Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

September 21, 2013

Abducted woman found safe

Police say a woman abducted in LaGrange County Wednesday has been located and is safe.

Jennifer Lee Bitzel, 28, Peru, was found in Rome City early today by Rome City police officers.

Bitzel had reportedly been battered at a home in the 3000 block of C.R. 600 East in LaGrange County Wednesday night. Police said she was then abducted, and Bitzel’s two young children were left behind at the residence.  

Wanted for questioning is Steven Gail Gose, 43. He’s a white male, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing around 175 pounds. Gose has blue eyes and sandy brown hair. Gose is believed to be armed and dangerous, according to police, and should not be approached by anyone other than law enforcement.

Authorities say several people have been involved in transporting, hiding and assisting the suspect in this case. According to LaGrange County prosecutors, the people helping the suspect are also committing a crime, and each lead on those who are assisting will be looked into and considered for prosecution.

Theft/burglary reports and arrests

• Katie Vincent, 517 New York St., Goshen, told Goshen police someone stole her cell phone from her residence at 7 p.m. Thursday.

• Darlene Duvall, 56, Goshen, was arrested on a charge of theft by Goshen police at Super Walmart, 2304 Lincolnway West, Goshen at 9:34 p.m. Thursday. She was released on a memorandum to appear in Goshen City Court.

• Ryan Johnson, Bristol, told Elkhart County police of finding an abandoned mo-ped laying in the river in the 52000 block of C.R. 25 at 5 p.m. Thursday. The Yamaha Zuma was found to be reported stolen through the Elkhart police.

• Dustin A. Wilt, 306 S. Ninth St., Goshen, told Goshen police of a theft at his home at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Vandalism/criminal mischief reports

• Goshen police located a damaged sign with obscene graffiti at Colorado Street and Weymouth Boulevard in Goshen at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

• The owner of American Mortgage and Financial Services, 216 N. Main St., Goshen, told Goshen police someone damaged his business at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

• Larry Myers, 3455 N. State Road 9, LaGrange, told LaGrange County police someone stole a horse from his property after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Someone cut two padlocks on separate gates to get to the horse. The horse was then walked out to the road and most likely loaded onto a trailer.

Battery reports

• Sherri L. Kane, Elkhart, told Elkhart County police someone punched her 12-year-old son in the arm at Bethany Christian Schools, 2904 S. Main St., Goshen, during recess at 2 p.m. Sept. 12 and left a bruise.

• A 23-year-old Goshen woman called Goshen police on domestic battery at 2654 Alpine Fir Lane, Goshen at 11:32 p.m. Thursday. When police arrived, they found the woman had been battered in front of three children. During the investigation, it was found she had been confined and choked. She was transported to Elkhart General Hospital for treatment. Police were unable to locate the suspect.

Traffic arrests

• Jose Lorenzo Escalante-Romero, 51, 1109 Beaver Lane, Goshen, was arrested by Goshen police on a charge of operating a vehicle with a driving status of habitual traffic violator after being stopped for a traffic violation near the intersection of W. Wilden Avenue and Wakefield Drive at 2:57 a.m. Friday. He was transported to the Elkhart County jail.

OWI arrests

• Karla Ann Harvey, 64, 208 S. Elkhart St. Apt. 104, White Pigeon, Mich., was arrested by Elkhart County police on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated during a traffic stop at U.S. 20 and Heritage Drive in Middlebury at 10:10 p.m. Thursday. She was also charged with not wearing corrective lenses as required by her license. She was incarcerated at the Elkhart County jail.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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