Dustin McCowan guilty of murder in 2011 NW Ind. case

February 27, 2013 3:23:21 PM PST
Jurors handed down a guilty verdict in the murder trial of northwest Indiana's Dustin McCowan, who was accused of killing his former girlfriend.

The verdict came late Tuesday. McCowan, 20, of Wheeler, did not take the stand in his own defense. The son of a Crown Point, Ind., police officer, McCowan was charged with the murder of Amanda Bach, 19, in September of 2011.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Matt Frost tells The Times of Munster he's gratified by the verdict.

Friends of the slain woman shouted "Remember Amanda" outside the courtroom following the verdict, while McCowan closed his eyes and sat down after the verdict was read. A judge set McCowan's sentencing for March 28.

There were hugs after the verdict came down but it does not end Bach's parents' heartbreak.

"Our lives have totally changed," her mother Sandy Bach said. "It's not the same without Amanda."

Bill and Sandy Bach broke their public silence to praise the work of police and prosecutors who earned a conviction against McCowan.

"Amanda needed some justice," her father Bill Bach said. "This wasn't really justice but it was small, little, it was a small piece of satisfaction I guess."

"This is a bittersweet victory. Although justice has been served there really are no winners here," Sandy Bach said.

For nearly three days, while friends and family searched for Amanda Bach while she missing, McCowan went on a road trip.

While her parents prayed, he partied.

Bach's body was eventually close to railroad tracks found about 300 yards from McCowan's home.

Prosecutors said the bullet in her body matched the ammunition in McCowan's father's gun, which was missing.

Dustin McCowan was said to have been jealous about his and Bach's drifting relationship.

The conviction frees up investigators to look into whether Dustin McCowan's police officer father helped him cover up the crime.

Neighbors report seeing his Crown Point squad car at home shortly after Amanda Bach disappeared.

It's an emotionally charged case, not just for Amanda Bach's friends and family, but also police and prosecutors who view them like family.

"I've gotten to know them. Sorry. This was tough," Porter County Sheriff's Police Capt. Jeff Biggs said.