(WHEELER) - 18-year-old Dustin McCowan, of Union Township, is being held in the Porter County Jail on suspicion of murder in the death of a 19-year-old Portage, Indiana woman, police said Sunday.
Detectives say McCowan was arrested by Indiana University police in Bloomington, where he had been since Friday on a previously-planned trip. He was transported back to Porter County early Sunday morning.
The body of Amanda Bach, was found Saturday in a field in Union Township, about 300 yards from McCowan's home and within 3 miles of the general store in Wheller where he 2006 gold Pontiac G6 was found abandoned around 3:30 a.m. Friday morning. Bach was last seen leaving her home Thursday night and her car was found in a field in Union Township.
Porter County authorities say McCowan is an ex-boyfriend of Bach. He is the son of a Crown Point Police Department employee. Porter County Sheriff David Lain said he is seeking murder charges against the teenager.
Bach went missing Thursday night. She was last seen by family members leaving her Portage home around 10 p.m. Thursday to visit McCowan, at his home in Wheeler. Residents living near where Amanda was found say they heard screaming a few hours later.
Investigators say Bach's body was found Saturday afternoon about 300 yards from McCowan's home, along the Canadian National Railroad right-of-way, within three miles of the general store in Wheeler. Her 2006 gold Pontiac G6 was found abandoned around 3:30 a.m. Friday morning in the general store parking lot. Police do not know how the vehicle got there.
"The car had a flat tire, the driver's side door was standing open, and Amanda's purse and its contents were inside," said Lain.
Bach's friends and classmates held a candlelight vigil in her honor Saturday night at Portage High School. The 19-year-old graduated from there last spring, and her relatives say she had planned to attend Indiana University Northwest.
Investigators would not outline a motive for the crime or give further details about murder.
"This investigation is ongoing. There is a significant amount of work yet to be done," said Lain. "We are asking anyone with any knowledge of the events or people related to this crime that took place since last Thursday to please come forward for the sake of Amanda and her family."
Police say there was trauma to Amanda's body, but a cause of death will not be announced until an autopsy is performed Monday. Funeral arrangements were pending Sunday night.
While police are seeking murder charges against McCowan, they still ask that anyone with information on the case contact them.
Amanda Bach was a 2011 graduate of Portage High School and worked as a hostess at Quaker Steak and Lube in Portage. She had planned to attend Indiana University Northwest in January.
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