Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Ada Jean Groomes vanished without a trace October 7, 1988. She was last seen at the bus garage in Scottdale that she and her husband, Donald, owned. The Groomeses had been married 34 years and had been separated for about two years when Ada Jane disappeared. She had filed for divorce months before her disappearance, but it was never finalized. Ada Jane had filed protection from abuse orders in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Shortly before she vanished, Ada Jane sued her husband over control of the business.
Ada Jane planned to travel to Butler that day to help her mother, and to celebrate the mother's birthday. Police reported she was seen that morning driving to work at Groomes Transit on Route 819 and then had her vehicle inspected. According to an unidentified witness, there was an argument over the inspection. she later drove to Greensburg to pick up a $20,000 check owed the bus company by the Westmoreland County Intermediate Unit. When Ada Jane arrived at the office, she discovered her husband had picked up the check. She returned to the bus garage to confront him, but he was working elsewhere. Ada Jane was never seen again.
Donald Groomes told police he last saw his wife between 11 a.m. and noon October 7, 1988. He claimed she had left in a 30-foot mobile home for Arizona, where she planned to join a cult.
Seven days later, her daughter reported her missing to Scottdale police. Borough police later turned over the investigation to state police.
A mobile home the couple owned, reported missing around the time of her disappearance, was recovered in Tampa in 1989.
The disappearance was the focus of a state grand jury investigation in 1992.
In 1997, a Westmoreland County Judge approved a petition filed by the couple's second-eldest daughter, declaring her mother dead and giving Donald Groomes control over an estimated $1 million in corporate assets.
Her body has never been found, but police continue to consider the case a homicide.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Pennsylvania State Police
Tribune-Review (Greensburg, PA) - Tuesday, November 1, 2011