(VALPARAISO) A group of Wheeler-area residents who had been friends with defendant Dustin McCowan testified Tuesday, including a woman he was involved with after he broke up with the woman he is accused of killing.
Two men testified about McCowan showing off guns at his home, and Allison Bolde testified about spending much of Sept. 16, 2011, with McCowan — when the search for 19-year-old Amanda Bach began.
Bolde and McCowan spent much of the morning contacting people.
But Bolde had concerns about some things McCowan said, such as Bach leaving his home at 1:30 a.m. Bach was good about making her 1 a.m. curfew, Bolde said.
McCowan went outside to make one call and was picked up by his father off the street, leaving Bolde alone at their home for about five minutes and not talking to her or saying where they went when they returned.
She said he kept repeating that he and Bach hadn't fought the night before and said when he went to Indiana University later that Friday, "he was going to party in her honor," as if he already knew Bach was dead.
McCowan also continued to be obsessed about Bach's possible pregnancy, even after a store test was negative and Bach was "spotting."
Bolde said she was Bach's best friend, although they didn't talk as much when Bolde began a physical relationship with McCowan.
Tyler Crussen, who is two years younger than McCowan, said he used to attend parties at McCowan's home when Crussen was a freshman and they were close.
He said McCowan showed him where he dumped bottles and trash so McCowan's parents wouldn't know.
Crussen was in that area during the search for Bach and estimated he came within 10 yards of where the body was later found.
However, he didn't see her capri pants in the tree, the orange shirt near the tracks or Bach's flip-flops in the dirt, and his friends wanted to leave rather than search.
He didn't recall talking about the spot with Nick Prochno, the father of one of his friends and the man who found the body.
The defense has portrayed Prochno as a suspect since he testified last week.
Crussen also recalled McCowan showing off a gun.
Erik Schaffer said McCowan sometimes brought out a semi-automatic weapon when they were drinking.
McCowan once pulled out the gun during a party and was threatening to shoot people he didn't want at his home.
Schaffer, now a Marine, said he and McCowan drifted apart after graduating.
"I was looking at the Marine Corps and I didn't want to do drugs, and he was doing a lot of weed," Schaffer said.
During the morning, an FBI expert testified that the only DNA she could link conclusively to McCowan was on his cellphone.
DNA on some of the 19 items tested was inconclusive, FBI forensics examiner Heather LaSalle said.
A swab from Bach's steering wheel didn't yield DNA evidence from either McCowan or Bach, and none of the swabs from the car had enough DNA for a sample.
The DNA found on Bach's left breast didn't seem to be from a male because the small sample lacked a "Y" chromosome, but it was a small sample of only a few cells.
"I can't say with 100 percent certainty that it is female DNA," LaSalle said, and it could also have transferred from shared clothing.
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