crossed me."

He said McCowan told him on another occasion he expected the case to be dismissed because authorities will never find the pistol he used.

"It was buried so far nobody would find it," Grunhard said he was told.

Grunhard said he also overheard McCowan telling another jail inmate that authorities never will be able to prove "he shot the bitch." McCowan, who sat just a few feet away, shook his head no.

Attorney John Cantrell, who was called in to handle the cross-examination because Grunhard had once been represented by McCowan's attorneys, attacked Grunhard's credibility.

Grunhard denied he was testifying in hopes of convincing prosecutors to somehow help with his own criminal case and prison term.

When asked why he was testifying, Grunhard said, "Because I am a man who is trying his best to be a better person."

Upon the completion of the 43 witnesses that have been presented by prosecutors over the past two and a half weeks, defense attorney Nicholas Barnes made a failed request to the judge for a mistrial or to dismiss the case for a lack of sufficient evidence.

Also testifying for the defense Wednesday was Robert Swanson, who said McCowan appeared to be unusually subdued and worried about Bach's welfare while taking part in a planned trip to Indiana University in Bloomington on the day she disappeared.

The defense also continued with its criticism of the police investigation into the case.









McCowan gun discovered missing day Bach's body recovered
February 14, 2013 - 5:40 pm
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/mccowan-gun-discovered-missing-day-bach-s-body-recovered/article_7031e97e-ff7b-5b3f-84ba-bcb3da2da46b

VALPARAISO - The father of Dustin McCowan told jurors Thursday morning he discovered a .38-caliber, five-shot revolver missing from his then-Union Township home on the day his son's former girlfriend was found shot to death fewer than 300 yards from the house.

Joseph Elliott McCowan said he had the Smith & Wesson gun since 2005 or 2006 and had last seen the loaded weapon under a couch on Sept. 12, 2011, days before 19-year-old Amanda Bach was shot to death. Dustin McCowan is on trial, accused of murdering Bach.

An FBI firearm examiner testified Tuesday the bullet removed from Bach's body is of the "same design" as cartridges turned over by Joseph McCowan for the missing gun. But it also was stated the bullet could have been fired from a few different types and makes of guns in the .38-caliber family.

In response to questioning from the defense, Joseph McCowan said police would not have known about the missing gun had he not offered the information. He also said that while his son had access to the gun and knew how to shoot, 13 others also had access to the missing weapon.

He denied making any attempt to cover up his son's involvement in the case and confirmed the validity of work records showing he was on the job as a Crown Point police officer during and immediately following the Sept. 16, 2011, believed killing time. A neighbor of McCowan at the time testified she saw Joseph Elliott McCowan's police car at home on the night in question.

Earlier in the morning, Dustin McCowan's uncle Russell McCowan testified Dustin canceled a visit with him on the night he is accused of killing Bach.

Russell McCowan said Dustin McCowan confirmed the visit of Sept. 16, 2011, only to respond a few minutes later that his stomach hurt and he was going to bed.

The testimony comes just days after Dustin McCowan’s friend Jordan Walbright told jurors Dustin McCowan sent her repeated text messages between 1:36 and 4:07 a.m. the same day, saying he was on his way to her house. But he never showed up.

Dustin McCowan’s mother, Jamie Tome, told jurors Thursday morning she was concerned when she learned Bach’s body had been found near the Union Township home where her son had been living at the time with his father.

Tome testified she suggested McCowan return from his planned trip to Indiana University in Bloomington to help search for Bach. According to Tome, McCowan responded that he would have returned had he been the one who had driven to Bloomington.

Capt. Jeff Biggs, commander of the Porter County sheriff's Detective Bureau, has led the McCowan investigation. He testified late Thursday that more than 150 people were interviewed and yet evidence pointed to no one but McCowan.

The defense meticulously picked away at the investigation, arguing significant information had been ignored by police and much of the investigation was carried out after McCowan already was charged.

Biggs said a five-hour search of the McCowan home revealed nothing linking McCowan to the murder.










Friend tells jurors McCowan acted odd after Bach disappeared
February 12, 2013 - 6:30 pm
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/friend-tells-jurors-mccowan-acted-odd-after-bach-disappeared/article_6cb28149-7393-5d4f-b5bd-3c0980a7b7ba

VALPARAISO - A woman with Dustin McCowan on the morning of Sept. 16, 2011, told jurors Tuesday she thought it odd one of McCowan's first comments was he and former girlfriend Amanda Bach had not fought the night before considering the turbulent nature of their relationship.

Allie Bolde, a senior at Wheeler High School, also found it strange McCowan said Bach had left his house at 1:30 a.m. when she had a 1 a.m. curfew.

"She would never go home at 1:30," Bolde said.

Bolde said McCowan remained calmer than her as they spread news of 19-year-old Bach's disappearance that morning.
He walked outside at one point to talk on the phone and after disappearing out of sight, sent her a text that his father and Crown Point police officer, Joseph Elliott McCowan, had picked him up for a short drive. The two then returned to their then-Union Township house five minutes later without comment.


McCowan, 20, said during the morning that if the worst had happened, he hoped they would find Bach so he could have closure, Bolde said. McCowan also reportedly told her the situation was going to ruin his planned trip to Indiana University in Bloomington later that day.

Bolde said she also found it odd McCowan was talking about laundry in anticipation of his IU trip and was seen pulling clothes out of the dryer.

"I've never seen him do laundry," she said.

Earlier in the day Tuesday, Michelle Morris, a DNA biologist with the FBI, testified that a recovered T-shirt containing Bach's blood had a faint-colored stain that could have resulted from being washed.

Bolde also testified that within the month leading up to Bach's death, McCowan was very upset about the potential Bach was pregnant, though she was not. He also reportedly told her during this period he could kill anyone except his family.

McCowan's friends Erik Schaffer and Tyler Crussen testified Tuesday they had seen McCowan showing off a handgun at his home.

Schaffer said McCowan once talked about shooting uninvited guests to one of many drinking parties he hosted at his home.

Crussen testified he saw McCowan dumping trash from those parties in the area along the nearby railroad tracks where Bach's body was discovered.

In other testimony Tuesday,
FBI firearm and tool mark examiner Brett Mills said the bullet removed from Bach's body is of the "same design" as cartridges turned over to police by McCowan's father.


Mills also said a puncture mark in the sidewall of a flattened tire from Bach's car appeared to have been created by a stabbing from a single-edge knife.

In response to questioning from the defense, Mills said it cannot be determined if the bullet recovered from Bach is from the same group of cartridges provided by Joseph Elliott McCowan.

Mills also said the bullet could have been fired from a few different types and makes of guns in the .38-caliber family.
Joseph Elliott McCowan has told investigators a .38-caliber revolver is missing from his home.


Prosecutors do not have the gun used in Bach's killing.


Morris testified McCowan's DNA was not found on any other items collected as part of the homicide investigation except his cellphone and a long-sleeve orange T-shirt collected from him at the jail.









Police: McCowan shirt like one found with homicide victim's DNA
February 11, 2013 - 3:45 pm
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/valparaiso/police-mccowan-shirt-like-one-found-with-homicide-victim-s/article_5603f96d-bf35-55d7-8819-a24c1e9bebd7

VALPARAISO - The orange long-sleeve T-shirt containing the DNA of murder victim Amanda Bach is like one found among the jail belongings of the person charged with the killing – Dustin McCowan.

The link was made Monday afternoon by Porter County Sheriff's Department Lt. William Young, the lead evidence technician, as the second week of the McCowan murder trial began.

McCowan, 20, is charged with the September 16, 2011 slaying of Bach, a former girlfriend, whose body was found less than 300 yards from his then-Union Township home.

In response to questioning from the defense, Young said no DNA or similar evidence was found that links McCowan to Bach's death and no DNA evidence was taken from anyone else but McCowan and Bach as part of the investigation.

Young also said the bullet removed from Bach's body could have come from at least 10 different types of guns.

He also explained that McCowan's father's Crown Point police car was investigated because McCowan had reportedly taken a drive with his father on the morning Bach is believed to have been killed.


During a break in Monday afternoon's proceedings, a male juror was dismissed after admitting he had violated a court order by starting to discuss the trial with his wife. He said he also began sharing the story with other jurors, but they stopped him.

Jurors were shown graphic photos Monday of Bach’s body during the autopsy and where it was discovered among high weeds along railroad tracks in Union Township.

The photos from the scene showed Bach lying on her back with her arms over her head and five shirts and bra pulled up around her wrists.

Jurors showed no obvious reaction, but McCowan looked down at the floor in front of him, and covered his ears as the condition of the body was described by Young.

Young said fly eggs were found on the body, but that none were collected. He resisted claims by the defense that the eggs could have helped determine how long the body was at that location before it was discovered.









