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Police and fire

LaGrange County Sheriff's Department

Police: Missing woman may have been beaten, forced into car

LaGrange County Sheriff's Department

The LaGrange County Sheriff's Department is looking for a woman who is believed to have been beaten badly and forced into a car Wednesday night in northeast Indiana, leaving her children behind.

The sheriff's department put out a notice Thursday about Jennifer Lee Bitzel, 28, of Peru. She is 5-foot-9, 130 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. The notice said that she might have cuts or bruises on her face.

Police said Bitzel was last seen about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday at a residence in the 3000 block of LaGrange County Road 600 East. They said they were told she was extensively beaten and then forced into a car by a man who threatened to kill her.

Police described the car as a four-door, silver 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix with tinted windows and a sunroof, with Indiana license plate 543AIB.

The woman's two young children were left behind, and the sheriff's department said Bitzel has not been seen or heard from since.

A man is wanted for questioning, the sheriff's department said.

Steven Gail Gose, 43, is described by police as 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, with blue eyes and sandy brown hair. The sheriff's department said he is believed to be armed and dangerous, noting he has outstanding warrants for parole violation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the LaGrange County Sheriff's Department at 260-463-7491 or call 911. Police asked anyone who locates Bitzel not to approach her, Gose or the car.