Amanda Bach’s parents suing murderer and father
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent August 5, 2013 6:38PM
Sandra Bach and William Bach, parents of Amanda Bach, at a press conference earlier this year at the Porter County Sheriff's Department. | File photo
Updated: September 7, 2013 6:16AM
VALPARAISO — The parents of Amanda Bach are suing both the man who killed their daughter on Sept. 16, 2011, and his father.
A lawsuit filed in Porter County on July 31 names both Dustin McCowan, now 20, and Joseph Elliott McCowan, a police officer with the Crown Point Police Department.
Dustin was convicted of 19-year-old Bach’s murder on Feb. 26 after an almost month-long trial.
Porter Superior Court Judge William Alexa sentenced the younger McCowan to 60 years in prison March 28 for the death of the Portage girl.
The attorney for William and Sandra Bach, David E. Woodward of Woodward and Blaskovich, said his clients did not want to comment on the matter.
John Vouga of Vouga and Associates, who with Nick Barnes defended Dustin McCowan, said that he has an appointment to meet with the elder McCowan on Friday.
“Our official stance is it’s not worth commenting on right now,” Vouga said.
Dustin McCowan’s appeal is now being handled by a public defender.
The Bachs’ suit states that the parents are suing under the Indiana Child Wrongful Death statute and “are entitled to recover for loss of love, affection and companionship, as well as all other damages permitted.”
They included the father in the suit because he “failed to properly secure his firearms in which his son, Defendant, Dustin McCowan, had access,” the suit states.
“A direct and proximate cause of Amanda Bach’s death and fatal shooting, was the carelessness and negligence of the Defendant, Joseph Elliott McCowan,” according to the suit.
Police were made aware of Bach’s death when her car was found abandoned in downtown Wheeler, north of where the McCowans lived then.
Search parties found her body Sept. 17 in a copse of trees near tracks, close to where the McCowans lived and where Dustin was known to dispose of trash from parties.
She had been shot in the neck by a .38 caliber gun, and the elder McCowan’s .38 pistol that was kept under a sofa was discovered to be missing shortly after the body was found.