1991 Cold-Case Homicide Trial Begins

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. -- Nearly 30 years after she went missing, a Clinton County woman's murder trial has begun.

Loyd Groves, 69, of Beaver County, is on trial for the murder of his coworker and former mistress.

Groves is charged with both first-degree and third-degree murder for the death of Kathy Heckel, 40, of Lock Haven.

Investigators say the two worked together and were having an affair and when Heckel broke it off, Groves got jealous.

People who knew Heckel say she was a doting mother who would do anything for her family. That's why when she did not come home from work on July 15, 1991, her family did not think Heckel left.

Heckel and Groves worked together at International Paper Company in Lock Haven. They had a brief romance during the summer of 1991.

In opening statements, the deputy attorney general told the jury it's a simple case that prosecutors will prove through evidence. He said Heckel was afraid of Groves and he killed her out of jealousy because she broke off their affair.

The defense attorney told the jury the prosecution's case is just a theory, and that much of the prosecution's information comes from one source: a man who was also having an affair with Katherine Heckel.

"They spent 30 years trying to prove Loyd Groves guilty instead of trying to figure out what actually happened," he said.

Members of Heckel's family testified. Her daughter and son both told the jury that their mom left for work that day just like any other day and did not pack suitcases. They don't believe she ran off.

Kathy's husband John Heckel also testified. He told the jury he suspected Kathy was going to leave him a few weeks before she was killed.

Kathy's mother Margaret Dolan told the jury, "It was the worst of the worst. It was not like Kathy to do this."

Heckel's body was never found. This trial is expected to last between two and three weeks.

1 Comment

  • Davin Gray

    The attorney general told the jury it’s a simple case so why so long till prosecuting? Some details are missing.

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