Defense in McCowan murder trial point finger at someone else
February 06, 2013 - 3:15 pm
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/defense-in-mccowan-murder-trial-point-finger-at-someone-else/article_1ce3389b-ea19-519b-9056-429b7816c70a.html

VALPARAISO - A Wheeler man who led police to the missing body of Amanda Bach vehemently denied repeated suggestions by defense attorneys on Wednesday that he, and not Dustin McCowan, is responsible for her death.

During an intense cross-examination, defense attorney Nicholas Barnes questioned how Nicholas Prochno was able to interrupt the search on Sept. 17, 2011, and within just a few minutes, lead police directly to Bach's body 2 1/2 miles away.

Prochno testified he was following a hunch based on information he had heard from his fiancee that young females had been seen in that area along railroad tracks in the past.

Barnes also questioned Prochno on how he knew several of the details in the case as early as he did. Prochno said he had learned some of the information on Facebook and from newspapers.

"Absolutely not," Prochno repeatedly said to suggestions that he was responsible for the murder. "I've never been in contact with Amanda Bach in my entire life."

The testimony came on the third day of the trial accusing 19-year-old Amanda Bach's former boyfriend, McCowan, of shooting her to death on Sept. 16, 2011. Bach's body was found fewer than 300 yards from where 20-year-old McCowan was living at the time.

Valparaiso police Detective Sgt. David Castellanos, who was with Prochno when he found Bach's body, testified he found nothing strange about Prochno or his involvement in the search.

Castellanos said he was the one who pointed out the matted foliage that Prochno followed to Bach's body.

"I don't think Nicholas Prochno led us anywhere," Castellanos said.

Earlier in the day, Michelle Walbright, who lives two houses away from where McCowan was living at the time in Union Township, said she heard three gun shots at 12:20 a.m. Sept. 16, 2011.

Walbright recalled asking her daughter, "Why would somebody be shooting a gun this time of night?"

Walbright said no one else in her house heard the shots.

Another neighbor in the same area, Linda Phillips, told jurors Wednesday she heard a male voice outside her house between 1 and 1:45 a.m. Sept. 16, 2011, repeatedly saying, "Amanda get up."

Phillips said those pleas were followed by a single comment from a female voice saying, "I can't believe this is happening."

She said she saw no one, could not identify the speakers and heard nothing else, but said the man spoke in a calm and gentle voice.

"She sounded a little upset," Phillips said of the female voice.

Phillips said she shared the information with Portage resident William Bach later that morning when he came to her house looking for his missing daughter, Amanda Bach. She said she asked if his daughter was Amanda before he revealed her name.

"He turned pale," Phillips said.

Phillips also said she noticed all the lights on in the nearby McCowan house and Dustin McCowan's father's Crown Point police car parked outside, when he was supposed to be on duty.

Amanda Bach's mother, Sandra Bach, testified McCowan had been verbally abusive to her daughter during their relationship, though she said they both bickered with each other. She said she encouraged her daughter to leave him entirely behind after they broke up in early August 2011.

"He's psycho or bipolar," Sandra Bach said she told her daughter. "You don't need that kind of person in your life."











Ind. teen victim's dad testifies at murder trial
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
WLS-TV Chicago, IL
abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local/indiana&id=8981927



video
[IN] Ind teen victim's dad testifies at murder trial- Feb 05, 2013

(VALPARAISO, Ind.) (WLS) -- In Valparaiso, Indiana, the murder trial of Dustin McCowan is under way. He's accused of killing 19-year-old Amanda Bach in September of 2011.

Her father was the first witness called by the prosecution. William Bach was the first witness to take the stand during Tuesday's trial.

"He couldn't look me in the eyes," William Bach said. "I felt suspicious."

That's the way William Bach described a face-to-face conversation he had with McCowan hours after his teenage daughter went missing in the early morning hours of September 16, 2011 from Union Township, Indiana, just outside Valparaiso.

It's taken nearly a year and a half for this case to come to trial. McCowan stands accused of murdering his on-and-off girlfriend. The case has attracted a lot of attention. McCowan is the son of a Crown Point police officer.

Amanda Bach's body was found the next day alongside train tracks just 300 yards from McCowan's home. She'd been shot once in the neck.

From the start, McCowan said Amanda Bach had been with him prior to going missing, but denied any involvement in her disappearance. During opening statements, prosecutors said they have evidence that proves McCowan shot Amanda Bach with his father's missing gun, then dragged her body to where it was found.


But defense attorneys said there was "gross negligence during the investigation.... Police assumed it was Dustin and never looked back."

Defense attorneys also pointed out that there is no physical evidence, DNA or otherwise, that links McCowan to the murder.

Relatives for both McCowan's and Bach's families left the courthouse without comment.











Dustin McCowan murder trial to begin Monday
February 03, 2013 - 12:00 am
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/dustin-mccowan-murder-trial-to-begin-monday/article_861d6547-6540-571f-a2c0-f1c584352a81





VALPARAISO - Nearly a year and a half after 19-year-old Portage resident Amanda Bach was found fatally shot along railroad property in rural Union Township, jury selection is set to begin Monday afternoon to determine whether her one-time boyfriend, Dustin McCowan, is responsible for her death.

Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa has set aside a month for the trial, which is an unusually large amount of time for this type of case.

Prosecutors said they have a witness list of 60 people, in addition to the 15 listed by the defense.

A high level of security also is planned for the proceedings and the court administrator's office is summoning a larger-than-normal number of potential jurors. About 70 potential jurors reportedly are being called in for the start of the selection process at 1 p.m. Monday and another 80 will be available the following day if 12 jurors and alternates are not chosen by that time.

Prosecutors do not have the gun used in the killing, but police said during a bond hearing in November 2011 that after collecting 90 pieces of evidence and interviewing up to 150 people, nothing points to anyone but McCowan as being responsible.

McCowan has maintained his innocence.

The case has attracted attention from the public and media. Hundreds of volunteers showed up to help search for Bach on Sept. 17, 2011, the day her body was found about 300 yards from McCowan's home with a fatal bullet wound to the front of her neck.

More than 100 supporters turned out again about a week later to take part in a candlelight parade down Willowcreek Road in Portage in honor of Bach.

Among the key pieces of evidence prosecutors plan to introduce during the trial is testimony from a McCowan neighbor, who told investigators she was awakened on the night Bach went missing by the sound of a man's voice outside her home saying, among other things, "Amanda get up."

She also heard what she thought was a female voice say, "I can't believe this is happening," but did not see anyone.

Police also revealed during the 2011 bond hearing that while McCowan spent nearly three hours text messaging a neighbor on the night of the slaying claiming he was wrapping up chores at his home before coming over to visit, he never showed up at the neighbor's home. A trace on his cellphone placed it not only at his house, but also at the nearby sites where Bach's body and vehicle were found.

A motorist driving in the area during the early morning hours of Sept. 16, 2011, told police he saw a "Justin Timberlake-looking kid" walking along the road, whom he later identified as McCowan after McCowan's arrest photo appeared in newspapers, police said.

McCowan's father, Joseph Elliott McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, told police a .38-caliber revolver was missing from his home, according to testimony at a November 2011 bond hearing for Dustin McCowan. Ammunition for that weapon appears to match the bullet taken from Bach's body, according to court reports.


A former inmate at the Porter County Jail, who is serving a six-year prison term after failing out of the county's drug court program, also is expected to testify that McCowan told him while they were in lock-up that he shot someone named Amanda and buried the gun so well it never will be found.

Daniel Grunhard has told police McCowan said he shot Amanda with a gun he kept under the seat of his car because she crossed him.

McCowan, who is believed to be the last person to have seen Bach alive, left on a planned trip to Bloomington after the girl went missing and her vehicle was found abandoned outside Dean's General Store on Ind. 130 in Wheeler.











Judge tosses dog evidence in Union Twp. murder trial
December 13, 2012 - 7:19 pm
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/valparaiso/judge-tosses-dog-evidence-in-union-twp-murder-trial/article_d40524f7-1c46-547d-86e9-b60bf25d4bea
VALPARAISO - A judge has ruled bloodhound evidence will not be introduced during the February murder trial involving Union Township resident Dustin McCowan.

McCowan, 20, is accused in the slaying of his former girlfriend, Amanda Bach. Bach, 19, was found shot to death Sept. 17, 2011 about 300 yards from McCowan's house.


Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa said the state Supreme Court ruled in 1917 that bloodhound evidence is inadmissible.

The court analyzed and quoted numerous cases from other states, the majority of which "recognize the fact that such evidence is of a very dangerous character, and that, when received, it is to be with caution, " according to Alexa's ruling.

"While the court agreed that bloodhound dogs are 'carefully trained,' the court ... stated that all dogs 'are not equally unerring, and each may fail at times in being truthful,'" Alexa said.

Alexa also cited a 1985 state Supreme Court case upholding those earlier findings.

Portage-based defense attorney John Vouga said Thursday he believes the judge ruled correctly considering the state's history on the issue of bloodhound evidence.

Porter County Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said she believes the bloodhound evidence in this case is strong, but was not surprised by the ruling.

"We understood it could go either way," she said.

