Friday, September 16, 2011

[IN] Amanda Bach Murder Case - Dustin McCowan charged with murder


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[IN] Amanda Bach Murder Case - 
Dustin McCowan's Appeal



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Amanda Bach Murder Case:

Amanda Bach [Portage, Indiana]. Murdered by her ex-boyfriend Dustin McCowan [son of Crown Point police officer Joseph Elliott McCowan] - September 16, 2011







Dustin McCowan - Convicted and sentenced to 60 years in prison for murdering Amanda Bach [February 2013]




Crown Point Indiana police officer Joseph Elliott McCowan - Investigated for his possible role in hiding key evidence in his son Dustin's murder 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.










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/

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[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 NWI Times
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.










Bond sought in Bach murder case
October 26, 2011 4:45 pm
Bob Kasarda
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/bond-sought-in-bach-murder-case/article_e3f3bf10-585b-5700-8f55-42557c6007e8

VALPARAISO | The defense attorney representing murder suspect Dustin McCowan has taken the unusual move of requesting bond.

Porter Superior Judge Bill Alexa set a hearing for 2 p.m. Nov. 16 on the request from attorney Bob Harper.

"I think it's a legitimate question to bring before the judge to decide," he said.

Harper said he intends to call witnesses during the hearing.

McCowan, 19, is accused of murdering his former girlfriend, 19-year-old Amanda Bach, yet police still are searching for the murder weapon and have been using search warrants over the past several weeks to pursue cellphone records from friends and relatives of both.

Bach was found shot to death Sept. 17 about 300 yards from McCowan's house in Union Township, a day after her car was discovered parked next to a store in Wheeler. She had been shot once in the neck.

McCowan went to visit friends Sept. 16 at the Bloomington campus of Indiana University. He was brought back to Porter County and has pleaded not guilty to the murder.









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

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.










More cellphone search warrants in Bach case
October 13, 2011 9:45 pm
Jeff Burton NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/more-cellphone-search-warrants-in-bach-case/article_634d8a90-2f54-50d8-b779-26ee93abb82e

VALPARAISO - Two more search warrants were issued for cellphone records of people believed to have been in contact with Amanda Bach and her ex-boyfriend in the hours before Bach's slaying.

One of the warrants targets records on a phone belonging to a female friend of Dustin McCowan, Bach's former boyfriend, according to court records. The woman told detectives she had exchanged text messages with McCowan the night Bach disappeared, records say. During their exchange, she told McCowan she wanted stop by his house but he allegedly told her he wasn't there, records say.

A second warrant was issued for records belonging to a mutual friend of Bach and McCowan, who allegedly had been in contact with both in the days before Bach's murder, records say.

Bach, 19, was found shot to death in Union Township on Sept. 17, a day after her car was found abandoned in Wheeler.

McCowan, 18, was charged with her murder and is awaiting trial.









Amanda Bach Cell Phone Records Subpoenaed
Dustin McCowan's father's phone also is under investigation
Jessica Guido
NBC News - Chicago,IL
Oct 13, 2011 - Updated 12:00 PM CDT
nbcchicago.com/news/local/Amanda-Bach-Cell-Phone-Records-Subpoenaed-131790108

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[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.









Parade honors memory of Amanda Bach
September 28, 2011 12:00 am
Joyce Russell
NWI Timesnwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/parade-honors-memory-of-amanda-bach/article_5247bd7f-5b32-5a8a-b224-e7039b94b6bd





PORTAGE - Through the early darkness Tuesday night, a stream of light walked up Willowcreek Road.

More than 100 friends, acquaintances and even strangers came to honor Amanda Bach, the Portage 19-year-old who was shot and killed Sept. 16 in Union Township.

They weren't there so much to remember what happened to her that night, but to remember what she had brought to them during her short life.

"We'd only known her a short time, and she touched our heart. Her smile touched us," said Fran Smith, of South Haven, who described herself as an acquaintance of the 2011 Portage High School graduate.

Closer friends said they felt Amanda, who loved parades, with them as they gathered in the Kmart parking lot under skies that cleared for the more than one-mile walk to Gilbert Park.

