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Title: Gricar, Ray April 15, 2005
Description: Bellefonte, PA


Ell - April 15, 2006 02:10 AM (GMT)



Year later, police and family still puzzled by DA's disappearance
By: GENARO C. ARMAS (Fri, Apr/14/2006)


BELLEFONTE, Pa. - The corner office belonging to the Centre County district attorney has a new occupant. A refurbished courthouse sits in the center of town. Even the borough police chief is new.

One thing that hasn't changed from a year ago in this tight-knit community: authorities are still looking for missing DA Ray Gricar.

"It could be a homicide, he could be a missing person still, or it could be a suicide," said Bellefonte Police Officer Darrel Zaccagni, the lead investigator in the case. "We have no evidence in any direction to substantiate any of those three theories successfully."

Gricar's friends and family are prepared for bad news, but haven't given up hope that he might be alive.

"Always, always. I can't make sense of it either," said Gricar's girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, standing near a photo of the missing prosecutor. "I haven't given up hope. It helps me go on."

Fornicola reported Gricar, who was 59 at the time, missing late on April 15, 2005, when he failed to return from a drive on his day off to their home in Bellefonte.

His red-and-white Mini Cooper was found the next day at the parking lot of an antiques mall near the Susquehanna River in Lewisburg, about an hour's drive east of Bellefonte. Police said the last credible sighting of Gricar was in Lewisburg on April 15.

While taking a long drive wasn't unusual for Gricar, some oddities or coincidences raised suspicions as police and family started taking a closer look into Gricar's life.

-Fornicola said Gricar was napping more in the weeks leading up to his disappearance, though police said a look at medical records didn't show anything unusual.

-Gricar's 53-year-old brother, Roy J. Gricar, of West Chester, Ohio, vanished under similar circumstances in May 1996. His death was ruled a suicide. But authorities said they have no evidence to suggest Ray Gricar may have taken his own life.

Fornicola also reported Gricar's county-issued laptop computer missing to police. Authorities said the computer files may hold key clues.

The computer, without the hard drive, was fished out of the Susquehanna River last July; the hard drive was then found in the river last October, but police said the equipment was too water-logged to see any files.

Gricar had planned to retire in December 2005 after more than two decades in Centre County. His replacement, Michael Madeira, took office in January.

Reports of possible leads and sightings have slowed considerably in the last year, though Zaccagni and the new police chief, Shawn Weaver, say they will follow up on any tips.

A handful of observers and other county DAs have suggested that the state or federal government take over the investigation. But Madeira said there is no need for that, and that Bellefonte police have been working closely with state, federal and other local agencies from the start.

"At least daily, you think about, it crosses your mind," Madeira said about the disappearance. "It will take that lucky thing, that fortuitous event, to change the direction, or give, perhaps, the investigation new life."


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http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/103...006-641657.html

monkalup - April 15, 2006 02:31 AM (GMT)
This is such an odd case...

Searcher - April 17, 2006 10:25 AM (GMT)
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=local&id=4086829

Bellefonte DA Still Missing 1-Year Later


April 15, 2006 - The corner office belonging to the Centre County district attorney has a new occupant. A refurbished courthouse sits in the center of town. Even the borough police chief is new.

One thing that hasn't changed from a year ago in the tight-knit community of Bellefonte is that authorities are still looking for missing D-A Ray Gricar.

Bellefonte Police Officer Darrel Zaccagni, the lead investigator in the case, says, "It could be a homicide, he could be a missing person still, or it could be a suicide." He says officials "have no evidence in any direction to substantiate any of those three theories."

Gricar's friends and family are prepared for bad news, but haven't given up hope that he might be alive. He was reported missing on April 15th, 2005.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

monkalup - May 10, 2006 01:27 AM (GMT)
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06129/688656-100.stm

Missing Centre County DA case featured on Dateline
Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Associated Press

BELLEFONTE -- The disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar will be featured on Dateline NBC.

Crews finished interviewing in the region Monday for the segment scheduled to air at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dateline NBC reporter Sara James said after taping an interview with District Attorney Michael Madeira.

Gricar has not been seen or heard from since April 15, 2005, when he said he was taking a drive on state Route 192 toward Lewisburg. His car was found a day later in a parking lot in Lewisburg.

Police have worked on three theories: murder, suicide or intentional disappearance. After interviews with Madeira, lead investigator Darrel Zaccagni of the Bellefonte Police, and Gricar's girlfriend and housemate, Patty Fornicola, James said, "All of the possibilities seem equally possible and equally plausible."

