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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A judge has declared a Westmoreland County woman, who has been missing since last April, dead, and that she is the victim of a homicide.

The judge in the court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County issued the order Tuesday morning, saying “Petitioner has satisfied his burden of proof and met the legal standard of a fair preponderance of the evidence that Cassandra Gross was exposed to a specific peril of death, and that the facts indicate she was the victim of homicide.”

(Photo Courtesy: Pennsylvania State Police)

Gross, of Latrobe, spoke to her mother on the phone around 3:30 p.m. on April 7, 2018. The 52-year-old hasn’t been seen or heard from since then.

In November, Gross family filed a request to have her declared dead.

The primary reason for the declaration of death centers around the missing woman’s assets. Gross’s son will now have access and control of her financial assets, which include $9,000 left in a bank account and $30,000 in a 401K.

One person state police investigators have concentrated their investigative efforts on is 47-year-old Thomas Stanko. According to family, Stanko was the Gross’s on-again, off-again boyfriend. Neighbors and family say Stanko was both physically and emotionally abusive to Gross.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.