"I think she's loving it. I think she's looking down and smiling," close friend Diana Bernal said. "She would love that people are thinking of her and supporting her."

The walk was organized by friend Carolyn Rodriguez, who didn't let the sometimes torrential rain during the day dim her spirits.
"It was God's blessing," she said of the clearing skies.

The walkers donned blue ribbons and held carnations and candles. They were escorted by Portage, South Haven and Union Township fire department units.

When they reached Gilbert Park, they gathered under the gazebo to honor the young girl who had planned to attend college next year.

"She had that little laugh that got high-pitched," Bernal."Even when you were mad at her, she would look at you in a special way and you weren't mad anymore."

Rodriguez thanked the crowd for attending.

"Don't leave here with your heads down," she said. "Keep smiling for Amanda because everybody knew she loved to smile."










Investigators analyzing iPod Touch, phone of McCowan
September 27, 2011 4:00 pm
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/investigators-analyzing-ipod-touch-phone-of-mccowan/article_9ddf50f4-a45d-58cd-a0c8-cb1ed2457a8c

VALPARAISO - A search warrant is looking into a cellphone and iPod Touch 18-year-old Dustin McCowan had when he was arrested for the alleged murder of Amanda Bach, 19, of Portage.

According to documents filed in Porter Superior Court, Porter County Sheriff's Department investigators were issued a warrant for the two electronic devices to search for any phone numbers, text messages, photos, multimedia files, applications or other forensic data.

Authorities said both items were seized from McCowan when he was booked into Porter County Jail, where he remains awaiting trial.










Schoolmate plans walk to remember Bach
September 26, 2011 - 5:00 pm
Joyce Russell
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/schoolmate-plans-walk-to-remember-bach/article_c0968ede-7ea2-58e2-810b-d7ec78b43a9a

PORTAGE - Carolyn Rodriguez remembers Amanda Bach as someone who loved parades.

Rodriguez will hold a parade to remember her schoolmate Tuesday night. Bach, 19, was shot and killed earlier this month.

Dustin McCowan, 18, of Union Township, has been arrested and charged with murder in her death.

"What better way to remember Amanda than have a parade?

Amanda was just an amazing person for anybody. One thing Amanda loved was parades and a celebration," said Rodriguez, of Chesterton, adding the two classmates also participated in Relay for Life events together.

Rodriguez received permission from the Board of Works on Monday to hold the Walk for Amanda. The permission was granted after some compromise. Participants are asked to gather at the Kmart parking lot on U.S. 6 and Willowcreek Road at 7 p.m.

Rodriguez wanted the 300 or more participants to walk on Willowcreek Road from approximately U.S. 6 to Gilbert Park, where a vigil will be held. Mayor Olga Velazquez said she had some concerns about closing down Willowcreek Road for a length of time and suggested the walk be held on the sidewalk instead.

Rodriquez agreed. She also said several fire departments have agreed to volunteer their time to escort the walkers from the retailer to the park.










Amanda Bach funeral service held in Portage
ABC News - Channel 7 - Chicago, IL
Sept 23, 2011

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Friends and Family Remember Slain Teen
Sep 23, 2011
NBC News - Chicago, IL
nbcchicago.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/Friends-and-Family-Remember-Slain-Teen/130454773#ixzz2ZBAfjnjm

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[IN] Friends-and-Family-Remember-Slain-Teen- Sept 23, 2011


Amanda Bach is laid to rest while uncertainty remains around the circumstances behind her violent death and the former boyfriend accused of killing her.










Family, friends remember Amanda Bach at funeral
September 23, 2011 -  7:00 pm
Jeff Burton
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/family-friends-remember-amanda-bach-at-funeral/article_6dc4a988-2c5a-5dcf-8dfb-fb3256030c21





PORTAGE - Family, friends and hundreds of community members touched by 19-year-old Amanda Bach's life filled the pews of Nativity of Our Savior Catholic Church on Friday morning for a funeral Mass.

In his homily, the Rev. Andrew Corona said while the 2011 Portage High School graduate's life was cut tragically short, family and friends should focus their memories on the time they spent with Bach.

