GREENSBURG (KDKA) — The person of interest in the disappearance of a woman from Latrobe was in court Monday on unrelated charges.
Thomas Stanko faced a preliminary hearing on theft charges after state police say they discovered a stolen ATV on the 47-year-old’s Latrobe property. The proceeding, however, was continued, but not before his attorney, David Shrager, argued successfully to have Stanko’s bond reduced.
“It went from $100,000 to $5,000, which I feel is fair and appropriate,” Shrager said.
In the Westmoreland County Jail on $25,000 bond for firearms charges plus a bond revocation on another alleged assault, Stanko isn’t likely to get out of jail anytime soon.
Stanko is also the man investigators call a “person of interest” in the disappearance of Cassandra Gross.
“My client has indicated that he has nothing to do with that,” Shrager said. “He’s cooperated fully with the police.”
Gross was last heard from on April 7. Her burned-out car was discovered beside railroad tracks in Hempfield Township. Her dog was discovered wandering near an intersection off Route 30 in Latrobe, miles from Gross’s home.
Family members say Stanko, Gross’s former boyfriend, threatened and physically abused her, and they believe he knows what’s become of the 51-year-old woman.
“Every single solitary person is entitled to their civil rights, civil liberties, and a fair trial,” Shrager said. “Suspicion is not enough.”
The search for Gross continues. Anyone who knows anything about her whereabouts is asked to call state police.