Friend tells jurors McCowan acted odd after Bach disappeared

2013-02-12T18:30:00Z 2013-02-13T12:52:04Z Friend tells jurors McCowan acted odd after Bach disappearedBob Kasarda, (219) 548-4345
February 12, 2013 6:30 pm  • 

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.

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