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While Hunting For Missing Woman, Investigators Return To Home With Cadaver Dog And Excavator
Cassandra Gross vanished over two years ago, and her ex-boyfriend Thomas Stanko has long been considered a person of interest in the case.
New information has brought investigators back to a property owned by a missing Pennsylvania woman’s boyfriend, along with a cadaver dog and an excavator.
Cassandra Gross, 52, was last heard from in April 2018 when she spoke to her mother on the phone. Her beloved dog — who is blind and diabetic — was found wandering alone shortly after that call, local outlet TribLive reported at the time. One day after the dog was found, Gross’ car was found burned out in a park by some railroad tracks, local outlet WPXI reported at the time.
A judge legally declared her both dead and the victim of homicide 18 months after she vanished, Pittsburgh’s KDKA reported last year. Investigators have searched a property belonging to her ex-boyfriend Thomas Stanko, 49, multiple times since Gross’ disappearance. He has been named a person of interest in the case.
Investigators returned to his Westmoreland County property Wednesday after Pennsylvania State troopers said they received new information, KDKA reports. It’s unclear what that information involved.
State troopers, local police, municipal workers, and volunteers brought an excavator and at least one cadaver dog onto the property. A professor of anthropology and a biology professor also joined in on the search, TribLive reported.While the property is owned by Stanko, his mother is the current resident. Stanko’s mother did not willingly consent to the search, CBS Pittsburgh reported.
Stanko himself is currently behind bars on unrelated charges.
While Gross' body was not found, other possible items of interest were located during the ongoing search.
“We did not find human remains,” Trooper Steve Limani told Oxygen.com on Thursday. “We did find a few items that we will send out for further analysis.”
He added that the search is expected to conclude by Thursday evening.
Anyone with information on Gross’ disappearance is urged to call the Pennsylvania State Police at 724-832-3288.