The dog in this case had tracked trails from where Bach's body was found to both her car and to McCowan's nearby house.

Polarek said she still has a solid case against McCowan, who is being held without bond at the Porter County Jail until his Feb. 4 trial.

During a bond hearing in November 2011, police unveiled several key pieces of evidence in addition to the bloodhound information, including tracing McCowan's cellphone to the sites where Bach's body and her vehicle were found.

There also is a witness, who identified McCowan as the "Justin Timberlake-looking kid" he saw walking in the area that September day.

Other revelations that surfaced included McCowan's father, Crown Point police Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan, telling investigators a .38-caliber revolver was missing from his home.

Along with that, ammunition for a .38-caliber gun appears to match the bullet taken from Bach's body.

A detective said at the time that of the 90 pieces of evidence collected and up to 150 people interviewed, nothing pointed to anyone but McCowan as being responsible.











Change of venue denied; McCowan trial date set August 16, 2012 - 2:45 pm
Phil Wieland
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/valparaiso/change-of-venue-denied-mccowan-trial-date-set/article_2cd056e1-1214-5de3-abad-229ef4a09b1d



VALPARAISO - After denying a motion for a change of venue Thursday, Porter County Superior Court Judge William Alexa set a trial date of Feb. 4 for Dustin McCowan in the murder of Amanda Bach.

Alexa said a fair jury could be found in Porter County despite pretrial publicity of the case but left the door open to a possible change of venue if selecting a jury proves difficult.

John Vouga, lawyer for McCowan along with Nicholas Barnes, said he would file a motion for a sample jury to determine if the change would be warranted. In arguing for the move to another county or of selecting a jury from another county, Vouga said, while only one news story on the case appeared in the last few months, the case is all over social media.

He said a Justice for Amanda page on Facebook has 16,000 "likes," but Alexa questioned whether they all came from Porter County residents. Prosecuting attorney Matt Frost said unless it could be shown all the "likes" were from Porter County, it could be just as difficult seating a jury in other counties.

Vouga also said the fact the motion was not filed within 10 days of the charges as required should not be a factor because he and Barnes were not hired until March. Bach, 19, was shot to death Sept. 17, and the body was found about 300 yards from McCowan's Union Township home. Vouga said he did not know about interest in the case until he did an Internet search after a June 8 story in The Times.

Much of the morning hearing was taken up with the motion to suppress the work of another jury, this one the Sheriff's Department's bloodhound named Jury. On Sept. 21 and 22, Jury and her handler, Sgt. Charles Douthett, were called to the area of Wheeler south of Ind. 130, where Bach's body was found, to follow scent trails of Bach and McCowan.

Barnes said Indiana does not allow dog tracking to be used as evidence linking a person to a scene because it is unreliable. Douthett explained how a bloodhound "lives for its nose" because of the sensitivity of its sense of smell. It can pick up a scent trail up to five months later and even track a person in a vehicle.

After describing how Jury followed the separate trails of Bach and McCowan the first day and McCowan the second day, Douthett said he warned the Sheriff's Department that Jury had been retired for a couple of years and not worked a scene. Douthett had been retired three years at the time but has since rejoined the department part time.

He said Jury showed a strong reaction at the site where Bach's body was found and at a couple of other sites tied to the case that could link them to McCowan.

Alexa said he wanted to do more research on the dog tracking issue because it might be time to revisit whether it should be admitted, as it is in other states.
Alexa said a motion to return 29 guns and a PlayStation 3 and controller confiscated from the home of McCowan's father should more appropriately be filed with the Sheriff's Department.









[IN] Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan - $10,000 reward for evidence in Amanda Bach's murder case
February 20, 2012
Lakeshore Public Radio
89.1 FM
Regionally Speaking
Steve Walsh
February 20, 2012



[IN] Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan - $10,000 reward for evidence in Amanda Bach's murder case - February 20, 2012










Despite $10,000 reward offer, police confident in McCowan's arrest
February 16, 2012 - 3:35 pm
Jeff Burton
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/despite-reward-offer-police-confident-in-mccowan-s-arrest/article_0c96e2fd-c417-5575-bc70-bdf5b53df97f

VALPARAISO - While a reward may be on the table for information leading to the person responsible for Amanda Bach's death, police remain firm in believing that person already is in custody.

"There's not been any evidence in our investigation pointing to anyone else but Dustin McCowan," Cmdr. Jeff Biggs, head of the Porter County Sheriff's Department Detective Division, said Thursday.

On Wednesday, Elliott McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, announced a supporter of his son, Dustin, posted a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Bach's killing.

Bach, a 19-year-old recent Portage High School graduate, was found dead in September, killed with a single gunshot wound to her throat. Police said her body was discovered along a railroad easement, about 300 yards from Dustin McCowan's Union Township home. Police said McCowan also was the last known person to see Bach alive.

McCowan was arrested and is being held in Porter County Jail awaiting an August murder trial.

Biggs said reports surfacing on the Internet that the case is being reinvestigated are not true, and alternative theories regarding the case, like that involving a multistate serial-killing trucker, seem to be based on false information or tying together loose connections.

"We didn't stop our investigation when we made the arrest of Dustin McCowan," Biggs said. "We've continued to talk to as many people as we can. We've never closed our doors to anybody that has new information on this case."

Biggs said witness statements and evidence initially made public during a November bond hearing, point to McCowan.

During that hearing, investigators said in the hours following Bach's disappearance, they were able to trace McCowan's cellphone at the site where Bach's body was found and where her vehicle was found. Police said a bloodhound also tracked McCowan's scent to the location of Bach's body and tracked the woman's scent back to his house.

A driver traveling in the area shortly after Bach disappeared also told police he saw a "Justin Timberlake-looking kid" walking alongside the road. That driver later reportedly identified the person as McCowan.

Police said they collected other evidence and conducted about 150 interviews in the case.

"I still stand by that," Biggs said of his testimony in the bond hearing.









Amanda Bach Murder Suspect’s Allies Offer Reward For ‘Real’ Killer
February 16, 2012 - 8:47 AM
CBS News – Chicago IL
chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/02/16/amanda-bach-murder-suspects-allies-offer-reward-for-real-killer/"/amanda-bach-murder-suspects-allies-offer-reward-for-real-killer

VALPARAISO, Ind. (CBS) — Police in northwest Indiana want nothing to do with a reward that is being offered in a murder case.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the $10,000 reward is being offered by family and friends of accused killer Dustin McCowan, 19. He is due to go on trial this summer for the murder last year of a former girlfriend, Amanda Bach, 19.

Listen: WBBM Newsradio's Regine Schlesinger reports:






[IN] Amanda Bach Murder Suspect’s Allies Offer Reward For ‘Real’ Killer - February 16, 2012


McCowan’s body was found on Sept. 17. She had been shot in the neck, and authorities said she died instantly.

McCowan admits she was hanging out with him at his Valparaiso, Ind., home on Sept. 15 – just over 24 hours before she disappeared – but says she had nothing to do with her killing.

Her car was found the next morning in a nearby parking lot, and her body a couple of days later near some railroad tracks.

Investigators used GPS technology to track McCowan's cell phone to the area near where Bach's body was found between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Sept. 17. Authorities believe she was killed between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Sept. 17.

Detectives said blood hounds traced McCowan’s scent from his house to where her body was found, about 300 feet away from the McCowan home in Union Township. Also, prosecutors said that an eyewitness claimed he saw McCowan walking in the same area around the time of the murder on the main road between the store wehre Bach's car was found and McCowan's home.

But McCowan and his family and friends maintain his innocence.

Elliot McCowan, Dustin McCowan’s father and a Crown Point police officer, said Wednesday the reward money came from a person who believes his son did not kill Bach.

"Someone contacted me and wanted to do it, and they wanted to remain anonymous," the elder McCowan said.

He said he wanted the reward to go through Crimestoppers, but the organization requires information to go to the Porter County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s Detective Jeff Biggs said he didn’t want the public to be led into thinking the department was connected to the reward.


"We’ve never closed our doors to anyone who has any information about the case," Biggs said. "But we don’t want the community to think we’ve got the wrong guy. We are confident in our arrest."

Bob Harper, the attorney for Dustin McCowan, declined to talk about the situation.

"Dustin and his family have continually maintained his innocence, and it’s my belief that Mr. McCowan is trying to find more information."
The Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.









Update on Amanda Bach Murder Case
:
There is no connection to any other case
.
Bill Warner
Posted: February 17, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
pibillwarner.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/update-onamanda-bach-murder-case-there-is-no-connection-to-any-other-case



UPDATE 2/16/2012 … BILL WARNER PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR ON AMANDA BACH MURDER CASE, THERE IS NO CONNECTION TO ANY OTHER CASE…..The phone call I got from someone claiming to be a police officer, on Jan 5th, 2012, concerning the Amanda Bach murder case came from phone line, 219-662-3245 , which is registered to the Crown Point Police Department.

