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LATROBE (KDKA) — The person of interest in the case of a missing woman from Latrobe is now in police custody.
Thomas Stanko turned himself into police on Friday night. He is charged with receiving stolen property.
Stanko is the former boyfriend of missing woman, 51-year-old Cassandra Gross.
Police have not said what the charges are related to, or if they have anything to do with Gross.
Earlier on Friday, authorities searched a pond, looking for a missing Gross. She has been missing since last weekend. So far, crews have found her car, which was abandoned and torched, and her dog, but there’s still no sign of her.
KDKA’s Ross Guidotti Reports:
Dive teams took to the pond near the property of Stanko’s mother.
For the second day in a row, investigators walked and secured the area in and around his mother’s home along White Fence Lane in Unity Township, Westmoreland County.
Dive teams departed the scene after several hours. There’s no word on if anything was found.
State police served search warrants on Thomas Stanko’s Latrobe property Thursday, searching the 47-year-old’s trailer and grounds. Scent dogs also paced the property.
Sources close to the investigation are calling Stanko a person of interest in the woman’s disappearance.
“My client is very anxious to give complete statements,” Stanko’s attorney, David Shrager, said Thursday. “He just wants his girlfriend to be found and for him to be eliminated as a potential suspect.”
Family members tell KDKA that Gross ended her brief relationship with Stanko. Stanko, however, allegedly continued to pursue Gross. Relatives of the missing woman told KDKA that Stanko would stalk Gross, follow her while she was driving and threaten her.
Neighbors of the woman told KDKA that Stanko was even caught peering in the woman’s Latrobe apartment.
“I know my daughter is no longer alive,” Cassandra’s mother, Kathe Gross, said Wednesday. “I’m as sure of that as I am looking at you.”
Friday’s underwater search comes after the missing woman’s dog was discovered wandering along Route 30 in Latrobe earlier in the week and her incinerated SUV was discovered along railroad tracks near the Twin Lakes section of Hempfield Township.
“I want her found, and I want her brought home,” Kathe said.