She and the investigators said they hoped a national airing of the case would generate new leads. "We're at a dead end," Madiera said. "So we'll take any leads we can get."



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( Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

monkalup - May 11, 2006 02:39 AM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...ar/14546212.htm

Posted on Wed, May. 10, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Police revelations refocus attention on missing D.A.
Police seek 'construction-worker type.'
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com

CDT/Nabil K. Mark
Ray Gricar's daughter, Lara Gricar, front center, gives a statement during a news conference at the Bellefonte Borough Building. “I want you to know that I love you very much and my heart aches deeply, so deeply, for your presence,” she said
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Blog: Gricar case back in the news
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BELLEFONTE -- Previously undisclosed news that missing former District Attorney Ray Gricar may have been seen talking to an unknown woman the day he disappeared set off media firestorm in Bellefonte today.

Bellefonte police Chief Sean Weaver and the lead investigator on the case, Darryl Zaccagni, said they have fielded calls all morning from national media, including Fox News' Greta Van Susteren.

Law enforcement officials were seeking to put a positive spin on the events, saying the information -- that a witness reported seeing Gricar talking to a woman in a Lewisburg antique mall on April 15, 2005, the day he disappeared -- is old news to investigators.

Zaccagni said he revealed the information this week, as Dateline NBC is preparing a story on Gricar, in hopes of finding the woman.

"This is definitely not a new revelation," Weaver said. "But we're hoping this national attention, in the form of Dateline NBC, will give us that one lead we need to find Ray."

Zaccagni revealed today that police are also looking for a "construction-worker type" who was seen leaning into the passenger side of a red Mini-Cooper -- the type of car Gricar drove -- in the parking lot of the Lewisburg antique mall.

Gricar's vehicle was found in that parking lot April 16, 2005. Police have said they found cigarette ashes in the car, although Gricar did not smoke and did not allow anyone to smoke in the vehicle.

It was not clear why the information about the woman or the construction worker was not made public earlier. For more than a week after Gricar's disappearance, Bellefonte police held almost daily news conferences that were covered by both local and national media.

"Hindsight is 20/20," Zaccagni. "If you're going to find fault, yeah, maybe we should have went to the media about this woman sooner. But there was no attempt to hide anything at all. She just fell by the wayside."

Although Zaccagni now describes the witness report as the first credible sighting of Gricar after he went missing, he and Weaver said police were following a plethora of leads at the time and it simply did not come up in communications with the media.

That may, in part, have been out of concern for Gricar's family and loved ones, Zaccagni said, and concerns that they would be hurt if the revelation raised questions about whether Gricar was having an affair.

In addition, Zaccagni said, with all the attention on the case, "I thought she would have come forward if she were really there."

Gricar and the woman were walking through the market, and there was no physical contact between the two, the witness reported. Investigators are interested in talking to her though "she is definitely not a suspect," Zaccagni said.

Weaver said police have no idea who the woman is, what her relationship with Gricar was, or even if she actually exists. It's possible, he said, that she was simply another shopper at the mall who kept bumping into Gricar, and who had no idea who he was.

After receiving the witness' report, police spoke with an acquaintance of Gricar who fit the description of the woman, but determined that it was not her.

Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar, of Dayton, Ohio, said Tuesday night that he could not initially recall police telling him of reports of the woman seen with Gricar at the antiques market.

"To me, that's an odd little bombshell," he said. He added that he welcomed the attention the news is drawing, and hopes it will lead to new information on the case.

Tony Gricar discounted any notion that his uncle could have been seeing the woman spotted with him in the market, saying that would have been uncharacteristic of the busy prosecutor.

"Rationally speaking, with the work he was doing and living with Patty, I don't see that as being too realistic," he said.

Centre County District Attorney Mike Madeira emphasized that police were not holding back any information.

"This isn't new," he said. "It is a simply a review of old stuff we didn't have leads on then. But this is an opportunity for national exposure to perhaps generate some lead."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


monkalup - May 11, 2006 02:41 AM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...ar/14541375.htm

Posted on Wed, May. 10, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Woman seen with Gricar sought
Police insist she's 'not a suspect'
From staff and wire reports
BELLEFONTE -- The lead investigator in the year-old disappearance of a Centre County district attorney said Tuesday that police are looking for a woman reportedly seen with the district attorney the day he disappeared.