I took what the police officer told me that day as fact about specific aspects of the Amanda Bach murder case and possible links to other unsolved cases, but now that I know the police officer who called me on the registered phone line to the Crown Point Police Department is the father of murder suspect Dustin Mccowan, serious doubt comes into play about the truthfulness of what was said and just what the hell was Crown Point police officer Elliott McCowan trying to do, I feel like I’m getting played here by a cop"..


AMANDA BACH WAS SHOT IN THE NECK AND HER BODY DUMPED IN A FIELD NEAR DUSTIN McCOWAN’S HOUSE, DUSTIN McCOWAN IS THE ONLY SUSPECT IN HER MURDER, THAT’S WHY DUSTIN McCOWAN IS IN JAIL WITH NO BOND!

BILL WARNER PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR POST OF 2/15/2012

…."In a phone conversation on Thursday with a detective and/or police officer from the Crown Point Police Department in Crown Point Indiana, that came in on unpublished number 219-662-3245 , I was asked if I knew how Karen Swift had been murdered in Dyersburg TN, (shot, strangled, knifed?), was the body of Karen Swift moved from where her car was found, like Amanda Bach, did the car Karen Swift was driving have a flat tire, how close was Karen Swift’s body found near to a cemetery and was Karen Swift’s body found with or without clothes.

The caller, who is now known to be police officer Elliot McCowan, tried to link the Karen Swift murder case to the Amanda Bach murder case, he wanted to know if I had the phone number for the Sheriff in Dyersburg TN, he was going to call…sure he was!. The cause of death in the Karen Swift murder case has not yet been determined or released (since December 10th, 2011).

FROM NORTHWEST INDIANA TIMES ARTICLE…."I get the phone call from a supposed police officer claiming to be in Valpariso IN. I had no idea where Valparaiso was," Warner said." Warner blogged about the case and within hours, that blog posting was linked on three different Facebook sites maintained by McCowan supporters.

Warner said he wanted to know where he was getting his information, so he traced the number and determined it was from an inside line at the Crown Point Police Department, where McCowan’s father works. The more I looked into it, the more fishy things got."

"I feel like I'm getting played here," Warner said.

Elliott McCowan said he made that phone call and said he sees similarities in the fate of the women. "I'm the one who called that guy [Bill Warner]," Elliott McCowan said. "It’s very similar to what happened to Amanda. It’s possible. You can’t rule anything out."
Bill Warner Sarasota Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at
www.wbipi.com
Posted by Bill Warner










McCowan supporter offers reward for suspect in Bach homicide
February 15, 2012 - 9:00 pm
Jeff Burton
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/mccowan-supporter-offers-reward-for-suspect-in-bach-homicide/article_2d6f9a4c-fb45-5aee-8caa-feb07f840f17

UNION TOWNSHIP - Family and friends of Dustin McCowan believe it was not the 19-year-old who killed his former girlfriend Amanda Bach, but someone else, possibly a multistate serial killer.

Now, they're putting up a $10,000 reward to find the person they believe is responsible for what they see as McCowan's wrongful incarceration.

Elliott McCowan, Dustin's father, said the $10,000 reward came from a supporter who wishes to remain unnamed.

"I had somebody contact me saying they wanted to put out a $10,000 reward for any information that ultimately results in an arrest and conviction," Elliott McCowan said. "Obviously they're a supporter of my son. They think he's innocent."

The elder McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, asks that anyone with information in the case contact the Porter County Sheriff's Department. He said the reward only stands for information received through March 18.

"(The donor) wanted to put the pressure on," he said.


Bach disappeared Sept. 15 after allegedly spending an evening with Dustin McCowan at his rural Union Township home. On Sept. 17, her lifeless body was found with a single gunshot wound to her throat along a Union Township railroad easement, about 300 yards from McCowan's home.

McCowan was arrested and charged with Bach's murder. He's currently being held in Porter County Jail awaiting his August trial.

Florida-based private investigator Bill Warner has been following the case and said he sees some similarities between Bach's disappearance and killing and that of a 44-year-old woman in Dyersburg, Tenn., who was found dead along a county road, miles away from her car with its flattened tire.

"They're all petite females, all light brown or blonde hair," Warner said.

Warner said the first he heard of the Bach case was about 9:40 a.m. Jan. 5, when he received a four-minute phone call from a man claiming he was a police officer in Valparaiso. Warner said the man provided him with "inside information"and brought up similarities in a series of cases.

"I get the phone call from a supposed police officer. I had no idea where Valparaiso was," Warner said. "The more I looked into it, the more fishy things got."

Warner blogged about the case and within hours, that blog posting was linked on three different Facebook sites maintained by McCowan supporters.

Warner said he wanted to know where he was getting his information, so he traced the number and determined it was from an inside line at the Crown Point Police Department, where McCowan's father works.

"I feel like I'm getting played here," Warner said.

Elliott McCowan said he made that phone call and said he sees similarities in the fate of the women.

"I'm the one who called that guy," Elliott McCowan said. "It's very similar to what happened to Amanda. It's possible. You can't rule anything out."


Bob Harper, Dustin McCowan's defense attorney, said he couldn't comment on the validity of any theories and said his focus is on preparing his client's defense.

"The only thing I can say is Dustin has maintained his innocence throughout this and his family is very supportive of him," Harper said.










Murder of Petite Teen Amanda Bach in Wheeler IN
Posted: January 6, 2012
Friday, January 06, 2012
Bill Warner PI
pibillwarner.wordpress.com

Sunday, December 25, 2011, Amanda Bach murder suspect's trial pushed back, the murder trial for a Northwest Indiana man has been pushed back seven months. Dustin McCowan is accused of killing 19-year old Amanda Bach of Portage. He was scheduled to go on trial January 30th 2012, but now a judge has pushed it back to August 2012.

Defense attorney Robert Harper had argued the prosecution had collected no evidence that tied McCowan directly to the murder. "There was no evidence where the body was found and no evidence found in the McCowan home when police searched it," Harper said. Police aren’t sure where Bach was shot, and test results have not come back from FBI laboratories, including DNA on a red spot found in the McCowan home. "They jumped the gun," Harper said.

Cops are now re-investigating the execution style murder of petite teen Amanda Bach, cops are looking at other murder cases of petite females around the country to determine if there is any link.

In a phone conversation on Thursday 1/05/2012 with Law Enforcement in Indiana, I was asked if I knew how Karen Swift had been murdered, (shot, strangled, knifed?),
was the body of Karen Swift moved from where her car was found, how close was Karen Swift’s body found near to a cemetery and was Karen Swift’s body found with or without clothes.

It appears the Amanda Bach was killed by a single bullet shot to the brain stem, execution style, it appears that Amanda Bach’s car was found with a flat tire just like Karen Swift, it appears that Amanda Swift might have been found with some of her clothes missing just like Karen Swift, it appears that Amanda Bach’s body was moved some distance from where her car was found just like Karen Swift and it appears that Amanda Bach’s body was found off of the road to the local rural cemetery in the weeds in Wheeler IN just as Karen Swift’s body was found in Dyersburg TN.

It is very, very unusual for Prosecutors in a murder case to postpone a case 7 months when they have what appears to be a "slam dunk" as in the Amanda Bach case.




Amanda Bach Murder Case
Friday, January 06, 2012



Sunday, December 25, 2011, Amanda Bach murder suspect's trial pushed back, the murder trial for a Northwest Indiana man has been pushed back seven months. Dustin McCowan is accused of killing 19-year old Amanda Bach of Portage. He was scheduled to go on trial January 30th 2012, but now a judge has pushed it back to August 2012.

Defense attorney Robert Harper had argued the prosecution had collected no evidence that tied McCowan directly to the murder. "There was no evidence where the body was found and no evidence found in the McCowan home when police searched it," Harper said. Police aren’t sure where Bach was shot, and test results have not come back from FBI laboratories, including DNA on a red spot found in the McCowan home. "They jumped the gun," Harper said.

In a phone conversation on Thursday 1/05/2012 with Law Enforcement in Indiana, I was asked if I knew how Karen Swift had been murdered, (shot, strangled, knifed?), was the body of Karen Swift moved from where her car was found, how close was Karen Swift’s body found near to a cemetery and was Karen Swift’s body found with or without clothes.

There has been a series of abduction, kidnappings, missing person cases and murders of petite females since early 2009, all the cases appear, now, to be unsolved.


1). Amanda Bach

2). Lauren Spierer is 4′ 11′ tall and weighs 95 lbs she is 20 years old she has shoulder-length blond hair, missing/abducted June 3rd, 2011.

3). Holly Bobo is 5′ 3″ tall and weighs 110 lbs she is 20 years old she has shoulder-length blond hair, kidnapped April 13th, 2011.

4). Paige Johnson is 5′ 1″ tall and weighs 110 lbs she is now 18 years old she has shoulder-length blond hair, missing Sept. 23rd 2010.

5). Crystal Hall, 27, is very petite at 5′ 3″ tall, weighs 105 pounds she has shoulder-length red hair and brown eyes, missing March 3rd, 2009.