"Her life should not be defined by the way it ended, but how she lived and how we love her," Corona told mourners, many of them Bach's classmates.

Corona compared the emotions felt from Bach's sudden loss to those felt during an unexpected power outage.

He said in an instant, without warning of thunder or lightning, all comfort ceased for those who loved the young woman and all white noise suddenly ended, leaving only absolute silence, emptiness and uncertainty.

"One minute the sun is shining, and the next, we're thrown into the darkness," Corona said. "In the space of a moment, our whole world is turned upside down."

Corona said while family and friends may feel anger at the way Bach's life ended, they must have faith and pray that light eventually will shine through the darkness they're experiencing and that justice will be done.

"God's passion for justice is fierce. He identifies so much with those who are the weakest among us," the pastor said.

Bach 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.

Dustin McCowan, 18, of Union Township, a former boyfriend, was arrested and charged with her murder. McCowan, who maintains his innocence, remains at Porter County Jail awaiting trial.










Amanda Bach Laid to Rest Family, friends, strangers packed church to remember teen's life
Sharon Wright
NBC News, Chicago IL
Friday, Sep 23, 2011
Updated 5:51 PM CDT
nbcchicago.com/news/local/Family-Friends-to-Say-Farewell-to-Amanda-Bach-130414778.html#ixzz2ZBGNdIXZ

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[IN] Amanda Bach Laid to Rest- Sept 23, 2011

An overflow crowd of friends and family packed into Nativity Our Savior Catholic Church Friday to say goodbye to slain Indiana teen.

Nineteen-year-old Amanda Bach of Portage was found shot to death along some railroad tracks in Porter County last Saturday.

Her former boyfriend, Dustin McCowan, 18, faces one count of murder and is being held with no bond at the Porter County Jail.

The incident has shocked the close-knit Northwest Indiana 
community, including many of the high school friends of the victim and suspect.

"She didn't deserve to leave this early. She had a lot of things she was set up to do," Portage High School sophomore Alexys Taylor said. ""It's really scary kinda because I know him and he was one of my friends too. It's a sad situation because it can happen to anyone, and you just don't know when and where it's going to happen,"

Family members chose to focus on Amanda, not the ongoing investigation.

"We prefer not to dwell on that issue today given that Amanda is at peace and really we're trying to focus on her life. We'll leave that up to the sheriff to continue their investigation and looking forward to possibly getting those responsible," the victim's uncle, Dr. Carlos Cespedes said.

Details about a possible motive have not surfaced in the case. A murder weapon has not been found and investigators are still urging the public to come forward if they think they have any information.

"We believe in God and we believe that God will have his way. That's out of our hands and it's better that way. God will have his way and whatever happens happens," Bach's aunt, Diana Garza, said.










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 IL
chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/09/23/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.











UPDATE- Police Continue Search For Amanda Bach Murder Evidence
Sept 22, 2011
CBS 2 News - Chicago, IL

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Police continue search for evidence in Union Township homicide
September 22, 2011 - 2:30 pm
John Scheibel
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/police-continue-search-for-evidence-in-union-township-homicide/article_9ebd1f5f-1d3b-5552-9ec0-fe6eebfa74f7










UNION TOWNSHIP - Porter County police on Thursday continued searching for evidence in the case of a Portage woman's slaying.

Amanda Bach was found dead Saturday in Union Township, a day after her car was discovered parked next to a store in Wheeler. She had been shot once in the neck.

Dustin McCowan, 18, of Union Township, was arrested and formally charged with murder.

But police on Thursday were continuing to search for evidence -- especially for the weapon used in the crime.

Bach's car was discovered early Sept. 16 parked at Dean's general store on Ind. 130 at County Road 625 West. Investigators and the Porter County Sheriff's Department canine unit on Thursday searched the roadside between the store and McCowan's home about two miles to the south.

Porter County police Sgt. Larry LaFlower said investigators were looking for fresh evidence in the area.

LaFlower said he could not comment on what, if anything, police found during their search Thursday.

LaFlower said there still are leads coming into the department, but authorities encourage the public to continue to call the Sheriff's Department with any information about the case. LaFlower said they especially are interested in talking to anyone who had contact with McCowan on Sept. 15 or 16.

