Local News

Suspect in custody in murder of woman at Gary casino

Almost a month after a Griffith Indiana businesswoman was kidnapped and shot to death at an area casino; police have made some progress in the case.  A suspect has been taken into custody and charges are expected to be filed Thursday.

A search warrant was executed Tuesday and law enforcement surrounded a house in Alsip– about a half an hour from Griffith.

Police took a man away in handcuffs and Wednesday, they are continuing to look for another person who might be tied to the murder.

Griffith Police Detective Lieutenant Matt Argadine said “We received a tip, followed it up and that’s how we got to this point.”

GaryCasinoVictimSuspectGriffith Police are one step closer to charging the person they say kidnapped and killed 76-year-old Mary Austgen last month.  Law enforcement raided a home on Lawndale Street near 122nd in broad daylight Tuesday.

Neighbors saw the whole thing.  Kevin Piekarski said at “About 5:30, I’m looking out the window [and they] brought someone out in handcuffs.”

On Wednesday, the house was largely quiet, but a car filled with four women and a baby did unload in the driveway in the early afternoon.

On Monday, detectives and the Austgen family made a public plea for help. They released photos of Mrs. Austgen’s distinctive jewelry that was taken from her on the night she was murdered. Her grieving son mentioned there was a $10,000 reward on the table for anyone who could help capture his mom’s killer.

Mary Austgen was taken from her place of work in Griffith on March 28th, police say, by a man caught on surveillance video at her office.  He forced her to the Majestic Star Casino in Gary then slipped away a short time later in this black four door vehicle driven by another person. They think it is a BMW.

The victim was found dead in her car inside the casino garage the next morning– seven hours later.

Interestingly, detectives reiterate a tip led them to Tuesday’s arrest– no connection to the rings stolen from her body as they had hoped earlier in the week.

Charges have not yet been filed.

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