LATROBE (KDKA) – State police continued their search for a missing woman in Westmoreland County on Thursday and searched her boyfriend’s property, but she still has not been found.
State police spent hours Thursday searching a home and property on Macey Road in Unity Township. The home is owned by 47-year-old Thomas Stanko.
According to family and friends of 51-year old Cassandra Gross — who has been missing since April 7 — Stanko and Gross had dated at one time.
Watch Christine D’Antonio’s report —
Stanko’s attorney David Shrager, said his client is a person of interest in the Gross disappearance, but he said no one should read too much into that.
“Unfortunately, due to detective work 101, of course he’s going to be a person of interest,” Shrager said. “They are going to go around and talk to every person that she had close contact with because she is missing, and that’s what police officers should do.”
Shrager said Stanko has nothing to hide, and in fact, he texted Gross the afternoon of the day she went missing.
“My client is very anxious to give complete statements,” Shrager said. “He just wants his girlfriend to be found and for him to be eliminated as a potential suspect.”
The search of Stanko’s property came a day after state police confirmed that Gross’s SUV was found by some railroad tracks in a wooded area in Twin Lakes Park in Hempfield Township. The vehicle had been set on fire, but there was no sign of the missing woman.
And they said Gross’s partially blind dog was found walking along a rural road, a few miles from the park.
In an interview on Wednesday, Cassandra’s mother, Kathe, said she believed her daughter – – who she explained had been stalked recently — was the victim of foul play. She is holding out little hope that her daughter is still alive.
“I’m no longer positive [Cassandra is alive],” Kathe said. “Something terrible has happened.”
State police brought in a dog and a helicopter in their search of Thomas Stanko’s property. They were not commenting on the search.