Bond denied to 19-year-old in Bach slaying

2011-11-16T17:45:00Z 2012-02-16T20:05:06Z Bond denied to 19-year-old in Bach slayingBy Bob Kasarda, (219) 548-4345
November 16, 2011 5:45 pm  • 

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.

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