The Indiana University Police Department has been helping in that effort, LaFlower said. McCowan went to visit friends Sept. 16 at the Bloomington campus. Police there have been helping track down anyone who was with McCowan at that time.

McCowan has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and through his attorney is maintaining his innocence.

The Porter County Sheriff's Department Detective Bureau can be reached at (219) 477-3130.










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.html#ixzz2YyEJ0bz2

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[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/

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[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.










Portage Murder: Teen pleads not guilty in Bach murder
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
ABC News - Chicago, IL
abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=8361655

(PORTAGE, Ind.) (WLS) -- The 18-year-old man accused of killing Amanda Bach, 19, of Portage, Ind., appeared in court Tuesday.

Dustin McCowan pleaded not guilty to murder charges. An autopsy revealed Bach died from a gunshot wound to the neck. 

Her body was found Saturday along railroad tracks near McCowan's home.

One of McCowan's neighbor's told police she heard voices outside her home the night Bach was last seen saying, "Amanda get up."

"You can see it in his eyes, there's, he's scared and there's guilt. 

And it's horrible, horrible, it's a horrible thing. We all don't know how to stomach it right now," said Tara Adams, one of McCowan's friends.

Service for Bach will be held later this week.









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.html#ixzz2YyFwDZCK


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

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/



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[IN] Prosecutors Provide Chilling Details Of Amanda Bach’s Death





video
[IN] Bach Murder - Sept 20, 2011




WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser Reports

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.

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
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-










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.










Portage, Wheeler high schools help students after Bach's death
September 19, 2011 5:00 pm
Joyce Russell
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/portage-wheeler-high-schools-help-students-after-bach-s-death/article_76b8313e-19f6-511b-90b9-487b0a1a155b


There was nothing normal about Monday at either Portage or Wheeler high schools.

Students at both schools returned to class after learning of the weekend death of 19-year-old Amanda Bach, a 2011 Portage graduate, allegedly at the hands of 18-year-old Dustin McCowan, a 2011 Wheeler graduate.


Near the flagpoles at Portage High East, the school's sign was lined with candles, bouquets of flowers, single red roses and a teddy bear. Items remained from a Saturday night vigil organized by friends of Bach after they learned she had died.

"It was a very subdued Monday," said Wheeler Principal Don Gandy. Gandy said officials had emailed teachers about Bach's death and McCowan's alleged involvement and made counselors available. A handful asked to talk to a counselor, he said.

"It's been difficult for our kids here, and I have to say they've handled it admirably. It is a tragedy for both families," Gandy said.

Portage Township Schools Assistant Superintendent Tom Taylor said counselors and home-school advisers were available to students throughout the day, and a grief session was held at the end of the school day. Teachers, counselors and advisers were contacted over the weekend to be apprised of the situation before coming to school.

Taylor did not know how many students took advantage of counseling.

Gandy said administrators also "asked faculty to put rumors to rest."

Throughout the day people posted messages and opinions on separate Facebook pages mourning Bach and supporting McCowan.

Gandy said faculty were asked to advise students to "let the investigation progress" and not participate in rumors or gossip.

Taylor said Portage students likely were given the same advice by counselors or teachers if the issue arose during the course of the day.

Both administrators said the effects of Bach's death will be felt by students, some more than others, but that the schools, while having counseling available, have to go about the business of educating students.










18-Year-Old Charged With Killing Portage Woman

September 19, 2011 4:38 PM
Updated 09/19/11 – 8:35 p.m.
CBS News - Chicago IL
chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/09/19/18-year-old-charged-with-killing-portage-woman/

video
[IN] Dustin McCowan arrested for Amanda Bach's murder- Sept 19, 2011





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[IN] 18 year-old charged with killing Amanda Bach. September 19, 2011


PORTAGE, Ind. (CBS) – An 18-year-old man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of Amanda Bach, of Portage Ind., over the weekend. Bach’s friends have described the suspect as the woman’s ex-boyfriend.

