By Ralph Iannotti

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BEAVER, Pa. (KDKA) — Loyd Groves, 69, was arrested and taken into custody at his Fourth Street home in Beaver back in 2015.

KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti knocked on the door of the home Wednesday night. The woman who answered said she had no comment.

Groves was convicted of third-degree murder this week in Clinton County in the death of one of his co-workers, Katherine Heckel.

(Photo Courtesy: WYOU)

The two worked at the former International Paper Company’s Hammermill Plant in Lock Haven.

Prosecutors said the couple had been having an extramarital affair, and she wanted to end the relationship; that’s when he killed her.

Heckel was last seen alive on a summer day in 1991. She was declared legally dead several years later.

“This is justice. A third-degree murder conviction, 27 years after Kathy went missing. These are tough cases, but this is justice for the family,” Daniel Dye, the Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General who prosecuted the case, said.

The circumstantial evidence which led to Groves’ conviction included:

  • Former colleagues recalled overhearing the couple have a loud fight before the two went to lunch on the day she disappeared.
  • After she vanished, Groves never expressed concerns, and he exhibited signs of paranoia.
  • He cut a section of stained carpeting from his van, and DNA evidence near the missing carpeting belonged to Heckel.

Heckel’s family was in the courtroom when the guilty verdict was read; they broke into tears.

“[The family] certainly understand that, at this point, it’s unlikely that Kathy will ever be found. But what they do know is who did it and that he’s going to be held accountable for doing it,” Dye said.

Grove’s attorney says he will appeal the guilty verdict.

Ralph Iannotti