Recently, I increased the odds that former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar voluntarily vanished. Not a lot but finally, for some, and appallingly, for others, above 50%, but not by much. The weight on the scale of voluntary departure slowly increased to just 51%.
Well, though I wasn’t writing about the disappearance at the time, there was a time when I some other possibility above 50%, well above it. It was in the late Spring through mid-Fall of 2005. What was the possibility that gave 60% to? Suicide. Slowly over the Summer of 2005, that 60% started dropping.
There was circumstantial evidence for suicide. There was a family history of depression; Mr. Gricar’s brother Roy committed suicide by drowning in a river. Mr. Gricar was approaching a life changing event in his life, retirement. A body might not be recovered immediately.
I do change my opinion over time, based on the evidence, or lack thereof. Suicide is now at 8%. When suicide began dropping, homicide grew in prominence, until “Missed Leads”1 came out. Then they all became even; as time passed, suicide faded to a distant third. The reasons were the lack of a body and mounting evidence that Mr. Gricar was alive after 4/15/05. In other words, things changed.
Never miss a local story.
Well, is possible that some new evidence would come out that would destroy, or at least greatly weaken, the theory of voluntary departure? Yes, absolutely! What would that be?
One of the obvious ones would be finding the remains of Mr. Gricar someplace in Central Pennsylvania. That would eliminate the possibility of voluntary departures. There are others that are less dramatic.
What if, after checking, it became clear that Mr. Gricar could not have left Lewisburg or that there was no link showing how Mr. Gricar could have gotten beyond Lewisburg. That would greatly weaken the chances that Mr. Gricar left of his own free will.
And then there are the assets. Suppose that someplace out there, the police determine that Mr. Gricar was sheltering assets, but that they have been untouched since well before 4/15/05. That would weaken the possibility that voluntarily left as well.
There are some smaller things. I’ve speculated that Mr. Gricar could have wanted to destroy the hard drive and the data on it, prior to returning it to the County. He would have had to replace that drive with a new one? Is there a record of him looking for one on-line? If not, that would weaken the voluntary departure theory a bit.
Mr. Gricar wore contacts. Were these disposable? Did he buy any prior to disappearing (I have to thank a poster named UTR for that question)? Are those missing? If not, did anyone attempt to fill a similar prescription in the Lewisburg or Wilkes-Barre areas? If there isn’t anything there, that would weaken the theory that Mr. Gricar left on his own.
Some of these things, like checking to see if Mr. Gricar looked at replacing his laptop’s hard drive would only weaken the voluntary departure theory. Not finding anything would not strengthen that theory. Likewise, finding that there were no unaccounted for assets, or a very small amount, would lower the odds on voluntary departure theory. It would lower those odds much more greatly than finding a large amount unaccounted for would raise the odds.
There is still a lot of information out there that could weaken the theory that Mr. Gricar voluntarily vanished and some things that could strengthen the theory. The only thing that can be said is that most of the information that has come out since May of 2006 has strengthened the theory that Mr. Gricar departure was of his own free will. The weight of evidence on the scale of voluntary departure has been slowly increasing.
(Please note that I am having trouble with the old e-mail address; this one should work.)
E-mail J. J. in Phila at: firstname.lastname@example.org