To describe the significance of the multiple witness accounts of Ray Gricar’s activities in Lewisburg, we have to go back to his activities prior to getting to Lewisburg.
According to Mr. Gricar’s girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, they both woke; Mr. Gricar indicated that he was going to take the day off. Ms. Fornicola went to work and at 11:12 AM, she received a call from Mr. Gricar saying that he was on Route 192 asking her to walk the dog, Honey. The call came from Brush Valley. Route 192 runs through Brush Valley.
Never miss a local story.
We, and quite possibly the police, do not know where in the Brush Valley area the call was placed. It could have been made 40 miles outside of Lewisburg to 30 miles outside of Lewisburg. In terms of drive time, and making the (probably wrong) assumption that Mr. Gricar did not exceed the speed limit, and that he stayed on Route 192, he could have reached Lewisburg between 12:15 PM and 12:30 PM.
Some time around noon on an employee of the Packwood House Museum, Jennifer Snyder, saw Mr. Gricar. He was standing next to the Mini Cooper, which was parked across the street1. At least two other people also him in the same location, moving the Mini. http://www.freetimes.com/stories/13/30/the-rivers-edge-homicide-suicide-hoax-a-prosecutor-vanishes-and-the-clues-point-everywhere-and-nowhere-at-oncethe-rivers-edge While the time of all of these sights have never been revealed, at least one occurred around noon. (I am of the opinion, from the descriptions, that all these occurred within an hour of each other, but that is just my take.) This was about a block south of the parking lot where the Mini was found.
Between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM, a witness spotted Mr. Gricar, driving the Mini, on Route 15, near the Country Cupboard, about a mile and half north of the parking lot where the car was discovered the next day. The witness sighting became public when it was announce by former Clinton County District Attorney Ted McKnight at the July 1, 2008 press conference. This witness pulled next to him along the highway. Note that there may be a large gap between the Packwood House witnesses and “McKnight’s witness.”
Sometime after that, at least two people, I have found out from a source close to the police, at least two people saw Mr. Gricar moving the Mini in the small parking lot across from the Street of Shops. The car would be found in that lot about 25 hours later.
Two people saw Mr. Gricar on foot in the Street of Shops, at about this point; it is unclear if he was in Street of Shops building first and then moved the car, or vice versa. One, a Mr. Brad Alvey, a local businessman, wasn’t sure if it was Friday 4/15 or Saturday 4/16. http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2005/04/04-21-05tdc/04-21-05dnews-10.asp One of these two witnesses saw Mr. Gricar with the famous “Mystery Woman.” The Mini was seen later in the parking lot (From Mr. Renner’s article, previously cited.).
Here is the list the known witnesses in Lewisburg and vicinity:
Ms. Snyder, saw Mr. Gricar and the Mini across from the Packwood House Museum
Afternoon (possibly before 1:30 PM):
At least two other witnesses saw Mr. Gricar moving the car across from the Packwood House Museum.
4:00 PM-5:00 PM:
McKnight’s witness saw Mr. Gricar, driving the Mini, on Route 15 near the Country Cupboard.
Circa 5:30 PM:
At least two witnesses saw Mr. Gricar moving the Mini in the parking lot across from the Street of Shops. The Mini was seen parked there later. during the same period, two witnesses see Mr. Gricar across the street, in the Street of Shops.
In terms of time, all of this fits. Mr. Gricar called from a place where it would take him between just under an hour to an hour and a half to drive to Lewisburg. About an hour to an hour and a half later, he is spotted in Lewisburg. He is seen between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM outside of Lewisburg and soon after 5:00 PM, he is spotted about a mile and a half away. Mr. Gricar was seen in the parking lot around in the early evening and is spotted just across the street, in the Street of Shops building.
So, what does tell us about what happened to Mr. Gricar?
First, he was alive late into the day on 4/15/05. Especially since he was seen driving outside of Lewisburg, he wasn’t waiting for someone to bring him something. It has been suggested online that maybe the witnesses saw another late middle age man and thought it was Mr. Gricar. There are at least six witnesses that put Mr. Gricar in the car, making that hugely implausible. There are a minimum of eight witnesses that put Mr. Gricar in Lewisburg after noon on just 4/15/05 (There will be more to come on other witnesses).
Second, what does Mr. Gricar’s moving the car mean?
Possibly that he was waiting for someone. Okay, why did he leave in the middle of this? He seems to have left Lewisburg, or at Least the area around the Street of Shops and then returned. That doesn’t seem to fit. He could have met someone and then returned to that area.
Possibly he wanted to be recognized so he tried to stand out. Why didn’t he use his credit card or an ATM card? I could argue that electronic trail that would leave would bring the police directly to Lewisburg. There would still be better methods, such as deliberately getting on a surveillance camera.
He possibly wanted to park it someplace where it could not be readily seen from the street. Parking in the interior of the parking lot might help; the Mini might have been hidden from the street by other cars parked around it. That wouldn’t explain why he parked it across from Packwood House.
Possibly, he was worried about tree sap or pigeon droppings getting on the car; Mr. Gricar was fastidious in regard to the Mini. He could have been worried about getting a “ding” in the Mini from another car and wanted to park some distance from any other car. Any theory is just as good as the others.
What does this tell us about what happened to Mr. Gricar? Well, this kind of rules out Mr. Gricar being lured to Lewisburg, a prior theory of mine. Why would a killer permit him to go off driving outside of town and just trust in Mr. Gricar returning? You can probably put my theory that Mr. Gricar was lured to Lewisburg and then killed in the dustbin of history.
1This is from “Gricar reward up to $15,000” by Mike Joseph, Centre Daily Times, 4/29/05. It unfortunately isn’t on line.