As CBS 2′s Derrick Blakley reports, Dustin McCowan, of Union Township, was charged with murder Monday afternoon. 

Authorities said Bach was shot in the neck.

Porter County Sheriff’s police said McCowan was being held without bond at the Porter County Jail, pending his initial court appearance on Tuesday.

At the high school Amanda Bach attended and the restaurant where she worked, those who knew here were dealing with their grief on Monday.

It was just last Wednesday that Bach worked her last shift at Quaker Steak and Lube Restaurant, in Portage, Ind.

"Wednesday, when she was leaving out of town, she was ‘Oh, I’ll see you Monday, ‘Berta.’ And I go ‘Okay,’" co-worker Roberta Mathis said.

But neither Bach nor Mathis had any idea that it would be their last goodbye. Bach left her home with a man last Thursday night around 10 p.m.

Bach’s car was discovered on Saturday in rural Wheeler, Ind., prompting an intense search, and her restaurant colleagues pitched in.

Co-worker Leslie Cook said, "On our days off, a lot of us went around to the search parties, hung up flyers, we made flyers to hang up around the restaurant. And some of us who were working the day, as soon as we got off, we went and helped out over there as much as we could."

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser Reports:

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


But hopes were crushed when Bach’s body was found Sunday along the railroad tracks just 300 yards from the home of an 18-year-old man who some call her ex-boyfriend.



As CBS 2′s Pamela Jones reports, many friends said McCowan used to date Bach and Mathis remembers Bach mentioning an ex.




"She just said that she had an ex-boyfriend and that they were talking," Mathis said.

It’s a relationship police want to know more about. They know the two were still friends and had planned to meet Thursday night when Bach disappeared.

Porter County Sheriff’s Police Sgt. Larry LaFlower said Bach and McCowan were known to "do what friends do. Hang out. We’re not sure what their activities were going to be that night."

But police said something went horribly wrong. An autopsy on Monday revealed Bach died of a single gunshot wound to the front of her neck – an impact strong enough to sever her spine.

"The wound she suffered would have been instantaneous death. There would have been no suffering," Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said.

Asked if there was evidence of a sexual assault, Harris said, "preliminarily it does not appear that there was anything, but we are still testing all avenues."

At Portage High School, where Bach graduated in 2011, grief counselors were available during classes and after school on Monday to deal with the outpouring of emotion.

Portage Township Schools Assistant Supt. Tom Taylor said, "those students that knew Amanda obviously are crushed by the news of what happened to her. And I think that their friends feed off of that, so there’s a lot of sadness and grief at Portage High right now."

Her co-workers were still shocked and grieving, and were left to remember – and miss – Bach’s bright smile and always upbeat personality.

The restaurant’s manager, Iris Fernandez, said Bach "just had that kind of heart that she could reach out and just make anyone happier."

Cook said, "You could break up, have a horrible day, the world would be falling apart, but you’d come in, you’d see her smile and she’d just, she would light up a room. She was really a beautiful young lady."

Bach had planned to attend Indiana University Northwest in Gary in January.

An autopsy was being performed Monday afternoon and Porter County prosecutors were waiting on a preliminary conclusion on what caused Bach’s death before proceeding with charges against the suspect.

Authorities said the suspect 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.











Suspect charged in Amanda Bach murder
Sept 18, 2011
ABC News - Channel 7 - Chicago IL


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Dustin McCowan arrested in Amanda Bach's murder
Sept 18, 2011
ABC News - Channel 7 - Chicago IL

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Amanda Bach's ex-boyfriend held in her murder
Sept 18, 2011
ABC News - Channel 7 - Chicago IL

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Teen held in Amanda Bach murder
Sept 18, 2011
ABC News - Channel 7 - Chicago IL


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Murder charges expected in Amanda Bach murder
Sept 18, 2011
ABC News - Channel 7 - Chicago IL


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Man questioned in Amanda Bach's murder
Sept 18, 2011
ABC News - Channel 7 - Chicago IL


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Suspect In Custody In 19-Year-Old’s Death
September 18, 2011 6:05 PM
Updated 09/18/11 – 6:50 p.m.
CBS News - Chicago, IL
chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/09/18/suspect-in-custody-in-19-year-olds-death/

video
[IN] Suspect In Custody In 19-Year-Old’s Death- Sept 18, 2011

PORTAGE, Ind. (CBS) – Police in northwest Indiana have a suspect in custody in the death of a 19-year-old woman who went missing a few days ago.

