GARY | Police have new clues in the investigation of the killing of Mary C. Austgen, 76, of St. John, who was found dead of a gunshot wound inside her vehicle parked in the Majestic Star Casino garage March 29.
Gary police said a man seen on video leaving the family business in Griffith with Austgen on March 28 matches a man seen later that day on casino video surveillance inside the parking garage.
Police have released new photos of the suspect and his vehicle. The man is seen entering the casino via the parking garage and leaving through the front valet parking area and then entering into an unknown black vehicle that left the scene.
Earlier surveillance still photos from March 28 show the man walking into Austgen’s family-owned business in Griffith holding a black backpack. He was wearing a black jacket, black Harley-Davidson hat with an orange flame and black sunglasses.
Austgen was last seen about 5:40 p.m. March 28 leaving her place of business, The Austgen Cos., 801 E. Main St. Austgen's family who worked with her at The Austgen Cos. had reported her missing that day. The building where she worked included Austgen Electric Inc., an electrical contractor company, according to its website.
Lt. Matthew Argadine, of the Griffith Police Department, said Friday the suspect “compelled” Austgen to follow him in her vehicle to the casino. He declined to describe the method of coercion or say if there was any kind of struggle or physical altercation at the business. He said police are following up on several tips.
Casino employees checking the parking garage found her dead inside her white 2011 GMC Yukon Denali at 2:10 a.m. March 29.
Gary and Griffith police are working collaboratively, and police investigators said they believe the homicide is an isolated incident.
Anyone who recognizes the suspect in the photos is asked to contact Argadine at (219) 924-7503 or email the Griffith police at email@example.com, or contact Detective Lorenzo Davis, of the Gary Police Homicide Division, at (219) 881-4738 or the Gary Police Department's anonymous crime-tip hotline at (866) 274-6347.