Grim end to missing woman search


Police say they’ve found the body of a missing woman near Rossiter, Indiana County.

We have more on the investigation. It was an intense search this morning and police now say they have found Tia Dobson.

We spoke to Dobson’s cousin before the awful news came.

“Yesterday morning, I got a call saying she that she was missing and I don’t know, this isn’t her. There’s this feeling that it’s not Tia. She wouldn’t go missing. She would not just leave,” says cousin Shania Smith.

Smith said Wednesday afternoon she was hoping Tia Dobson, 30, would return home safe to her kids, even as troopers said they were scaling back the intense search from during the morning hours.

“We did a thorough, the most through search that we possibly could. We have fresh snow and such so we are doing what we can to cover this area to ensure she’s not somewhere close by here,” says Tpr. Jamie Levier with Pennsylvania State Police.

But it turned out she was. Police sent out a release around 3:45 p.m. saying that they had found her only a short distance from where they found her SUV on Tuesday evening, just off Steffey Church Road on a path that leads into a field.

Levier said Tuesday’s search in the evening was difficult due to darkness and wrapped up around 11 p.m.

Around 10:30 a.m., we watched as several fire departments went to stage by a church, and then were called to move down the road for a search.

Smith says she knew something was terribly wrong.

“Her life revolves around her kids. She would never not show up for her kids, and not them up or anything, so this is not her at all,” says Smith.

Smith says the 30-year-old single mother of three moved from Rossiter to Knox Dale after breaking up with a fiancé, but she still drove into Punxsutawney in order to keep her kids at the same school.

In fact, police say she was last spotted Monday around 10 a.m. at the West End Elementary School.  Smith says her next stop would have been picking up her youngest child from day care.

“We brought a number of firefighters, emergency services personnel, troopers in, and we conducted a kind of a grid search as well as had a local tracking dog,” says Levier.

Now, this search is over, but the questions about what happened to Tia Dobson remain.

Police say they continue this death investigation.


THURSDAY UPDATE — The Indiana County coroner today said he will not perform an autopsy on Tia Dobson. Police said they are investigating her death, and have not indicated what may have caused it. We are told that it is not suspicious.

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