But the new district attorney, Michael Madeira, refutes that claim.

The woman in question was seen with Ray F. Gricar on April 15, 2005, at an antiques market in Lewisburg, and she may have been the last person to have spoken with the prosecutor, Bellefonte police officer Darrel Zaccagni said.

He said investigators are interested in talking with the woman though "she is definitely not a suspect."

Police spoke with an acquaintance of Gricar who fit the description the following day, but determined it was not her.

Other state and local law-enforcement agencies helping in the search were aware of the report, though authorities have not refocused their attention on it until recently, after investigators began to review the case file again, Zaccagni said.

Madeira said Tuesday evening that "there is not a new person of interest (in the case). It isn't something revealed for the first time. It was something that was eliminated within the first 48 hours."

Rather, he said, the new attention is likely due to the upcoming "Dateline NBC" special about the investigation.

Madeira said the airing of the segment could bring new leads in the case. And if this woman comes forward, he said, "great. We will talk to this person. We will take anything new."

But Madeira stressed that this is not a new lead in the case. "This is not a new development," he said.

Zaccagni conceded Tuesday night that he has never spoken with the media about this woman before, but saw an opportunity to bring the information to light with the "Dateline" segment.

"If you're going to find fault, yeah, maybe we should have went to the media about this woman then," he said. "There was no attempt to hide anything at all. She just fell by the wayside."

Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver was not available for comment Tuesday night.

Gricar was last heard from April 15, when he used his cell phone to call his live-in girlfriend Patty Fornicola at his courthouse office. She said he told her he would not be in to work that day and was taking a drive on state Route 192.

Gricar's red-and-white Mini Cooper was found in a Lewisburg parking lot a day later

monkalup - May 13, 2006 02:37 AM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/14549836.htm

Posted on Thu, May. 11, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Clues renew interest in Gricar case
Investigators say the information had fallen by the wayside
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com
Gricar case timeline
Ask us your questions about the case
Full coverage
BELLEFONTE -- Previously undisclosed news that missing former District Attorney Ray Gricar may have been seen shopping with an unknown woman the day he disappeared set off a national media firestorm on Wednesday and had investigators scrambling to defend their reasons for not divulging it sooner.

Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver and the lead investigator on this case, Officer Darrel Zaccagni, said they fielded calls throughout the day Wednesday from national media, including Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. Investigators said they are stunned by the media interest in information they have known since the day after Gricar's April 15, 2005, disappearance.

That's when the owner of a shop in a Lewisburg antiques mall told police he saw Gricar on April 15, walking with and talking to a woman. If that happened, the woman could be the last person to have talked to Gricar.

But police, after speaking with an acquaintance of Gricar who fit the description of the woman and determining it was not her in the antiques mall, did not pursue the lead further. No public appeal was made to find the woman.

Zaccagni said he revealed the information this week to "Dateline NBC" for a story about Gricar it plans to broadcast at 8 p.m. Saturday in the hopes the publicity would help police find the woman, or any other new lead. The mystery woman was described as between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, dark haired and "good looking," Zaccagni said.

"It all fits very fluently and conveniently together," he said. "In the witness's mind, they knew each other and they had some kind of relationship. But I would argue that we didn't hold this back."

Police defend actions

Law-enforcement officials sought to put a positive spin on the situation Wednesday.

"This is definitely not a new revelation," said Weaver, who took office in January. "But we're hoping this national attention, in the form of "Dateline NBC," will give us that one lead we need to find Ray."

Zaccagni also revealed Wednesday that police are also looking for a "construction-worker type" who was seen leaning into the passenger side of a red Mini-Cooper -- the type of car Gricar drove -- in the parking lot of the antiques mall.

"What their relationship is, we don't know," Zaccagni said.

Gricar's vehicle was found in that parking lot April 16, 2005. Police have said they found cigarette ash in the car on the passenger-side floor, although Gricar did not smoke and did not allow anyone to smoke in the car.

For more than a week after Gricar's disappearance, Bellefonte police held almost daily news conferences covered by local and national media. But the mystery woman was never mentioned.

"Hindsight is 20/20," Zaccagni said. "If you're going to find fault, yeah, maybe we should have went to the media about this woman sooner. But there was no attempt to hide anything at all. She just fell by the wayside."

