Special Reports

Gricar probe under wraps

Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said Thursday that findings likely will not be released until next week concerning state police investigators' assessment of the probe into former District Attorney Ray Gricar's disappearance.

About 20 to 25 investigators, members of the state police Criminal Investigation Assessment Unit, began meetings Wednesday and are expected to wrap up today at the State Police Southwest Training Center in Greensburg.

The group is conducting an assessment of the investigation into Gricar's disappearance to determine if any leads might have been missed or to perhaps uncover new avenues to pursue. The unit, which has delayed these meetings three times due to scheduling problems, has been reviewing Bellefonte Police Department case files for months.

State police are only providing an assessment of the investigation and are not taking over the case from Bellefonte police, state police spokesman Jack Lewis said.

But what the team found will not be made public until the process is complete, said Madeira, who asked state police for this assessment earlier in the year when the investigation reached a standstill.

"We're not commenting until probably Monday," Madeira said.

Gricar was last heard from April 15, 2005, when he called his live-in girlfriend, and co-worker at the District Attorney's Office, to tell her he was taking a drive on Route 192 toward Lewisburg and that he would not be home at midday to walk the dog.

His red and white Mini Cooper was found the next day in a Lewisburg parking lot outside an antiques mall. There was no trace of what happened to the career prosecutor, who was eight months away from retirement when he vanished.

Gricar's laptop, minus its hard drive, was found by fishermen in the Susquehanna River.

Months later, the hard drive was found along the riverbanks, too badly damaged for any information to be retrieved from it.

In addition to Madeira, Bellefonte police are participating in the meetings.

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.