Bond hearing today for man charged in slaying of Portage woman

An 18-year-old man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of a Portage, Ind., woman whose body was found by police near his home on Saturday, the Porter County sheriff's office said today.

Dustin McCowan faces a murder charge in the death of Amanda Bach, 19, said Sgt. Larry LaFlower, spokesman for the Porter County Sheriff's police. He is being held without bond at the Porter County Jail until his initial court hearing on Tuesday, officials said.

The coroner's office ruled Bach's death a homicide and an autopsy determined that she died from a gunshot wound to the neck that severed her spine, LaFlower said.

McCowan was arrested by Indiana University police in Bloomington Saturday during a planned trip there to visit friends. Police say Bach was last seen just before she went to see McCowan Thursday night.

Bach's car was found at a convenience store in Wheeler the following afternoon with a door ajar, a flat tire and her belongings inside. Her body was found Saturday afternoon along a set of railroad tracks near County Road 625W, police said. 

The location was about 300 yards from McCowan's home, according to the sheriff's office. The body was discovered after a search by hundreds of volunteers.

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