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.