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VALPARAISO, Ind. (CBS) — Police in northwest Indiana want nothing to do with a reward that is being offered in a murder case.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the $10,000 reward is being offered by family and friends of accused killer Dustin McCowan, 19. He is due to go on trial this summer for the murder last year of a former girlfriend, Amanda Bach, 19.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports
McCowan’s body was found on Sept. 17. She had been shot in the neck, and authorities said she died instantly.
McCowan admits she was hanging out with him at his Valparaiso, Ind., home on Sept. 15 – just over 24 hours before she disappeared – but says she had nothing to do with her killing.
Her car was found the next morning in a nearby parking lot, and her body a couple of days later near some railroad tracks.
Investigators used GPS technology to track McCowan’s cell phone to the area near where Bach’s body was found between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Sept. 17. Authorities believe she was killed between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Sept. 17.
Detectives said blood hounds traced McCowan’s scent from his house to where her body was found, about 300 feet away from the McCowan home in Union Township. Also, prosecutors said that an eyewitness claimed he saw McCowan walking in the same area around the time of the murder on the main road between the store where Bach’s car was found and McCowan’s home.
But McCowan and his family and friends maintain his innocence.
Elliot McCowan, Dustin McCowan’s father and a Crown Point police officer, said Wednesday the reward money came from a person who believes his son did not kill Bach.
“Someone contacted me and wanted to do it, and they wanted to remain anonymous,” the elder McCowan said.
He said he wanted the reward to go through Crimestoppers, but the organization requires information to go to the Porter County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s Detective Jeff Biggs said he didn’t want the public to be led into thinking the department was connected to the reward.
“We’ve never closed our doors to anyone who has any information about the case,” Biggs said. “But we don’t want the community to think we’ve got the wrong guy. We are confident in our arrest.”
Bob Harper, the attorney for Dustin McCowan, declined to talk about the situation.
“Dustin and his family have continually maintained his innocence, and it’s my belief that Mr. McCowan is trying to find more information.”
The Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)