Celebration of missing Unity woman Cassandra Gross’ life planned in Crabtree
Friends, relatives and family friends of missing Unity woman Cassandra Gross are invited to a celebration of her life Saturday in Crabtree.
Several people are expected to share memories of Gross, who has been missing since April 7, 2018, starting at 1 p.m. at Marian Hall, said her mother Kathe Gross.
Speakers will “share their memories and their good times with her,” she said.
The memorial celebration is planned for the day after what would be Gross’ 53rd birthday.
Gross had lunch with a friend in Southwest Greensburg on April 7, 2018, and then talked to her mother by phone as she drove to her Unity apartment. She has not been seen or heard from since.
Her credit cards have not been used and the only withdrawals from her bank account have been automatic transactions.
Baxter, her blind, diabetic dog, was found two days later wandering in the Beatty Crossroads area. The next day, her Mitsubishi Outlander was found burned along a rail line near Twin Lakes Park. State police opened a missing persons investigation and now classify Gross’ apparent death as a homicide.
A Westmoreland County judge in January ruled Cassandra Gross legally dead. The lead investigator on the case testified behind closed doors during the hearing.
State police have targeted an on-and-off boyfriend, Thomas Stanko, 48, of Unity — they have been seen searching in and near two properties he owns over the past 13 months. He has been held in jail on unrelated charges.
Stanko has maintained his innocence. No charges have been filed in connection with the disappearance.
Gross is survived by her parents, Kathe and Harry Gross, son Brandon Diebold, her maternal grandmother and other relatives, according to her obituary. John J. Lopatich Funeral Home in Latrobe is assisting the family with arrangements at Marian Hall, 2538 Route 119, Crabtree.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .