A Few Things that (Probably) Didn’t Happen

Posted by JJinPhila on February 19, 2009 

            In looking at the disappearance of Ray Gricar, there were a number of things I considered, but ruled out because of they were, if not impossible, at least highly improbable.  Some, I will quite willingly admit, I considered seriously at least for the first few weeks after Mr. Gricar disappeared.

            Did I ever think that Mr. Gricar was the victim of an alien kidnapping, carried off by Bigfoot, eaten by the troll that lives under the railroad bridge in Lewisburg or chained up in the basement of a female admirer?  No. None of those, although there few other things, some of which were mentioned.  Let’s look at the some of the possibilities. 

            The first possibility was that Mr. Gricar had a health problem that was fatal.  On April 15, 2005, Mr. Gricar was 59 years old, and while not an advanced age, still a time when men have fatal health issues.  At 60, my father had a near fatal heart attack in our living room; he was clinically dead for about five minutes (he recovered and lived another 22 years).  This was in spite of never having a history of heart problems.  I’ve known people much younger that have had them, or had a cerebral hemorrhage, or a stroke.   This was one of ones I thought might have been possible.

            Similarly, Mr. Gricar might have had an accident while in Lewisburg.  He could have walking along the river, which was high, and slipped, hitting his head as he fell into the water.  This was one of the other possibilities I considered.

            Both have the same problem; there is no body.  Obviously, if Mr. Gricar died in the parking lot, in the park, along the streets of Lewisburg, or at a store in the Street of Shops, somebody would have noticed the body by now.  Had, even as result some health issue, Mr. Gricar fallen into the Susquehanna, it would very likely that his body would have been recovered by this point.  Mr. Bosak noted that the Union County Sheriff said he, the Sheriff, didn’t think Mr. Gricar’s body was in the Susquehanna.  I agree with the Sheriff; while not impossible, it is now implausible that Mr. Gricar’s body is in the Susquehanna.

            Another possibility mentioned was that Mr. Gricar was suffering from confusion, a medical condition (not my confusion with this case).  Mr. Gricar’s first wife, Barbara Gray, mentioned the possibility of a “mini-stroke,” which could have cause this.  So could head trauma, if he fell and struck his head.  There could be other physical or psychological causes.  These things could leave Mr. Gricar in a confused or even amnesic state.

            No witness that I’ve heard ever of reported a “confused” man walking around the streets of Lewisburg.  No reports of a clerk in a shop remembering someone, anyone, asking for help.  No police car was flagged down by a “confused” man who didn’t know who he was; no “confused” man was reported showing up at a local church, or shelter, asking for help.  A “disoriented” Ray Gricar did not board a bus for his vaguely remembered “home” in Cleveland.  He didn’t go to a local hospital or check into a local motel.  The police checked these last three things; Ms. Gray and Mr. Gricar’s daughter, Lara, also checked local motels.

            The temperature on the night of 4/15-4/16/05 dropped to below freezing in Lewisburg.  Mr. Gricar would be exposed to very low temper if he slept on a park bench; I suspect the Lewisburg police might have noticed someone sleeping in the park in any event.  While not impossible, it is now hugely implausible that Mr. Gricar was walking around confused in Lewisburg.

            Okay, the last one.  Mr. Gricar “ran off” with another woman, probably the widely reported “mystery woman” seen with him in Lewisburg.  They are probably living in South America/Canada/Slovenia/Butte, Montana, or so the theory goes.   Well, nobody really suggested Butte, Montana, but it seems like a remote place to run off to with a woman.  Besides, I like saying Butte, Montana.

This one is the easiest to debunk; there is not other “missing woman,” for Mr. Gricar to run off with.  No one that he knew on 4/15/05 is missing; no other person went missing at about the same time.  I don’t deny the possibility that Mr. Gricar may have met a woman in Lewisburg, or even left Lewisburg with her, but if he did, she didn’t vanish off the face of the earth with him.  This one is implausible as well.

            How implausible?  I’d give the chance of any of these things being the reason that Mr. Gricar is missing as being a one percent chance, or less, of being the right answer.  An accident, health problem, confusion, running off with a woman, or being kidnapped by aliens, or eaten by the troll under the bridge in Lewisburg are probably not the explanations of what happened to Mr. Gricar.

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