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 Post subject: Amanda Bach Murder
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:39 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Amanda Bach Murder
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:40 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Amanda Bach Murder
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:26 am 
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McCowan guilty of murder in death of Amanda Bach

VALPARAISO | A Porter County jury took six and half hours to find Dustin McCowan guilty of murder late Tuesday night in the Sept. 16, 2011, slaying of his former girlfriend Amanda Bach.

McCowan, who was standing when the verdict was read, closed his eyes and then sat down and looked toward the floor.

Twenty-two police officers stood guard inside the courtroom of Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa when the verdict was read shortly before 11 p.m.

McCowan’s mother cried in the courtroom, as did Bach’s mother, who was holding a photo of her daughter.

Cheering could be heard from outside the downtown courthouse minutes after the verdict was announced. Supporters shouted, “Remember Amanda!”

Bach’s parents, Bill and Sandy Bach, said they were pleased with the verdict.

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 Post subject: Re: Amanda Bach Murder
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:01 pm 
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They will be coming after McCowan's dad next...Sounds like he may disposed of evidence...We shall see!

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