Amanda Bach, 19, had been missing since early Friday morning. Her body was found Saturday afternoon in Union Township, not far from where authorities had been searching for her this weekend, the Porter County Sheriff’s Department said.

An autopsy was scheduled for Monday. Police would only say she suffered trauma.

LISTEN: WBBM News radio’s Regine Schlesinger Reports:


[IN] Suspect In Custody In 19-Year-Old’s Death - Sept 18, 2011


"Everyone in Amanda’s family loved her very much, her smile lit up a room when she walked in," Bach’s uncle, Dr. Carlos Cespedes said. "She was too beautiful for this world and we all miss her very much."




Bach’s body was just 300 yards from the home of the suspect, described by some as her ex-boyfriend. Police say the 18-year old’s father works for the Crown Point Indiana police department.

Detectives report they are holding the suspect on suspicion of murder.


Authorities expect to formally the suspect with murder on Monday after Porter County prosecutors officially review the case.

The young woman’s disappearance sparked an intense search Saturday. Combing the rural countryside were volunteers from 20 law enforcement agencies, as well as over 100 of Bach’s friends, and family members.

It followed the discovery of her car outside a Wheeler general store Friday morning. Authorities immediately suspected foul play.

"The car had a flat tire, the driver’s side door was standing open, and Amanda’s purse and its contents were inside," Porter County Sheriff David Lain said.

Bach, from Portage, was a 2011 graduate of the town’s high school and planned to begin college next semester. Friends have created a makeshift memorial at the sight of her disappearance.

"Everyone was just devastated I just got done pulling myself together and stop crying," her friend Kyle Carlotta said.

Authorities say the suspect 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.

Investigators indicated their case is still far from being solved and they ask anyone with any information that might give them a clearer picture about what happened to Amanda Bach to contact authorities.











Suspect in custody in Portage woman's death
September 18, 2011 4:45 pm
Lindsay Machak
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/suspect-in-custody-in-portage-woman-s-death/article_24c4a10b-96b9-5059-8b81-e2f001333e36












VALPARAISO - Police say the 18-year-old whom Amanda Bach was headed to visit when she went missing Thursday night is responsible for her death.


Dustin McCowan, of 338 N. County Road 625 West in Union Township, was arrested by Indiana University police in Bloomington.


Murder charges are being sought against him, Porter County authorities said during a news conference Sunday afternoon.

Police describe McCowan as an acquaintance of Bach, whose body was found Saturday afternoon on Canadian National Railway property about 300 yards from McCowan's home.

Bach, 19, was last seen by her family when she left her Portage home to see McCowan about 10 p.m. Thursday. Her gold Pontiac was found about 3 a.m. Friday at a general store near his house. Police said the door was open and her purse was inside.

By 7:46 a.m. Friday, McCowan had posted a Facebook message about the missing woman.

"IF ANYONE HEARS FROM OR SEES AMANDA BACH CONTACT ME ... ASAP!!! THIS IS NOT A JOKE," he wrote.

McCowan arrived in Porter County just after midnight Sunday. Police believe he had been in Bloomington since Friday.

IU police took McCowan into custody at the college, where he was visiting friends on a long-planned trip, Porter County Sheriff David Lain said.

"I don't think 'hiding' is the correct word," he said when asked why McCowan was downstate. "He had a trip planned to Bloomington before (Bach's disappearance)."

Police said Bach suffered trauma to her body but didn't release details about her injuries. Officials will release a cause of death after an autopsy Monday.

Bach graduated this summer from Portage High School and "her smile lit up a room whenever she walked in," her uncle, Carlos Cespedes, said.

Police described Bach and McCowan as "school friends," though McCowan graduated from Wheeler High School.

Portage and Wheeler high school officials said grief counseling will be available this week.

McCowan is being held in the Porter County Jail.

