A Johnstown man will stand trial in Cambria County court, accused of assaulting a woman who later went missing, authorities said.
Brian Giles, 45, of the 500 block of Franklin Street, waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Wednesday before District Judge Kevin Price, of Johnstown.
City police charged Giles with simple assault and harassment in connection with a Dec. 11 assault on his girlfriend, Jilly Todaro, 43. Todaro went missing a day later.
The case will proceed even if Todaro is never found, prosecutors said.
"We've spent a lot of time working on this case," Assistant District Attorney Jessica Aurandt said after Wednesday's proceeding.
"Despite the fact that Ms. Todaro still has not been located and we have not heard from her, we believe that we have the evidence that would allow us to proceed," she said.
Giles is being represented by public defender Ashlan Clark.
Todaro was last seen on Dec. 12 in downtown Johnstown via surveillance footage, police Detective Cory Adams said.
Investigators searched Giles' home and scoured the hillside near the Inclined Plane during their search for Todaro but reported finding nothing significant.
Giles also faces an escape charge.
The day of the alleged assault, Giles was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Franklin Street with a minor injury, Adams said.
Giles fled the hospital and remained on the run until Dec. 16, when he was picked up by probation officials, Adams said.
Giles has a connection with of another local missing-person case.
His wife, Nancy Giles, 40, was reported missing in October 2018.
Her skeletal remains were found buried about two feet deep along an Inclined Plane hillside trail near Roosevelt Boulevard, not far from the Stone Bridge, in May 2019 by a man using a metal detector.
The death was ruled a homicide. No charges have been filed.
Giles is being held in Cambria County Prison.