6). Karen Swift was 44 years old (looked younger) 5′ 5″ tall 130 lbs and had shoulder length blond hair, murdered October 30th, 2011.

7). Katelyn Markham, 22, is 5′ 3″ tall 130 lbs and has shoulder length blond/brown hair, missing August 13th, 2011.










Bond Denied For Man Charged In Murder Of Amanda Bach
November 16, 2011 - 6:33 PM
CBS News – Chicago IL
chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/11/16/bond-denied-for-man-charged-in-murder-of-amanda-bach/"/bond-denied-for-man-charged-in-murder-of-amanda-bach


video
[IN] Bond Denied For Man Charged In Murder Of Amanda Bach- Nov 16, 2011

VALPARAISO, Ind. (CBS) – Bond was denied on Wednesday for Dustin McCowan, the man charged with killing 19-year-old Amanda Bach in September.

As CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports, McCowan, 18, has been charged with first-degree murder and has been held without bond since he was charged on Sept. 19, two days after Bach’s death.

His attorney, Bob Harper, had sought to have the judge in the case set bond for McCowan, claiming prosecutors "jumped the gun" by charging him without any physical evidence linking McCowan to the murder.

McCowan’s parents didn’t want to talk on camera after Wednesday’s hearing, but said detectives "should be ashamed of themselves."

Judge William Alexa denied bond, however, and after Wednesday’s hearing, Bach’s family gave a brief statement saying McCowan is exactly where he deserves to be.

"Today justice was set forth for Amanda through the bond hearing. Our daughter Amanda can never seek justice for herself, so it’s our duty to seek justice for Amanda. I’m confident that justice will soon be served," her father, William Bach, said.

The courtroom was packed during the hearing and the sight of McCowan arriving in his orange jumpsuit had many of his relatives in tears.

During the hearing, prosecutors provided the first public look at the evidence in the case and the three things that place McCowan in the area where Bach’s body and car were found.

Investigators used GPS technology to track McCowan’s cell phone to the area near where Bach’s body was found between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Sept. 17. Authorities believe she was killed between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Sept. 17.

Detectives also said that blood hounds traced McCowan’s scent from his house to where her body was found, about 300 feet away from the McCowan home in Union Township.

Also, prosecutors said that an eyewitness claimed he saw McCowan walking in the same area around the time of the murder on the main road between the store where Bach’s car was found abandoned and McCowan’s home.

The witness claimed he’s 100 percent certain McCowan is the young man he saw in the area at 2:30 a.m. on the morning of Bach’s death.

All the while, the lead detective said McCowan was texting friends that he was at home.

Detectives also found it odd that McCowan told them he was the last to see Bach alive and, within hours of her disappearance, told friends she was probably dead.

McCowan’s father, a police officer, reportedly has told police that he is missing a gun. Prosecutors said the bullet that killed Amanda is the same type of bullet that was in the mising gun.

McCowan’s trial has been set for the week of Jan. 30, but that could change.










Bond denied to 19-year-old in Bach slaying
November 16, 2011 - 5:45 pm
Bob Kasarda
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/bond-denied-to--year-old-in-bach-slaying/article_9eaf1189-a93e-5f4b-80a0-0355e1ac434c









VALPARAISO - On the night 19-year-old Amanda Bach was slain, former boyfriend Dustin McCowan spent nearly three hours text messaging a neighbor claiming to be wrapping up chores at his Union Township home before coming over to visit.

Yet, McCowan never showed up at the neighbor's home and a trace on his cellphone placed it not only at his house, but also at the nearby sites where Bach's body and her vehicle were found, Porter County police Capt. Jeff Biggs said during a bond hearing Wednesday.

A police bloodhound also tracked McCowan's scent to where Bach's body was found about 300 yards from McCowan's home on Canadian National Railway Co. property, Biggs said. Bach's scent also was tracked back to McCowan's house.

A motorist driving in the area during the same early morning hours of Sept. 16 told police he saw a "Justin Timberlake-looking kid" walking along the road, whom he later identified as 19-year-old McCowan after McCowan's arrest photo appeared in newspapers, Biggs said.

Porter Superior Judge Bill Alexa decided that this and other evidence was enough to continue holding McCowan without bond on a charge of murder.

McCowan repeatedly shook his head following the ruling, as family and supporters of the McCowan and Bach families looked on from the tight security of the packed courtroom.

"I think they jumped the gun," defense attorney Bob Harper said of the case against his client.

Yet Biggs told the court that after investigating the case for the past two months, collecting 90 pieces of evidence and interviewing up to 150 people, nothing points to anyone but McCowan as being responsible.

Other revelations to surface Wednesday include McCowan's father and Crown Point police Officer, Joseph Elliott McCowan, telling police a .38-caliber revolver is missing from his home and ammunition for that weapon appears to match the bullet taken from Bach's body.

McCowan also told others early on in the investigation that Bach, of Portage, probably was dead and had told a friend in the past that if he ever needed to dispose of something, he would do so at the same place where Bach's body was recovered, Biggs said.

Bach's father, Bill Bach, was pleased by the outcome of the bond hearing.

"I'm confident justice will soon be served," he said.

McCowan, who is believed to be the last person to have seen Bach alive, left on a planned trip to Bloomington after the girl went missing and her vehicle was found abandoned outside Dean's General Store on Ind. 130 in Wheeler.











More cellphone search warrants in Bach case
October 18, 2011 - 7:00 pm
Jeff Burton
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/more-cellphone-search-warrants-in-bach-case/article_081ea9c0-9589-5e22-a8bb-1e38026be0cd.html

VALPARAISO - Another wave of cellphone record search warrants has been issued in the Amanda Bach murder case.

According to documents filed in Porter Superior Court on Oct. 12, a judge signed off on six search warrants for friends and family members of both Bach, 19, and 18-year-old Dustin McCowan.

Bach was found shot to death in Union Township on Sept. 17, a day after her car was found abandoned in Wheeler. McCowan, a former boyfriend, was arrested and charged with her murder.

Warrants were issued for records of an acquaintance of McCowan and one of his relatives, both of whom said they were texting him in the hours before Bach's disappearance. Authorities also sought records from a cousin of Bach who had been texting her just before her disappearance, documents say.

Additional warrants were issued for cellphone records belonging to a woman, who said she received a voicemail message from McCowan asking if she was with Bach about an hour after the Portage woman's car was found, and a former boyfriend of Bach, who told detectives McCowan tried calling and texting him about the same time. Another warrant targets records from a mutual friend who told police she, too, received a phone call from McCowan in the hours after Bach's disappearance, documents say.











Amanda Bach Cell Phone Records Subpoenaed
Dustin McCowan's father's phone also is under investigation

Jessica Guido
NBC News - Chicago, IL
Thursday, Oct 13, 2011
Updated 12:00 PM CDT
nbcchicago.com/news/local/Amanda-Bach-Cell-Phone-Records-Subpoenaed-131790108




video
[IN] Amanda Bach Cell Phone Records Subpoenaed- Oct 13, 2011

Valparaiso police want to search the cell phone records of homicide victim Amanda Bach, 19, and her accused murderer's father, Joseph Elliot McCowan.

McCowan's son, Dustin McCowan, was charged with Bach's murder last month after The young Portage woman went missing and was later found dead along some railroad tracks.

The Porter County Sheriff's Department made it clear, though, the elder McCowan, a Crown Point police officer, is not a person of interest at this time. The cell phone warrants are part of the investigation, said Cpl Larry LaFlower in a statement to the Sun-Times.

Police want to check which cell tower Bach's phone connected to before her body was found. Police will check call records, voicemail, text and data from Aug. 15 through Sept. 20.

Joseph McCowan's phone will be checked for calls, text and data from Sept. 2 to Sept. 20.










Subpoena issued for cellphone records in Bach case
October 13, 2011 - 11:00 am
Jeff Burton
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/subpoena-issued-for-cellphone-records-in-bach-case/article_982c35cb-8050-50d5-a091-42dac2904c2b


VALPARAISO - A subpoena has been issued for records from cellphones belonging to 19-year-old Amanda Bach and the father of her accused killer, Dustin McCowan.

According to documents filed in Porter Superior Court, police and prosecutors are requesting records for a cellphone belonging to Joseph Elliott McCowan, Dustin McCowan's father. He is a Crown Point police officer.

The subpoena includes the locations of cellphone towers used to relay the device's signal and any call or text messaging records from Sept. 2 through Sept. 20.

Crown Point Police Chief Pete Land said the cellphone in question is not McCowan's department-issued phone and the officer has been off duty since his son's arrest, using personal time.


Sgt. Larry LaFlower, Porter County Sheriff's Department public information officer, said Joseph Elliott McCowan is not considered a person of interest at this time in the investigation, but he was interviewed by detectives.