The Bach family had not finalized funeral arrangements as of late Sunday.












Missing teen's body found in field

Sept 17, 2011
ABC News - Channel 7 - Chicago IL


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Missing teen Amanda Bach found dead
Sept 17, 2011
ABC News - Channel 7 - Chicago, IL

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Police: Body of missing Portage woman found
September 17, 2011 7:45 pm
John Scheibel and Lindsay Machak
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/wheeler/police-body-of-missing-portage-woman-found/article_d0dd2b1b-50f2-5f9f-b9b8-9e92f16979fa


















WHEELER - The body of a missing 19-year-old Portage woman was found Saturday afternoon, officials said.

Amanda Bach's body was recovered within three miles of where her car was found early Friday, according to the Porter County Sheriff's Department.





A positive identification was made and the family was notified, Sgt. Larry LaFlower said.

"We have reason to believe that foul play was involved with her death," he said in a news release.

Bach had gone to visit a male acquaintance in Wheeler around 10 p.m. Thursday and never returned home.

LaFlower said the individual is a person of interest because he is believed to be the last person who saw Bach. Police initially said the person was out of town Saturday.

LaFlower declined comment when asked whether that person was in custody Saturday night.

"We're going to be working here overnight," he said. "We're trying to bring everyone involved here to justice."

Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris declined comment Saturday night.

More details are expected to be available at a news conference Sunday afternoon.

Police found the 2011 Portage High School graduate's gold Pontiac sedan about 3 a.m. Friday. It was parked next to Dean's General Store at Ind. 130 and County Road 625 West.

The car's door was open, police said, and Bach's purse, wallet and ID were found inside.

Hundreds of volunteers gathered with Bach's friends and family early Saturday in the store's parking lot to search for the missing woman.

About a quarter-mile south of the store, police set up a command center at the entrance to the old Wheeler landfill, next to a retention pond.

The pond and a wooded area to the south were the center of Saturday's search.

Bach's body was found about 3:45 p.m., but LaFlower would not comment on who found it or where.

Friends and family spent hours searching for her with officials.

Bach's father, Bill Bach, helped direct family and friends to distribute fliers in the unincorporated Wheeler, stopping from time to time to thank them for their support.

Bill Bach said his daughter worked at Quaker Steak and Lube in Portage and planned to attend Indiana University Northwest.

"She's very outgoing and a kind individual," Bill Bach said before his daughter was found. "She's got a heart of gold."

Porter County police and local dive teams were searching just south and west of where the car was discovered, including the retention pond. They were joined by the Porter County Emergency Management Agency, local firefighters, conservation officers and the Lake County sheriff's helicopter.

Police and civilians on ATVs combed the area. Police and firefighters combed the woods, walking shoulder to shoulder.

The Porter County sheriff's mounted posse also was called out, LaFlower said, to search the area from a different perspective.

Bill Bach said he was touched by all of the support from the community. He said arrived in Wheeler about 9 a.m. Saturday and was met by people offering to help whom he didn't even know.

"It's amazing," he said. "I'm at a loss for words."

He was not available late Saturday night.

Jessica Reagor, of Chesterton, was among the volunteers who lined Ind. 130, stopping passing motorists and handing out fliers.

Reagor does not know Bach, but said she felt she needed to help the family, so she helped make up signs.

Also on hand Saturday was Lydia Pisarski, a friend of Bach's mother who was vacationing with her mother in Mexico when she learned about her daughter's disappearance.

Pisarski said her mother took the first available flight home to join her family. She described the Bachs as a very close family.

How to help
Amanda Bach is 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 105 pounds and has brown eyes and brown, below-the-shoulder-length hair.

She was last seen wearing a long-sleeved gray shirt and black Capri-style pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Porter County Sheriff's Department at (219) 477-3000.










Missing 19-Year-Old From Portage, Ind., Found Dead

September 17, 2011 12:22 PM
CBS News - Chicago IL
chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/09/17/19-year-old-from-portage-ind-found-dead/

video
[IN] Missing 19-Year-Old From Portage, Ind., Found Dead- Sept 17, 2011


WHEELER, Ind. (CBS) — The body of 19-year-old Portage, Ind. woman who had been missing since early Friday has been found in Porter County, authorities said Saturday.





