Gone Too Soon

The Rally Brought Awareness Of A Missing Person


William Beddick , News Editor

Six months ago, a Latrobe woman mysteriously went missing. Her blind dog was found and her burnt car was located a few days later. Now, the case feels cold. According to Kathe Gross, the police are dumbfounded.

Cassandra Gross, a 52-year old mother of one son lives in the Edgewater Village in Latrobe. Before her disappearance, Cassandra Gross was purportedly being stalked by her ex-boyfriend, Thomas Stanko, whose mother lives adjacent to the Unity Cemetery. Kathe Gross is convinced that her ex-boyfriend is involved in Cassandra’s disappearance. “We know he did it, we just need to know where he put her.” strongly expressed Kathe Gross, Cassandra’s mother. Stanko is now being held in Westmoreland County Prison on unrelated charges.

On April 7, 2018 news broke of a new missing persons case in Latrobe that would soon turn the community upside down. 6 months later on September 29, 2018, a group filled with Cassandra’s family and friends, rallied outside of Rusbosin Furniture on Route 30 in Unity Township to spread awareness, in hopes of bringing her home.

“I was so grateful that so many came out to the rally and remembered Cassie,” said Gross. “It was better than what we planned.”

At the rally, bracelets were sold for three dollars a piece titled “Bring Cassie Home” in order to raise money for yard signs, banners, or billboards to spread the message of her disappearance.

Behind the scenes of the rally, the mother in law of Cassandra’s first cousin, Emily Kelly, played a very big role of getting people together and spreading the word to newspapers, news-stations, and businesses.

Kelly was impressed by the rally’s turnout. She said, “It was a very large turnout and we even had strangers come through the parking lot and hand us donation money to help us put up more billboards in support of finding her.”

At the moment, there are six billboards holding locations in Latrobe, Gander Mountain, Mountain View, Irwin, North Huntingdon and Delmont displaying a picture of Cassandra Gross and the ten thousand dollar reward for anyone who can help the Gross family and the state police find her.

“It’s also a big burden on Kathe Gross, Cassandra’s mother, who is battling cancer with her husband and wants to find her daughter before her time runs out,” said journalist, Mr. Hank Baughman, an on-the-spot reporter at the rally.

Kathe Gross has been the most outspoken about her daughter’s disappearance. She said, “If I got operated on, I most likely wouldn’t make it and I want to find Cassie.” Gross understands that the long search is taking some time, but she wants to be at peace with her daughter’s disappearance.

Since that April afternoon, the state police have searched multiple locations as to where she might be. Kelly said, “On Sunday afternoon [September 14th, 2018], a new search is being taken at Carney Road in Unity Township where volunteers will be there to help search for her.”

Gross feels that the police aren’t working hard enough. “The police are not helping us and we have new confidential leads that we are taking to other investigators who we are hoping will cooperate.” Gross is now taking matters into her own hands and is taking control of the Sunday Afternoon search.

Gross finds the police to be helping Stanko [her ex-boyfriend] more than herself. She said, “It’s good for him that they won’t let me see him, because he isn’t saying anything about her case.”

Some believe Cassandra’s body resides in Unity Cemetery, while others believe she is somewhere in Twin Lakes Park. Baughman said, “They think she is underground.”

Another ongoing topic of interest is that Stanko did not (if he is proven guilty) do the crime alone, Kelly explained, “I believe there is another person involved, because how would have the suspect gotten out of Twin Lakes without a ride.” But only time will now tell.

However, time is running out for the state police to charge Stanko for any type of crime related to Cassandra Gross. If you have any information regarding her disappearance, please call Kathe Gross at 724-539-9553. Tipsters can remain confidential and she will be accepting any information by phone to help “Bring Cassie Home.”