Seven Years

Posted on April 15, 2012 

            Seven years ago, Ray Frank Gricar, then the District Attorney of Centre County, vanished after driving to Lewisburg, PA.  The car he was driving, a red Mini Cooper, was there, parked in a gravel parking lot across from the Street of Shops.  There is plenty of evidence that he drove to Lewisburg and plenty of witnesses to him being there.  His laptop was there, tossed into the Susquehanna.  There is also strong evidence that he was planning to go there; he created a map on his computer to Lewisburg, even though he knew the way.  There is some evidence that he wanted to be there at a specific time, judging from the information about the searches the police did on 4/16/05, based on a cell phone call that he made.  That is the solid evidence; the rest is much weaker.

            Seven years later, these questions are answered, pretty much.  The key question, “What happened to Ray Gricar,” remains unanswered.  While there seems to be a growing belief that Mr. Gricar decided to leave voluntarily.  While that might be the belief, there is still a lack of solid evidence to support that belief.  Likewise, those people that disagree with that belief, cannot point to any solid evidence that indicates that belief is false.  Evidence, and there is a lot of evidence, can point to either theory.

            There is circumstantial evidence.  A little more of it, along with now a single eyewitness report, that points to a voluntary departure.  The evidence isn’t conclusive, by any stretch; there isn’t enough of it to reach a solid conclusion.  Some of it, like the questions about Mr. Gricar’s finances, begs for further investigation.  What is known isn’t strong and, in terms of walk away, got slightly weaker over the last year.

Perhaps the only theory that can be close to being ruled out is suicide.  There is no body, and it is difficult to hide your body after you are dead.

Then there is the Sandusky case.  Is Mr. Gricar’s disappearance related to his declining to prosecute the case in 1998?  Could it be a similar, but still unknown, situation?  One thing that I’ll say about the on-line speculation, often people are looking at different scenarios regarding a possible link.  I’ve also noticed that far fewer people are asking about his possible motives for walking away, if that is what he did.

One very good thing from the Sandusky situation is that there has been more publicity for the Gricar disappearance.  Mr. Gricar’s photo, on national cable television, in major newspapers, and on the Internet, increases the chances that some witnesses memory might be jogged. 

The case of Ray Gricar has taken some unexpected turns in the last year.  Last September, well before any grand jury, I asked “Why July?”  I noted that there always seems to be something happening in July involving the Gricar case.  I will note that the jury selection in the Sandusky case is currently scheduled to start in June.  I’m wondering if well see some more developments in July 2012.


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