Autumn is one of those times when I miss central (and west central) Pennsylvania. The leaves have changed color and fallen to the ground. The fields, on a bright day, have, or soon will have, that golden brown color. There is that chill in the early morning air. You can buy freshly squeezed apple cider. It evokes memories. I think back to those autumns growing up and going to school there. For many of you, you might think of Halloween or Thanksgiving. For me, I think of campaigns and Election Day; I guess that is the curse of being an old politician. This Election Day brought back those memories, especially of last year’s Election Day.
Over the last several weeks, I’ve heard some comments on the investigation. These were not the normal chattering class members and were generally people closer to the case than I am. Most, if not all, of the comments were positive. I, looking back at where we were a year ago, thought that it was difference between night and day.
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Just over a year ago, the then District Attorney, Michael T. Madeira, seemed uninterested in the disappearance of his predecessor. He did things in the case, but it was basically responding to negative press. The only thing to come out, in the last two years was that Mr. Gricar was interested in destroying the data on his computer. There were no known new investigative initiates discussed. The case had entered a long dark night.
In the last year, we’ve seen the dawn break. The current District Attorney, Stacy Parks Miller, has formed a panel to look at the case, involving many law enforcement agencies. The television program, Disappeared, is doing an episode on Mr. Gricar’s disappearance; former lead detective Darrel Zaccagni reporting giving an extensive interview about the case for the show. Ms. Parks Miller was also interviewed. The sun is out!
The sky, however, still has some clouds in it. While the investigation seems to be progressing, there has been no additional information released. There are things that law enforcement knows, but has been unwilling to disclose. In a previous blog1, I noted a list of things that the police do know, but have never made public. They have made their conclusions that they have drawn from these things public, but not what they actually have discovered. Those clouds make daybreak a bit darker than it could be.
This investigation is an absolutely better that it was a year ago, but more can be done to inform the public.
E-mail J. J. in Phila at firstname.lastname@example.org