Body of Mary Austgen, 76, was found hours after her family reported her missing. Kim Vatis reports.
Police in Griffith and Gary, Ind., were working together Friday on the homicide case of a business owner whose body was found in the parking garage of a casino about 10 hours after family members reported her missing.
Mary Austgen , 76, was pronounced dead at about 3 a.m. in the garage of the Majestic Star Casino in Gary, police said. She'd been shot in the torso.
Austgen's family called Griffith police at about 4:30 Thursday afternoon indicating they hadn't heard from the woman.
Longtime residents in Griffith, where the family owns numerous businesses, including Austgen Properties, said they were shocked by the crime.
"It doesn't really make sense. She was a very nice lady," said resident James Jarrett. "I had rented a shop from her and it was very good business. It was very nice."
By all accounts, Austgen was a generous woman. A former tenant said Austgen allowed her to live rent free for a time when the tenant fell upon hard times. In another instance, Austgen provided an apartment for a homeless man, allowing a Lowell church to save money on rent.
Family members at the woman's home in St. John declined to make a public comment other than saying they were focused on finding Austgen's killer.
Authorities said Friday there was no known motive for the slaying.