Amanda Bach’s body was found 3:45 p.m. Saturday in Union Township, not far from where authorities had been searching for her this weekend, the Porter County Sheriff’s Department said.


Bach was last seen at the residence of a male friend early Friday, the department told CBS 2.

Earlier, police said Bach was last seen leaving her home at 10 p.m. Thursday in a gold 1996 Pontiac G6. Sheriff’s police found the car broken down in Wheeler at 3 a.m. Friday, in the parking lot of Dean’s General Store on Indiana 130 and County Road 625W.

"We have reason to believe that foul play was involved with her death and investigators will be working into the night on the investigation," the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

Authorities extended their condolences to Bach’s family, which earlier in the day held out hope the young woman would be found alive.

A news conference was being planned for Sunday.










Massive search on for missing NW Ind. teen

Sept 16, 2011
ABC News - Channel 7 - Chicago IL


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Police ask for help in finding missing NW Ind. teen
Friday, September 16, 2011
WLS-TV Chicago, IL
abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local/indiana&id=8357769


(PORTER COUNTY, Ind.) (WLS) -- The Porter County Sheriff's Department is asking the public for help in the case of a missing teenager.





Amanda Bach, 19, was last seen leaving her home at 10 p.m. on September 15. Her car, a 1996 gold Pontiac G6, was found broken down at 3 a.m. on September 16 in Wheeler. Bach has not been seen since, police say.


Bach is 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 105 pounds and has brown eyes and brown colored below the shoulder length hair. She was last seen wearing a long sleeved grey shirt and black Capri style pants, according to police.

Any one with information is asked to call the Porter County Sheriff's Department at 219-477-3000.










Police search for missing Portage woman
September 16, 2011 8:30 pm
Carmen McCollum
NWI Times
nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/portage/police-search-for-missing-portage-woman/article_fbe164f9-1bdc-5ae5-a91a-2d03ac2b6aa5



Porter County authorities and the family of a missing 19-year-old Portage girl are asking anyone who may have seen her early Friday morning to notify police.


Amanda Bach was last seen leaving her home at 10 p.m. Thursday. She was driving a 1996 gold Pontiac G6. The vehicle was found at 3 a.m. Friday morning, broken down at County Road 625 West and Ind. 130 in the parking lot of Dean's General Store in Wheeler.


Bach has not been heard from.

Bach, who has worked at Quaker Steak & Lube in Portage for the past year and a half, graduated from Portage High School in June. Her father, Bill Bach, said she was off from work and was spending time with her family.

"She left at 10 p.m. (Thursday) to visit a friend in Wheeler," he said Friday night.

"We don't know precisely when she left that house. She missed her curfew at 1 a.m. We had gone on to bed and didn't know she had missed curfew. The police found her car at 3:15 in the morning. I went there, and I knew something was wrong," he said.

Bach said he hadn't talked to his daughter since she left the house. He said her belongings were found in the car. He said he's called her cellphone and hasn't had any response.

"She's a responsible kid," he said. "We weren't waiting up for her. I've talked to all of her friends. I don't know exactly what time she left Wheeler, but it's under investigation. If anyone has any leads, we ask them to please call the Porter County police."

Porter County Sheriff David Lain said police were using a helicopter Friday to search the area for Bach.

Bach is 5 foot 2 inches tall, weighs 105 pounds and has brown eyes and brown, below-the-shoulder-length hair. She was last seen wearing a long-sleeved gray shirt and black Capri-style pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Porter County Sheriff's Department at (219) 477-3000









Also See: 
Amanda Bach Murder - Dustin McCowan charged with murder
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/09/in-amanda-bach-murder-case_16.html 

Amanda Bach Murder Case - Investigation of Officer Joseph Elliott McCowan [Crown Point Indiana PD] - September 2011 - April 2013 
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/09/in-amanda-bach-murder-case.html 

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

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

Amanda Bach Murder Case - Videos 
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/09/in-amanda-bach-murder-case-videos.html





















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