Was former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar with a blonde mystery woman in Lewisburg on the day he disappeared? Possibly, a witness has reported it. Possibly, she was not the only witness who saw him.
The story appeared in the November 30, 2011 Daily Item, and was caught by a fellow member of the chattering class, the appropriately named Lord Chatterly. He copied the story to a message board1. It was then covered, in lesser detail, by the Milton area cable television station.2
The witness was an Ivy Butterworth of Milton. Her daughter works in the Street of Shops. In late November of 2011, NBC’s Dateline was at the Street of Shops, taping a program on Mr. Gricar. She saw them and told her story.
This is her story. On 4/15/05, she was jogging and spotted a Mini Cooper. She thought that Mini Coopers were “cute” and took a closer look at it. In her own words, “So I looked and saw a man, and a woman with blond hair. I remember thinking about her, ‘Wow, big hair.’ And I didn’t think more about it.” She didn’t tell anyone at the time because, “I never said anything to anybody because, well, what’s the point? I mean, the guy was never found. If he wants to run off and go to Mexico or wherever with his girlfriend and he’s got the money to do it, hey, I wish it was me.”1
The reporter for the Daily Item did try to confirm her story, and did. According to the story, “Montour County District Attorney Robert Buehner Jr., a friend of Gricar’s, confirmed Tuesday night that police interviews with witnesses revealed the DA had been seen inside the Street of Shops with a blonde, whom Gricar appeared to know.” He did not know who the blonde could be.
If this report is accurate, well, WOW! There would be not only witness sights, multiple, of Mr. Gricar in the Street of Shops with a blonde, but an independent witness saw him in the Mini with a blonde. That would be hugely important, if accurate. Meeting someone in Lewisburg could explain the trip there.
The problem is, it might not be accurate. There are some potential problems with this account.
First of all, we don’t know the time of Ms. Butterworth’s sighting. Was her sighting from the morning, the midafternoon, or the evening? There are accurate sightings that might make it impossible for this to have been Mr. Gricar. We also don’t know exactly where the sighting took place.
Second, was it really Mr. Gricar? There were three red Mini Coopers in the area on 4/15/05, at least. Two belonged to other people. One of them could belong to the driver, who was accompanied by a woman with big, blonde hair.
Third, we have Mr. Buehner’s confirmation; well, actually we don’t. Mr. Gricar was seen with a woman in the Street of Shops on 4/15/05, who was described, on an earlier episode of Dateline, as “5’9, short brownish black hair your length, very good looking, in her 30s - early 40s maybe.”3 I e-mailed Mr. Buehner who indicated that he did not recall that he used the word “blonde,” nor did he mention any additional unrevealed witnesses to a blonde. He possibly was not accurately quoted.
So, we have an interesting potential sighting. If it is accurate, the blonde with big hair could be someone helped Mr. Gricar leave voluntarily. The blonde could be involved in someone involved in an act of foul play against Mr. Gricar. The blonde could be the reason Mr. Gricar went to Lewisburg that day.
The blonde could just as easily been a woman with her husband on a shopping trip; the couple just happened to own a Mini Cooper. It may have been from a time when we have a good idea of where Mr. Gricar was. A lot of details need to be filled in prior to elevating this to a probable sighting.
You might hear a lot about this sighting in the future, but keep all that in mind before reaching the conclusion that Mr. Gricar was in Lewisburg with a blonde.
Centre Daily Times Ray Gricar Section: http://www.centredaily.com/138/
Link to the Main Index for Sporadic Comments on Ray Gricar: http://www.centredaily.com/2011/03/21/2597340/main-index-32011.html
E-mail J. J. in Phila at email@example.com