Crown Point waits for Porter County to investigate elder McCowan
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent March 1, 2013 4:52PM
Crown Point police officer Joseph McCowan, right, leaves the Porter County courthouse in Valparaiso following a bond hearing for his son, Dustin, Wednesday Nov. 16, 2011. Dustin is charged with murder in the September death of Amber Back of Portage. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 3, 2013 6:09AM
The investigation into the involvement of a Crown Point police officer for reportedly covering up evidence before the murder trial of his son Dustin McCowan is taking a two-pronged approach, according to the Porter County Sheriff’s Department.
Porter County announced Tuesday after the younger McCowan, 20, was found guilty of the September 2011 murder of his former girlfriend Amanda Bach that they were looking into Elliot McCowan’s actions involving evidence in the case.
“There are two sides to the situation with Elliot,” said Detective Cmdr. Jeff Biggs of the Porter County Sheriff’s Department. Evidence collected during the investigation will be presented to the Porter County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.
Biggs said the sheriff is planning to meet with Crown Point Police Chief Pete Land to discuss information discovered during the investigation that while they may not be criminal were things “a policeman should not do.”
Investigators are in the process of wrapping up a few additional details including reviewing jail phone calls to look for corroborating evidence and completing interviews. He expects a decision on charges by the end of next week or early the following week.
“We all know policemen are held to higher standard,” Biggs said. “For any just parent to cross the line and do something criminal that is one thing. I think it even has more weight when policeman does it. You just don’t expect that from a policeman.”
Land on Thursday said the first time he was made aware of the investigation into Elliot McCowan was from news reports of the news conference following the verdict. Land said Crown Point police have been cooperating with Porter County during the murder investigation and will continue to do so.
Land said until he discusses the situation with Porter County officials, he cannot make a decision on what, if any, action would be taken regarding McCowan. McCowan currently is on vacation time.
“The first step you have to remember when looking at our Police Department and our officer is we have no information at this time,” Land said.
Biggs said Crown Point has been cooperating with investigators and any actions that may be deemed inappropriate by McCowan should not reflect on the department as a whole.