Chesterton Tribune



Amanda Bach's parents sue Dustin and Elliott McCowan

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The parents of Amanda Bach are suing both her convicted murderer, Dustin McCowan, and his father, Elliott McCowan, under the Indiana Child Wrongful Death statute.

William and Sandra Bach filed suit against the two McCowans on July 31.

Dustin McCowan was convicted on Feb. 26 of Amanda Bach’s murder and sentenced on March 28 to 60 years. He is serving his sentence in the Pendleton Correctional Facility in Madison County, one of the Indiana Department of Correction’s four maximum security facilities. His earliest projected release date: Sept. 17, 2041, exactly 30 years to the day that Bach’s body was found dumped in some bushes some 300 yards from the McCowan home, the same day that Dustin McCowan was taken into custody.

Count I of the suit notes that on or about Aug. 16, 2011, Dustin McCowan “negligently, carelessly, recklessly, and/or intentionally shot Amanda Bach”; that she “suffered a horrific, terrible, untimely wrongful death”; and that her parents, under the Indiana Child Wrongful Death statute, are “entitled to recover for the loss of love, affection, and companionship, attorney fees, costs of this action, burial and funeral bills.”

Count II names Elliott McCowan and hinges on the enduring mystery of the case: what firearm did Dustin McCowan use to shoot Bach? and what became of that weapon?

Prosecutors suggested at trial that the murder weapon was Elliott McCowan’s Smith & Wesson .38 caliber Airlite revolver, which he testified at trial he kept under a sofa in the living room but which he reported missing shortly after Bach’s body was discovered.

That revolver has never been found.

“Upon information and belief,” the suit alleges, Dustin McCowan “used his father’s firearms to fatally shoot Amanda Bach.”

Those firearms “were not properly secured” and “were accessible to his minor son,” according to the suit, although Elliott McCowan “had a duty to properly secure his firearms when he was not home.”

The suit concludes that a “direct and proximate cause of Amanda Bach’s death and fatal shooting” was Elliott McCowan’s “carelessness and negligence.”

The suit does not specify the amount sought by the Bachs.



Posted 8/6/2013





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