I’m going to start by saying, I still do not have a lot of information on what happened and I do not know the significance of it. It does add the picture of Mr. Gricar’s activities in the week ending 4/16/05, but I do not know, what, if anything, it means.
At 8:05 AM, Mr. Gricar attended a regular meeting of the Prison Board at the Willowbank Building. (I hope the fellow poster who provided the minutes will permit me to acknowledge her by screen name.) He had attended the prior three. The meeting adjourned at 8:45 AM and looked exceedingly routine. There were some employee grievances discussed and the decision took place after the ending of the regular session. This occurred in the nonpublic section of the meeting, so it is not in the public minutes (speaking as an old political hand, it is usual to discuss personnel decisions in closed session). One other member of the Board asked Mr. Gricar a question; Mr. Gricar to the County Solicitor, saying that he didn’t practice that type of law (Mr. Gricar was a criminal attorney and employment matters are civil, so the question might have been in reference to the grievance.)
At some point during the day Mr. Gricar “played hooky.” He took some time off.
Prior to 3:00 PM, Lara Gricar called her father; I don’t know when this was, except that she called him in the morning and she lived in a time zone where her morning ended at 3:00 PM in Pennsylvania. She reported nothing unusual in the call.
At some point during the day a witness who knew Mr. Gricar saw him at Lake Raystown. The time has not been disclosed. The witness has been identified as a “Doctor,” though it has not be been stated that it was a physician that treated Mr. Mr. Gricar or even a physician. There are a fairly large number of people with an academic degree of “doctor,” such as a Doctor of Philosophy, in Centre County, many associated with Penn State. The “Doctor” may not be a physician.
Ms. Arnold noted that Mr. Gricar “had a peculiar and long-standing habit of forcefully closing his door when he was preoccupied or busy.” She remembers hearing these from her adjacent office sometime in the afternoon.
By about 5:30 PM Mr. Gricar was back in Bellefonte, walking in Talleyrand Park with Ms. Fornicola. They were seen by Vickie Wedler, a former county commissioner.
Mr. Gricar returned to the District Attorney’s Office at 6:19 PM, where he was recorded on video tape. He left at 9:03 PM. He was wearing the blue fleece and was not carrying the laptop. Ms. Fornicola reported that he returned home and everything was normal.
What does this point to, if anything?
Suicide? Possibly Mr. Gricar was thinking about drowning himself in the lake, but he didn’t. It was deeper that the Susquehanna. Murder? He could have the person, been lured there, who killed him. The problem is, Lake Raystown is more sparsely populated than Lewisburg; it would easier to kill someone there, unseen, than Lewisburg. A voluntary walk away from his life, which he abandoned when spotted? Well, there is no place for him to purchase a car. Even if he had a helper, who would drive him out, why wouldn’t that helper just wait until the coast was clear? If Mr. Gricar pre-positioned a car at the lake, how did he get to Lewisburg? He couldn’t drive that car and the Mini Cooper at the same time.
We do know several things. Mr. Gricar left voluntarily on that day, and came back. He continued the pattern of unusual demeanor and he was still working hard.
I frankly don’t see anything definite. The police may (and probably do) have many of the details I don’t have.