Details of Disappearance
Gross was last seen in the Edgewater Village area of Latrobe, Pennsylvania on April 7, 2018. She spoke to her mother on the phone at 3:35 p.m., while driving along Route 30. They made plans to meet the next day. That same day, Gross's boyfriend, Thomas G. Stanko, says he sent a text to her; they were supposed to go to the mall together, but she never showed up. She has never been heard from again.
Gross did not get in touch with her mother about their planned April 8 meeting. On April 9, her father went to her house to let her dog, Baxter, out; he would do this twice a day on days when Gross worked. He discovered Baxter wasn't at the house, and called the police. Later, Baxter, who was blind and had diabetes, was found wandering alone on the side of Beatty Country Road.
Gross's mother reported her missing on April 10. That same day, Gross's Mitsubishi Outlander was found abandoned in a wooded area near the railroad tracks in Twin Lakes Park. It had been burned beyond recognition.
A photo of Stanko is posted with this case summary. When police searched his properties following Gross's disappearance, they found seventeen guns, assorted ammunition and an all-terrain vehicle that had been reported stolen in the 1990s. Stanko was convicted of multiple felonies in the 1980s and isn't legally allowed to possess guns or ammunition. He was charged in state court with receiving stolen property and 28 counts of illegal possession of a firearm.
The state gun charges were dismissed later that month, but in December Stanko was charged in federal court with two counts of illegal possession of a firearm. He was later also charged with conspiracy to commit forgery; he allegedly told his mother how to use his benefits card in order to access $1,200 worth of food stamps.
Gross's family described her relationship with Stanko as "pretty volatile." They said he had stalked her, said he would kill her, and sent her threatening letters. He has not been charged in Gross's disappearance or declared a suspect, however.
Since Gross's disappearance, she has not used her bank accounts or credit cards, or accessed her retirement funds. Investigators believe she was a homicide victim, and her family had her declared legally dead in January 2019. Her case remains unsolved.