The LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department issued an attempt to locate/abducted person alert on September 19 for Jennifer Lee Bitzel of Peru, Ind., who was last seen shortly after 10 p.m. on September 18 at a residence in the 3000 block of CR 600E in LaGrange County.
Bitzel was located in Rome City during the early morning hours of September 20 by the Rome City Police Department and is safe.
It is alleged that Bitzel was the victim of an extensive battery at the CR 600E residence. She was forcefully removed from the residence by a male subject who allegedly made death threats against Bitzel before forcing her into a silver 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix bearing Indiana registration 543AIB. Bitzel’s two young children were left behind at the residence.
It took less than one hour after information on the abduction was sent out via social media before the sheriff’s department started receiving calls and tips on the situation.
As a result of the investigation into Bitzel’s abduction, LaGrange County Superior Court Judge Brown has issued a warrant for Steven Gail Gose, 43, forCriminal Confinement, a Class C Felony, Domestic Battery, a Class D Felony, and Strangulation, a Class D Felony.
Gose is a white male, 5 ft. 10 in. in height, weighs 175 pounds, and has blue eyes and sandy-brown hair. He isconsidered armed and dangerous and should not be approached by anyone other than law enforcement.
This investigation has revealed that several individuals have been involved with transporting, hiding, and assisting the suspect in this case. The LaGrange County Prosecutor’s office stated that those who choose to assist the suspect in this case are also committing a crime and each lead on those who are assisting him will be looked into and considered for prosecution accordingly.
This case remains very active for the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Steven Gail Gose is urged to contact the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department at 463-7491, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-342-STOP or 911.