A judge issued the same cellphone records request for Bach's cellphone and a similar request earlier for Dustin McCowan's phone. In court documents, detectives and prosecutors state the location of Bach's cellphone still is unknown.

Bach, a 2011 Portage High School graduate, was found shot to death along the Canadian National railroad tracks in Union Township on Sept. 17, a day after her car was found abandoned in the parking lot of a Wheeler convenience store.

McCowan, 18, a former boyfriend, was arrested and charged with her murder. Through his attorney, McCowan has maintained his innocence. He remains at Porter County Jail awaiting trial.










Friends Mourn Amanda Bach: ‘She Was A Sweetheart’
September 23, 2011 - 7:45 AM
UPDATED: 9/23/2011 - 11:40 a.m.
CBS News - Chicago ILchicago.cbslocal.com/2011/09/23/funeral-for-amanda-bach-set-for-today/"/funeral-for-amanda-bach-set-for-today

CHICAGO (CBS) — In Northwest Indiana, family and friends said their final farewells to Amanda Bach at her funeral this morning.

Bach, 19, was found shot to death last weekend about 300 yards for her ex-boyfriend’s home. That man, Dustin McCowan, 18, has been charged with her murder.

Bach’s friends and family gathered at Nativity of Our Savior Catholic Church in Portage on Friday–full of fond memories of her short life.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser Reports:



[IN] Friends Mourn Amanda Bach: ‘She Was A Sweetheart’ - Sept 23, 2011


"She was a really amazing person," said one friend. "She was such a sweetheart. It’s hard to have somebody like that to be gone."

Police returned to the murder scene on Thursday but failed to turn up any new evidence.
The murder weapon has not been found.
McCowan, who was friends with Bach, lives on County Road 625W in Union Township, a short distance from where her body was discovered Saturday afternoon.

Police confiscated the marked Crown Point police car of Joseph Elliott McCowan, the father of Dustin McCowan. Authorities said Joseph E. McCowan was not cooperative on Saturday when the car was taken to process it for evidence.

According to the charging document released Tuesday, an unidentified girl told police she was with Dustin McCowan between 4 and 7 a.m. Friday. LaFlower cited the charging document saying McCowan’s father took his son for a short ride in his squad car after he came home from work.

Police also searched the McCowan house. McCowan’s service weapon has been ruled out as the murder weapon. LaFlower said Joseph E. McCowan owns other guns, which were being checked by police.

A neighbor told police she heard voices the night Bach was killed between 1 and 2 a.m. A male voice said, "Amanda, come on, get up, Amanda, get up." The neighbor heard a female voice saying, "I can’t believe this is happening," according to the charging affidavit.

Bach, a 2011 Portage High School graduate, left her Portage home about 10 p.m. Thursday and McCowan told police she was at his house from 11 p.m. Thursday to 1:30 a.m. Friday. He said they played video games and watched a movie. He denied hearing the voices the neighbor reported.











More Evidence Sought in Bach Murder
A dive team on Wednesday searched a pond north of Wheeler High School

Thursday, Sep 22, 2011
Updated 7:36 AM CDT
Lisa Balde
NBC News - Chicago, IL
nbcchicago.com/news/local/More-Evidence-Sought-in-Bach-Murder-130344053


video
[IN] More Evidence Sought in Bach Murder - Sept 22, 2011


Indiana police are looking for more evidence in the death of 19-year-old Amanda Bach, found shot to death last week along railroad tracks in Porter County.

A dive team on Wednesday searched a pond north of Wheeler High School and along the Canadian National railroad tracks, sheriff's detectives told the Northwest Indiana Times. They said they're looking for "any and all evidence" near where Bach was found.

Detectives also took into custody a Crown Point, Ind., police squad car assigned to Joseph Elliott McCowan, the police officer father of accused 18-year-old Dustin McCowan.

Questions came up about whether Joseph Elliott McCowan's service weapon was used in the murder, but his superiors told NBC Chicago the officer was on duty and had his weapon with him at the estimated time of her death.


Dustin McCowan faces one count of murder, and is being held with no bond at the Porter County Jail.

The family's attorney says Dustin McCowan maintains his innocence and says he had nothing to do with Bach's disappearance.

Bach was last seen leaving her home to visit McCowan around 10 p.m. Thursday. Her car was found the next morning in Wheeler, Ind. After she failed to return home, a search was launched.

Bach's body was found around 3:45 p.m. Saturday, near some railroad tracks. According to police, her body was 300 yards from McGowan's home.

She was killed by a gunshot wound to the neck that severed her spine.










UPDATE: Police Continue Search For Amanda Bach Murder Evidence
September 22, 2011 - 5:32 AM
Updated 9/22/2011 at 5:00 p.m.
CBS News - Chicago IL
chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/09/22/police-continue-search-for-amanda-bach-murder-evidence



video
[IN] Police search for weapon in Amanda Bach Murder - Sept 23, 2011

VALPARAISO, Ind. (CBS) — Porter County, Ind. Sheriff’s police and a state dive team came up empty this week as they searched for evidence in the murder of Amanda Bach, the Portage teen found shot to death Saturday.

Police were hoping to find the murder weapon.

"We’re looking for evidence," said Sheriff David Lain, who arrived at the scene, north of Wheeler High School, Wednesday afternoon. Chief deputy prosecutor Matthew Frost and deputy prosecutor Cheryl Polarek were also at the pond, about 300 yards from the road.

"We’re combing everything out there to see if there’s evidence; there was not," Sgt. Larry LaFlower said. "It was real mucky, almost like a swamp."

In court Wednesday, attorney Robert Harper filed his appearance to represent Dustin McCowan, 18, who has been charged with Bach's murder.

"Dustin’s denying any involvement," Harper said.

Porter Superior Court Judge Mary Harper recused herself from the case because attorney Harper is her ex-husband. The case was moved to Judge William Alexa’s court, where a status hearing was set for Sept. 30.

"I’ve been in contact with the family since Saturday," Robert Harper said.

Harper said McCowan talked with police last Friday before he left town for Bloomington. He was arrested by Indiana University police in Bloomington on Saturday.

McCowan, who was friends with Bach, lives on County Road 625W, a short distance from where her body was discovered Saturday afternoon.

LaFlower said police confiscated the marked Crown Point police car of Joseph Elliott McCowan, the father of Dustin McCowan. LaFlower said Joseph E. McCowan was not cooperative on Saturday when the car was taken to process it for evidence.

According to the charging document released Tuesday, an unidentified girl told police she was with Dustin McCowan between 4 and 7 a.m. Friday.
LaFlower cited the charging document saying McCowan’s father took his son for a short ride in his squad car after he came home from work.

Police also searched the McCowan house. LaFlower said McCowan’s service weapon has been ruled out as the murder weapon. LaFlower said Joseph E. McCowan owns other guns, which were being checked by police.

"There were definitely some weapons that were involved. The dad had some guns that he didn’t take to work with him" that were for personal use, LaFlower said.
He said it isn’t known whether Dustin McCowan owned a weapon. "That is something we’ll have to check."

The search for evidence continued Thursday.

Sheriff’s officers, assisted by a tracker dog, covered 2 ½ miles of road between Dean’s General Store, where Bach’s car was discovered in Wheeler, and the railroad tracks where her body was found, 200 yards from McCowan’s home. Police said they were retracing what they believed to be the suspect’s path.

"It’s the only roadway that is between, on a straight shot, between his house and Dean’s," Porter County Sgt. Larry LaFlower said.

Also Thursday, in Portage, the casket bearing Bach’s remains arrived at Nativity of Our Savior Parish, ahead the young woman’s visitation. The steady stream of floral arrangements reflected both the community’s grief – and every parent’s worst nightmare.

"To see a young person die in this manner — I think everybody’s affected, everybody’s touched," Rev. Andrew Corona told CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley. "They imagine themselves in their same position."

Bach was killed by a gunshot wound to the neck.

Police also looked for evidence at a neighbor’s house near the McCowan home on Wednesday.

A neighbor told police she heard voices the night Bach was killed between 1 and 2 a.m. A male voice said, "Amanda, come on, get up, Amanda, get up." The neighbor heard a female voice saying, "I can’t believe this is happening," according to the charging affidavit.


Bach, a 2011 Portage High School graduate, left her Portage home about 10 p.m. Thursday and McCowan told police she was at his house from 11 p.m. Thursday to 1:30 a.m. Friday. He said they played video games and watched a movie. He denied hearing the voices the neighbor reported.

About 3:25 a.m. Friday, police found Bach’s car at Dean’s General Store on Indiana 130 in Wheeler. The driver’s door was open and the front tire was flat. Bach’s purse and its contents were inside the car. Police found Bach’s body about 3:45 p.m. Saturday, about three miles from her car.











Attorney: McCowan asserting innocence in Bach murder
September 21, 2011 - 3:45 pm
Jeff Burton
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/attorney-mccowan-asserting-innocence-in-bach-murder/article_1ee72b56-8389-586c-9bd0-dfb4df114910







UNION TOWNSHIP - As divers searched a pond north of Wheeler High School for possible evidence in the homicide of Amanda Bach, the man accused of killing the 19-year-old is denying any involvement in her death.

