The Journal Gazette
Thursday, October 25, 2018 1:00 am

1 arrested in apparent beating death

34-year-old told police he battered woman

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

A 34-year-old Fort Wayne man was arrested Wednesday in the apparent beating death of a woman on the city's northwest side, according to police.

Jason Alan Steiss lived at 2815 Stanford Ave., near Goshen Road. It's the same address as the woman who died. Steiss was charged with aggravated battery and domestic battery. 

Police were called around 1 a.m. about a domestic battery at the Stanford address. The victim, found unresponsive and unconscious, was taken to a hospital in critical condition, Fort Wayne police said.

Police said they found Steiss in the home at the time. He told police he had battered the woman. Around 11 a.m., police confirmed the woman had died and Steiss had been preliminarily charged. The woman was not identified, but police said the two have family ties.

A next door neighbor said she often saw the woman coming in and out of the home, often with children. She said she has seen Steiss sitting outside the home.

The neighbor said she often saw what appeared to be a home health aide visit the home.

“She was a sweet old lady,” the neighbor said, estimating her age somewhere in the late 40s to 50s. “I don't know what she could have ever did to make that man do that.”

As neighbors were out around 2 p.m. on the sunny, crisp fall day, Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards emerged from the home with Deputy Prosecutors Tom Chaille and Jeremy Herring and two police officers. 

The Allen County coroner's office said an autopsy will be conducted today.

Steiss has a court hearing today.  He was being held without bail at the Allen County Jail, according to a jail spokesman.

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