Despite $10,000 reward offer, police confident in McCowan's arrest

2012-02-16T15:35:00Z 2012-02-18T00:11:39Z Despite $10,000 reward offer, police confident in McCowan's arrestBy Jeff Burton jeff.burton@nwi.com, (219) 548-4354 nwitimes.com
February 16, 2012 3:35 pm  • 

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.

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