We’ve another glimpse in the investigation into the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar. In reporting on the Investigation Discovery program Disappeared, law enforcement involved in the case told us some of what they had been doing.1
These are some of the things law enforcement is doing. Looking more deeply into his finances. Looking at sections of the country where Mr. Gricar might be. Using facial recognition programs to see if Mr. Gricar got some other form of identification. All of these things point to the theory that Mr. Gricar voluntarily vanished. I’ve never heard of corpse applying for an ID card.
If you read the previous entry, you will see why.2 The Gricar case is just over five and a half years old, and for about the last four and a half years, most of the evidence points to Mr. Gricar walking away from his life. Some of it points weakly, and a few pieces, like McKnight’s witness, point to no particular option, but most of it does point to voluntary departure. Law enforcement, correctly, follows the evidence.
Is this track of the investigation right or wrong? It is the right track, but possibly not for the reasons you may think.
The evidence that has come out, especially over the last four and a half years has pointed toward to Mr. Gricar’s voluntary departure, but not strongly so. There is certainly more than reasonable doubt that Mr. Gricar walked away. The police might find solid evidence that Mr. Gricar was alive well after he disappeared. That would solve the case.
The police might also find no evidence. One of the keys to the solution to this case is the answer to this question: “If Mr. Gricar got out of Lewisburg, how did he do it?” If the answer is that he did not have any way to get out of Lewisburg, perhaps he didn’t. If the police look at just for that one piece, and find nothing, that could greatly reduce the chance that Mr. Gricar walked away. Likewise, if looking at some of these other things, new identification or no money sheltered that Mr. Gricar could access, that could help eliminate the possibility that Mr. Gricar left of his own free will.
In this case, even finding nothing could help solve this case.
I’ll go a bit further. If there isn’t evidence that would show Mr. Gricar alive and well after the end of April, or if there is no evidence of how Mr. Gricar got out of Lewisburg, I’d be very much inclined to say that he was murdered. Like the police, I’ll follow the evidence.
E-mail J. J. in Phila at firstname.lastname@example.org