Missing woman's boyfriend facing new charges

The on-again off-again boyfriend of a missing Latrobe woman was taken into custody Friday.

Thomas Stanko was arrested on a charge unrelated to the disappearance of Cassandra Gross.

On Monday, Stanko was also charged with 28 counts of illegally having a gun.

“(Police) are alleging that there are stolen firearms at my client’s mother’s property that they are attempting to pin on my client. We’ll deal with it. None of these charges have anything to do with the disappearance of Ms. Gross," said David Shrager, Stanko's attorney.

Stanko had nothing to say when our crew asked him about the felony charge of receiving stolen property, on which he was picked up on Friday.

"He is distraught about the fact that she's missing and he's also distraught that people think he may have had something to do with this," Shrager, who maintained that Stanko is innocent.

Shrager said he had no prior knowledge or details behind the charge other than what Channel 11 found on court documents -- a third-degree felony for receiving stolen property.

The charge was allegedly for an all-terrain-vehicle reported stolen more than 20 years ago.

Investigators said they found the ATV while searching the property of Stanko's motjher

Stanko remains in prison for the third-degree felony charge on a $100,000 bond. He is due in court Tuesday for a case from 2017.


Police have been searching properties connected to Stanko in the disappearance of Gross but haven't called him a suspect.

On Friday, Investigators searched a pond on property belonging to Stanko's mother.

A dive team out of Greensburg was scouring a pond between two homes on White Fence Lane.

Also, only Channel 11 was there as cadaver dogs were brought to Twin Lakes Park to assist in the search.

Gross, 51, was reported missing Tuesday, three days after her mother last heard from her. Gross' vehicle was found burned in Twin Lakes Park, which is less than six miles from Stanko's home, on Tuesday evening.

Shards of windshield glass and rubber chunks of tire remain at that spot.

Stanko is not facing any charges related to the case.

State police searched his Unity Township home for hours on Thursday. Channel 11's Melanie Marsalko was there as police were taking pictures and sifting through the Macey Road property.

“I waited and waited and saw police cars going over to the neighbor’s and I don’t know,” said neighbor Betty Schrack. “I only noticed them out at the garbage can.”

Neighbors told Channel 11 they don’t know much about Stanko.

“I couldn’t tell you who comes and who goes and what’s where. I really can’t tell you that,” Schrack said. “No interactions.”

A few hours later on Thursday, Channel 11 found even more cruisers lining the road where Stanko’s mother lives on White Fence Lane, next to Unity Cemetery.

Shrager maintains Stanko has nothing to do with Gross' disappearance.