Elderly woman killed in Majestic Star Casino parking garage - FOX 35 News Orlando

Photos of `person of interest` released in Ind. woman`s casino death

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Surveillance photo of the suspect Surveillance photo of the suspect
Surveillance photo of the suspect Surveillance photo of the suspect
Surveillance photo of the suspect Surveillance photo of the suspect
Mary Austgen Mary Austgen
GARY, Ind. (FOX 32 News) -

Northwest Indiana law enforcement officials are seeking the public's help in identifying a man believed to have abducted and killed a 76-year-old woman last week in the parking garage of the Majestic Star Casino.

Griffith police detectives are working with Gary police investigators to identify the man who abducted Mary C. Austgen from her business at 801 E. Main St. in Griffith. She was taken at about 5:40 p.m. on March 28 and found dead the following morning in her SUV.

According to the Lake County Coroner's office, the coroner was called to the Majestic Star garage in Gary at 3:20 a.m. on March 28th. Austgen was shot in the lower left torso area and was pronounced dead at 4:10 a.m.

The Lake County coroner's office said the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

On the day of her death, her family had reported her missing a few hours earlier. 

Austgen owned a number of businesses and real estate--much of it developed with her late husband.

Jack Williams says, even at 76, she was always working.

"Oh, they were shocked, I was shocked, didn't believe, I mean, that was unbelievable," Williams said.

Police spent time last week searching Austgen's businesses and home in Indiana. Other agencies involved include the Gary and Griffith police departments and the Lake County Crime Lab.

Investigators believe a man, seen walking into the offices of Austgen Electric last Thursday afternoon, may hold the key to solving the mystery of what happened to Austgen. They have also released two pictures of a car leaving the casino that they consider suspicious.

"He left with her and because of that we'd like to speak with him," Lt. Matt Argadine says. "I don't want to rule him a suspect at this point until we speak to him."

Police do not believe her murder was a random act of violence.

"We don't believe that the individuals who frequent the casino are at risk for any type of harm," Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram says.

Police say security cameras at the casino show no evidence that Austgen or the mystery man, who they are calling "a person of interest" were ever in the casino, but a man fitting his description was seen outside.

Austgen was found in the passenger side of her SUV, but there's no indication she was robbed, or that any personal belongings were missing.

"We're not for sure if she was killed at that location or if she was driven to that location that's not clear at this point," Ingram says.

Police are trying to determine if the man they are looking for might have a business connection to Austgen. They will be going over business records in the days ahead and may even call in the FBI for help.

"We're just imploring anybody that has any information, who can identify this man to come and speak with us," Argadine explains. "All we'd like to do is talk to him and find out why he was here at that time."

Anybody who can identify the subject or has any information is asked to call the Griffith Police at 219-924-3141, the Griffith Police anonymous tip line at 219-922-3085 or e-mail the Griffith Police Department at griffithpolice@griffith.in.gov.

Individuals can also contact Gary Police Detective Lorenzo Davis at 219-881-4738 or the Gary Police anonymous tip line at 866-274-6347.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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