Police question arrested suspect in Gary casino murder - FOX 35 News Orlando

Police question arrested suspect in Gary casino murder

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Mary Austgen Mary Austgen
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Investigators are questioning a suspect in the kidnapping and murder of a prominent businesswoman from northwest Indiana.

Mary Austgen of St. John, Indiana, was murdered late last month. The 76-year-old's body was found dead on March 29, in the parking garage of the Majestic Star Casino in Gary. Her body had suffered a gunshot wound.

It was a day earlier that police said she was abducted from her business, and two rings she was wearing at the time were missing.


Police are keeping pretty tight lipped about the investigation, saying publicly that they have a "person of interest" in custody, but a source connected with the investigation says that the man being questioned is the person seen in surveillance photos with the victim the day she disappeared.

That man is seen entering the office of the Griffith business owned by Austgen and then leaving with her late last month.  It's the last time she was seen alive.

The same man seen at Griffith's business was seen several hours later getting into the passenger side of a black car that pulled up at the valet at the casino.

Griffith and Alsip police served a search warrant about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 12200 block of Lawndale Avenue in Alsip, and a subject was taken into custody, a statement from Alsip police said. At least one other search warrant was executed in conjunction with the investigation.

"I spoke with the police chief a little while ago, he believes that charges will be filed shortly," says town councilman Rick Ryfa. "It won't be tonight, but they expect to file charges shortly with the Lake County Prosecutor."

On Wednesday, members of the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force were back in the Alsip neighborhood going door-to-door and talking with neighbors.

The homeowner where the man was arrested declined to talk about what happened.

Investigators are continuing to follow up on all other leads and other possible suspects, a statement from Griffith police said. No further information was made available and no charges have been filed.

Earlier this week, a press conference announcing a $10,000 reward was conducted outside the Griffith Police Department. The reward was offered by the ATF and private parties.

Police believe more than one person may have been involved in Austgen's murder.

"From quite some time back it's believed that there may have been other individuals involved in this," Ryfa says. "It's an on going investigation and with the work of the Griffith Police Department and many other agencies the are trying to locate any of those potential suspect."

No charges have yet been filed.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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