There are events that increase the interest of the “chattering class” in the Gricar case. The interests might be a news story, an anniversary, or a new blog entry. One thing that generates interest is the discovery of a body. There was a recent example.
About a week ago a body was discovered near Newport in Perry County.1 I got a Google Alert, because someone was already asking if this could be the body of Ray Gricar. I looked at it. It was about 51 miles from where the car was found. That didn’t look too promising. Visiting a message board later, I saw several questions about it. I noted how unlikely it would be to for the body to be that of Mr. Gricar. I also said, “I keep an eye on all of them.”
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I do keep an eye on all of them. In this case, being in a location far away from any of the witness sightings, and being found along the west bound lane of Route 322, indicated that it probably was not Mr. Gricar. I was right; a few days later, it was announced the remains were that of a woman.2
There have been some others. The discovery of remains in Bald Eagle State Park triggered a flurry of comments on message boards, with a string of theories of how Mr. Gricar was murdered in Bellefonte. The remains turned out to be paleo-Indian, from several hundred years ago. A discovery of a body in rural Indiana County prompted more wild theories from one poster; the remains were of an African American woman in her thirties. There were some comments in a body found in Monongahela, but it was of someone who died long after 2005. Many of the comments are silly and were silly when made, but one day, it might not be so silly.
I was happy to see that some regular members of the chattering class have adopted a more skeptical stance. When the latest remains were discovered outside of Newport, even some of the people strongly pushing the murder scenario, were notably commenting on the unlikelihood that the remains were of Mr. Gricar.
I keep an eye out for reports of human remains, but only really look for a few things. These detail rapidly distinguish between a “probably not Mr. Gricar” case and “I think it really could be Mr. Gricar” answer.
1. The remains would have to be skeletal. All flesh should have been gone by this point. If the report distinguishes sex immediately, it probably is not Mr. Gricar.
2. It would probably be in an area where Mr. Gricar was seen. The top location would be within walking distance of Lewisburg, especially in the wetlands or forested areas across the river. I’d also be look along the Susquehanna, south of Milton. Skeletal remains immediately set off an alert in my mind.
I’d also look at the greater Scranton-Wilkes-Barre area and the area between there and Lewisburg. Mr. Gricar was seen in Lewisburg on 4/15-4/16 and Wilkes-Barre on 4/18. It is possible that he staying in between the two areas.
I would not rule out Centre County either, though that would be less likely than the others.
Still, I keep an eye on all of them; you can never tell.
[I thought I could squeeze this last entry in before I have to do my reinstallation]
E-mail J. J. in Phila at firstname.lastname@example.org