Police seek help identifying businesswoman’s killer
By Michelle Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent April 3, 2013 3:18PM
Police are searching for this man in connection with the death of Mary Austgen, 76, of St. John, Ind., in the early morning hours of Friday, March 29, in the Buffington Harbor parking garage in Gary, Ind. | Photo provided
Updated: May 5, 2013 2:58PM
Law enforcement officials are seeking the public’s help in identifying a man believed to have abducted and killed a 76-year-old Griffith business owner last week.
At a news conference Wednesday evening in front of the Griffith police station, police Public Information Officer Matt Aragadine and Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram said a photo of the suspect, released earlier in the day, was taken from security cameras at Mary Austgen’s business, 801 E. Main St.
Austgen is seen talking with the man, but audio from the security cameras was not intelligible, police said.
Argadine and Ingram agreed that Austgen’s shooting death was not a random act of violence and that Austgen did not leave voluntarily with the man in the photo.
Austgen, 76, of St. John, was taken about 5:40 p.m. March 28 and found dead the following morning in her 2012 GMC Yukon Denali about 2:10 a.m. in the parking garage of the Majestic Star Casino. The Lake County coroner’s office listed her cause of death as a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
Ingram said police will review security tapes from Majestic Star to see if anyone fits the description of the man seen in the photo. He wanted to assure patrons, however, that they aren’t in danger.
“If people are fearing for their safety, they won’t patronize the business,” Ingram said. “We’ve met with the management for Majestic Star and have assured them we don’t believe their patrons are in jeopardy.”
Anyone who can identify the suspect or has any information on the killing should contact Griffith police at (219) 924-3141 or their anonymous tip line at (219) 922-3085. Tipsters also can email information to email@example.com.
Individuals also may contact Gary police Detective Lorenzo Davis at (219) 881-4738 or the Gary police anonymous tip line at (866) 274-6347.