Porter County sheriff's police said a dive team spent Wednesday searching a pond north of Wheeler High and along the Canadian National railroad tracks. The pond is near where Bach's body was discovered Saturday.

"We are searching and combing the area for any and all evidence," Sgt. Larry LaFlower said.

One piece of possible evidence taken into police custody is the Crown Point Police Department squad car assigned to Dustin McCowan's father, Joseph Elliott McCowan. LaFlower confirmed the vehicle was taken into police possession for evidence processing, though he couldn't comment on specifics.

LaFlower also said Sheriff Dave Lain has concluded a Crown Point Police Department duty revolver belonging to McCowan's father was not used in Bach's murder.

Defense attorney Bob Harper said he's been retained by McCowan's family and that the 18-year-old Union Township man maintains he had nothing to do with the disappearance and death of Bach, a former girlfriend.

"Dustin denies any involvement in this act," Harper said. "He has denied any involvement since the police first spoke to him."

Harper said he's been in contact with McCowan and his family since the weekend, and his firm will represent McCowan at trial.

Harper's involvement, though, will bring some changes to the trial.

According to court records, Judge Mary Harper recused herself from the case following McCowan's initial hearing Tuesday.

The judge was attending a judicial conference Wednesday along with other Porter County judges and was unavailable for comment.

A staff member said the judge historically has removed herself from cases in which the defense is represented by Bob Harper, her former husband, in an effort to remove any question of a possible conflict of interest.

The case was reassigned Wednesday morning to Porter Superior Judge Bill Alexa. A status hearing is set for Sept. 30 to determine a new set of trial dates.









Officer's Gun Not Used to Kill Teen: Officials
Dick Johnson and BJ Lutz
NBC News - Chicago, IL
Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011
Updated 4:23 PM CDT
nbcchicago.com/news/local/amanda-bach-dustin-mccowan-cop-gun-130226458



The gun used to kill a 19-year-old Portage, Ind., girl late last week did not belong to the father of the teen now accused in the crime, officials said Tuesday.

Dustin McCowan is the son of a Crown Point, Ind., police officer. The younger McCowan has been charged with one count of murder in connection with the shooting death of Amanda Bach.

"We can say that Officer McCowan's duty weapon was not used in this crime. He had that in his possession that night," said Porter County Sheriff David Lain.


Eliott McCowan was working his assigned overnight shift at the police department last Thursday night, the last time Bach was seen alive.

"According to our records, he reported for this shift at 10:40 p.m. with his department assigned equipment," said Crown Point police Chief Peter Land.

Bach's body was found near railroad tracks Saturday afternoon.











Hearing held, details released in Bach death investigation
September 20, 2011 - 12:45 pm
Jeff Burton
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/hearing-held-details-released-in-bach-death-investigation/article_ac099126-b876-561e-bebe-170e93c80786

VALPARAISO - Dustin McCowan will spend at least the next five months in Porter County Jail, awaiting trial in the murder of 19-year-old Amanda Bach.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, McCowan, 18, appeared before Judge Mary Harper via closed circuit video from the jail Tuesday.

During his initial hearing, Harper advised McCowan of his rights and entered a preliminary not guilty plea on his behalf. Harper told McCowan he and his legal counsel have 20 days to enter a formal plea.

During the hearing, McCowan said only "Yes, ma'am," and "Yes, your honor," when Harper asked if he understood his rights and the charges against him. He also stated that his family has hired an attorney to represent him, though none was on record.

If convicted, McCowan could face up to 65 years in prison, Harper said.

After the hearing, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Matt Frost said that at this time the case does not qualify for the death penalty, but that could change as the investigation progresses.

"It's a horrible, tragic crime," Frost said.

McCowan's next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 1, with a jury trial tentatively set to begin Feb. 1.

In court documents released about an hour before McCowan's hearing, prosecutors and Porter County sheriff's police outlined the events leading to McCowan's arrest.

When contacted by police early Friday after Bach's car was found abandoned outside Dean's General Store on Ind. 130 in Wheeler, McCowan told police the two had been together from 11 p.m. until about 1:30 a.m., when Bach went home.

McCowan told police he asked Bach to text him when she got home, but she never did. He said he tried several times to call her, but according to court documents, his phone records indicated he called her phone just two times, both back to back at 4:36 a.m.

On Friday afternoon, police talked to McCowan's neighbor, who told a detective that between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Friday she was awakened by voices outside her home.

She told police she heard a male voice say, "Amanda get up, come on, get up, Amanda, get up."

The neighbor told police she then heard what she thought was a female voice say, "I can't believe this is happening."

The neighbor said she looked out her window, but saw no one.

Police would not comment on whether anyone besides McCowan is being investigated.

Court documents also indicate that McCowan on Friday morning visited Mike Rosta, a guidance counselor at Wheeler High School. Rosta told police that McCowan didn't "seem to be himself and wanted to know what he should do regarding the fact that Amanda Bach was missing and and he was the last to see her."

Rosta told police he suggested McCowan go to Bach's family to see how he could help. Rosta later learned through a series of text messages from McCowan that he had gone to Bloomington and was curious as to how the search for Bach was going.

Also Friday afternoon, Porter County police met with McCowan's father, Elliott McCowan, at his home on County Road 625 West in Union Township, just south of where police found Bach's car.

According to court documents, Elliott McCowan told police he was working midnights as a Crown Point police officer and his son was home alone.

An unidentified girl later told police she was with McCowan between 4 and 7 a.m. Friday, when McCowan's father reportedly came home, picked his son up and took him for a short drive.


Police and volunteers launched an extensive search for Bach and just before 4 p.m. Saturday, a Union Township resident and two Valparaiso police detectives found her body 294 yards from McCowan's home on Canadian National Railroad property.

A black flip-flop belonging to Bach was found between McCowan's home and her body.



Case timeline
Thursday
10 p.m. - Amanda Bach leaves her Portage home, telling her father she's going to a Hobart-Merrillville area bowling alley with her cousin.

11 p.m. - Bach arrives at McCowan's home to play video games and watch a movie, according to McCowan.

11:30 p.m. - A female acquaintance sends a text message to McCowan asking if she can come to his house. She told police McCowan said he wasn't home.


Friday
1 to 2 a.m. - McCowan's neighbor reportedly hears a commotion coming from the McCowan home and hears a male voice and a female voice.

1:21 a.m. - A text message is received on Bach's cell phone, sent from McCowan's cell phone. Police said it was the last message opened.

1:30 a.m. - Bach leaves the McCowan home, according to McCowan.

1:30 a.m. - McCowan reportedly begins texting another female acquaintance, asking if he can spend the night at her house after he finishes some laundry. The acquaintance said the request was denied.

2:15 a.m. - A newspaper delivery driver reports stocking a rack outside Dean's General Store in Wheeler, about two miles north of the McCowan home. The driver said the parking lot was empty at the time.

3:23 a.m. - Police are called to Dean's General Store after the owner reports an abandoned car with a flat tire outside the store.

3:25 a.m. - Porter County sheriff's police arrive and find the car with its hazard lights activated, a tire flattened, the driver's side door wide open and Amanda Bach's purse inside. Bach's father is called and comes to the scene.

4 a.m. - An unidentified girl arrives at McCowan's home, according to the girl.

4:36 a.m. - Two back-to-back calls are made to Bach's cell phone from McCowan's cell phone.

7 a.m. - McCowan's father reportedly arrives home from work, picks up his son and drives north in his Crown Point Police Department vehicle, toward the Canadian National Railroad tracks, according to an unidentified girl.

7:50 a.m. - McCowan and the unidentified girl meet with a guidance counselor at Union Township Middle School.

3 p.m. - Police speak with McCowan's father, who advises his son is in Bloomington, visiting friends.

9 p.m. - Dustin McCowan's father denies police access to search his home and property. A judge later issues a search warrant.

Saturday
3:32 p.m. - A Union Township Middle School guidance counselor reportedly receives a series of text messages from McCowan in Bloomington, asking about the search for Bach.

3:55 p.m. - Valparaiso police begin searching the Canadian National Railroad property on County Road 625 West near the County Road 350 North bend and find Amanda Bach's body, 294 yards from McCowan's home. Police also locate one of Bach's flip-flops halfway between the McCowan property and the location of the body.

Source: Porter County Superior Court documents

Funeral information
Visitation for Amanda Bach will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Nativity of Our Savior Catholic Church, 2949 Willowcreek Road, Portage. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, also at Nativity. Cremation will follow.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Amanda Bach Memorial Fund established at Harris Bank.









Prosecutors Provide Chilling Details Of Amanda Bach’s Death
September 20, 2011 - 10:42 AM
UPDATED: 9/29/2011 – 5:07 p.m.
CBS TV NEWS - Chicago, IL
chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/09/20/prosecutors-provide-chilling-details-of-amanda-bachs-death/"/prosecutors-provide-chilling-details-of-amanda-bachs-death



video
[IN]Prosecutors Provide Chilling Details Of Amanda Bach’s Death - Sept 20, 2011



video
[IN] Bach Murder - Sept 20, 2011


VALPARAISO, Ind. (CBS) – An ex-boyfriend charged with murdering a Portage woman appeared in court on Tuesday, as prosecutors provided chilling details of the crime.

Dustin McCowan, 18, pleaded not guilty to the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Amanda Bach, 19, at a court hearing in Porter County, Ind.

Prosecutors said a neighbor might have overheard what was said early Friday morning, just moments after Bach was killed.

Witnesses told investigators they heard voices at McCowan’s home in Union Township last Friday. Bach’s body was found a day later. McCowan, 18, was charged Monday with murdering Bach by shooting her in the neck.

According to prosecutors, McCowan got together with Bach at his home on Thursday night. In a prosecution affidavit filed Tuesday, next-door neighbor Nancy Phillips said she heard voices outside between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Friday.

Prosecutors said Phillips heard a female voice saying, "I can’t believe this is happening," then heard a male voice saying "Amanda, get up!"

"Phillips advised that she heard what she thought was a male voice say ‘Amanda get up, come on get up, Amanda, get up,’" according to the affidavit. Phillips indicated that she heard that plea repeated about five times.

Authorities found Bach’s body less than 300 feet from McCowan’s home, near a set of railroad tracks, but he was sticking to his story that he didn’t have anything to do with Bach’s death.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser Reports :


[IN] Prosecutors Provide Chilling Details Of Amanda Bach’s Death - Sept 20, 2011

McCowan’s defense attorney, Bob Harper, said, "Dustin says that he does not know what happened after she left the house and he’s told everyone that."

But even those closest to McCowan said they believe he was responsible for Bach’s death. McCowan’s best friend, Brandon Hutchins, was also very close to Amanda, though he said they were not dating.

Hutchins and his family said they believe McCowan felt he was losing everyone he cared about.

Hutchins attended Tuesday’s hearing and said their friendship became strange after McCowan and Bach broke up after they were dating off and on for two years.

"He told her two weeks ago that he never wanted her to text him again, because she was coming between me and him," Hutchins said. He said Bach wanted to date him, but he didn’t want to date her.

"I didn’t want to do that to Dustin," Hutchins said.

His mother, Kim Howe, said she believes McCowan’s feelings of abandonment led him to murder.

"I think he did it over the friendship with him and Brandon. I think he just didn’t want anybody to come between him and Brandon," she said.

"He loved Brandon like a brother. I mean … I didn’t have to give birth to him to be his mom. He was my son," Howe added, choking back tears. "He’s destroyed so many people in the community."

As police launched a massive search, Amanda Bach’s car was found a couple of miles away on Friday.

Bach’s father had told investigators that he thought Amanda and McCowan had been together Thursday night.

McCowan’s father, who is a Crown Point police officer, refused to allow a search of his property, authorities said.

Valparaiso investigators began a search nearby and found Bach’s body Saturday afternoon on railroad property about 300 yards from the McCowan home.

She had been shot in the neck, and the coroner said she would have died instantly. Bach had planned to attend Indiana University Northwest in Gary in January.

Authorities said McCowan was originally taken into custody by campus police at Indiana University Bloomington on Friday, where he was visiting friends. He was eventually transported early Sunday to the Porter County Sheriff’s office in Valparaiso.










Coroner: Indiana Teen Was Shot
Dustin McCowan charged with one count of murder

By Lauren Jiggetts and Zach Christman
NBC News - Chicago, IL
Monday, Sep 19, 2011
Updated 11:12 PM CDT
nbcchicago.com/news/local/Portage-Womans-Death-Amanda-Bach-130107068








A 19-year-old Portage woman was killed by a gunshot wound to the neck that severed her spine.

The information was released late Monday by the coroner, only hours after Amanda Bach's former boyfriend, 18-year-old Dustin McCowan, was charged in connection with her death.

McCowan faces one count of murder, and was being held with no bond at the Porter County Jail until his initial hearing on Tuesday.

NBC 5 has also learned that McGowan is the son of a Crown Point police officer. The family home was searched on Sunday, but police won't say whether anything was found.

Bach was last seen leaving her home to visit McCowan around 10 p.m. Thursday. Her car was found the next morning in Wheeler, Ind. After she failed to return home, a search was launched.

McCowan's Facebook page on Friday morning showed a post that asks friends to contact him if they heard from or seen Bach.

Bach's body was found around 3:45 p.m. Saturday, near some railroad tracks. According to police, her body was 300 yards from McGowan's home.

The Porter County Sheriff's Department said McCowan was arrested in Bloomington, Ind., and brought back to Porter County. He's now being held in the Porter County Jail in connection with the death.

The Sheriff's Department said Bach had suffered some kind of trauma, but they are withholding an official cause of death until an autopsy will be performed Monday.

Bach worked at a restaurant with plans to attend college in January. Her car was found with its emergency lights flashing. The car had a flat tire, and Bach's purse was still inside.

"She never would hurt anybody," said co-worker Amy Goetz. "She was the kindest heart. For somebody to do something this terrible to her is absolutely the worst thing in the world."

McCowan's neighbor, Ray Phillips, said he didn't hear or see anything around the time Bach may have been killed.

"That's kind of hard to believe because he never caused any trouble," Philips said. "They are nice people and I waved to him. I've never heard any problems or nothing."

Investigators declined to discuss a possible motive.

Portage High School put an emergency crisis plan into effect which included counselors for any students who needed it.

"Amanda's sister is not in school today. There are students that are friends of hers, as well as friends of Amanda's, those are students that required special attention this morning and were dealt with by our staff at the high school," Portage Township school superintendent Mike Berta said.










Coroner: Gunshot wound to the neck cause of Bach's death
September 19, 2011 - 6:00 pm
Jeff Burton
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/coroner-gunshot-wound-to-the-neck-cause-of-bach-s/article_ece64c97-15bf-5647-b130-e88e64ce0b63






VALPARAISO - An 18-year-old Union Township man has been charged with fatally shooting 19-year-old Amanda Bach.

Dustin McCowan, 18, of Union Township, was charged with murder, a Class A felony, Monday in Porter Superior Court.

An autopsy completed Monday revealed Bach died of a single gunshot wound to the front of her neck, Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said. The bullet instantly severed the woman's spinal cord, Harris said.

"The wound she suffered would have been an instantaneous death," Harris said. "She would not have suffered."

No other bruising or signs of trauma were found on Bach's body, Harris said, and pathologists found no immediately visible signs of a struggle.

Porter County sheriff's police are describing McCowan as an "acquaintance" and former "boyfriend" of Bach. They said the 2011 Portage High School graduate last was seen by her family about 10 p.m. Thursday, when she reportedly went to "hang out" with McCowan.

Police said Bach's gold Pontiac was found about 3 a.m. Friday outside Dean's General Store on Ind. 130 on Wheeler's west end. On Sunday, Sheriff Dave Lain said the car was found with its door wide open, a tire flattened and with Bach's belongings inside.

After an intense search of the largely rural area, the woman's body was found Saturday afternoon on railroad property some 300 yards from McCowan's home in the 300 block of North County Road 625 West.

Sgt. Larry LaFlower, spokesman for the Porter County Sheriff's Department, said a search warrant was issued Saturday and executed Sunday on the McCowan family home.

LaFlower wouldn't comment on whether anything was seized from the home or about the gun used in the killing. McCowan's father is a Crown Point police officer.


McCowan was found over the weekend in Bloomington by Indiana University police and brought to Valparaiso where he was questioned by police and arrested under suspicion of murder.

McCowan is being held without bond at the Porter County Jail. An initial hearing to enter a preliminary plea likely will be scheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday, police said.











18-year-old charged with killing Portage Woman
September 19, 2011 - 4:38pm
CBS News - Chicago IL
WBBM News Radio Mike Krauser


[IN] 18-Year-Old Charged With Killing Portage Woman - September 19, 2011 4:38 PM


















Also See:

Updates on Amanda Bach Murder Case are on the 
Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence Website:

[IN] Amanda Bach Murder Case
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/09/in-amanda-bach-murder-case_16.html


Amanda Bach Murder - Dustin McCowan charged with murder – September 16, 2011http://abbiandbaileyfromtheheart.blogspot.com/2011/09/amanda-bach-murder-dustin-mccowan_16.html

Amanda Bach Murder Case - Dustin McCowan Trial and Conviction- Feb 04, 2013http://abbiandbaileyfromtheheart.blogspot.com/2013/02/amanda-bach-murder-case-dustin-mccowan.html

Amanda Bach Murder Case - Dustin McCowan Sentenced - March 28, 2013 http://abbiandbaileyfromtheheart.blogspot.com/2013/03/amanda-bach-murder-case-dustin-mccowan.html