Although Zaccagni now describes the witness report as the first credible sighting of Gricar after he went missing, he and Weaver said police were following a plethora of leads at the time and it simply did not come up in communications with the media.

"It just became another Ray sighting that could not be verified," Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said. "It was something that was not seized upon at the time by law enforcement or the media because of everything else that was going on at the time."

The sighting may have been kept under wraps, in part, Zaccagni said, out of concern for Gricar's family and loved ones should the revelation raise suspicions that Gricar was having an affair.

In addition, Zaccagni said, with all the attention on the case, "I thought she would have come forward if she were really there."

Shocked reaction

The news of the sighting, and the attention it has grabbed, had Gricar's girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, near tears Wednesday. She said she knows the man she planned to spend the rest of her life with did not run off with another woman.

"That is not even a possibility," Fornicola said. "His last words to me in that phone call (on April 15, 2005) was 'I love you.' You don't say 'I love you,' get that same response back and two hours later run off with another woman."

Gricar and the woman were walking through the market, but there was no physical contact between them, the witness reported. Weaver said police have no idea who the woman is, what her relationship with Gricar was or even if she actually exists. It's possible, he said, that she was simply another shopper at the mall who kept bumping into Gricar, and who had no idea who he was.

Police aren't even certain the man was Gricar.

While she is of interest, "she is definitely not a suspect," Zaccagni said.

Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar, of Dayton, Ohio, said Tuesday that he could not initially recall police telling him of the woman seen with Gricar at the antiques market.

"To me, that's an odd little bombshell," he said.

Tony Gricar discounted any notion his uncle could have been seeing the woman spotted with him in the market.

"Rationally speaking, with the work he was doing and living with Patty, I don't see that as being too realistic," he said.

Madeira emphasized police were not intentionally holding back information.

"This isn't new," he said. "It is simply a review of old stuff we didn't have leads on then. But this is an opportunity for national exposure to perhaps generate some lead."

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928. The Associated Press contributed to this report.




monkalup - May 13, 2006 02:40 AM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...cs/14549794.htm

Posted on Thu, May. 11, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
'Sensitivity' cited in missing DA mystery woman disclosure
GENARO C. ARMAS
Associated Press
BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Ray F. Gricar's family faced a mountain of pressure in the days after the prosecutor disappeared last year.

In part out of sensitivity to the distraught family, authorities did not publicly release details of a witness' account that Gricar may have been seen with a woman the day that he was reported missing, the lead investigator in the case said Wednesday.

Police initially addressed the issue publicly in generalities, asking for anyone who spoke with or who may have seen the Centre County district attorney to come forward with any new information, Bellefonte Police Officer Darrel Zaccagni said.

"We were trying to show a little sensitivity. We didn't blow it up as a big to-do thing," Zaccagni said. "At the same time, we also talked about it for those people to come forward."

Authorities decided to refocus attention on the unidentified woman after a recent review of files to prepare for a segment on the case airing on an upcoming "Dateline NBC" episode.

"This is not a bombshell piece of evidence," Police Chief Shawn Weaver said. "Now it still might not be the lead we are looking for, however, we just decided to bring it back out, looking at the case file and rehashing different situations."

A witness inside an antiques market in Lewisburg initially reported seeing Gricar with a woman on April 15, 2005. Gricar and the woman were walking through the market and did not make any physical contact, the witness reported.

Gricar was reported missing that night by his girlfriend of several years after he failed to return to the home they shared in Bellefonte.

Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar, said he understands why sensitivity may have been an issue in holding back details publicly about the woman in the Lewisburg market. However, he has said it would be highly uncharacteristic for his busy uncle to have been seeing someone else.

"From a sensitivity standpoint, if that's the possibility of besmirching his name, to us that has never been an issue," said Tony Gricar, of Dayton, Ohio, after speaking with police by phone on Wednesday.

Soon after hearing the account of the woman in the Lewisburg market, police spoke with an acquaintance of Gricar who fit the description, but determined that it was not her.

Other law enforcement agencies helping with the investigation had been aware of the woman since the initial report. But in the first chaotic days of the investigation, state and local police moved on to other leads and were focused on coordinating air and ground searches.

"Officers investigated an angle on that, found it not to be what we were looking for," Weaver said. "When we found it not to be her, we focused our attention on other aspects of the investigation."

Weaver took over as chief in January for Duane Dixon, who stepped down last year. Dixon was chief when Gricar disappeared and was initially handling most media inquiries.

Zaccagni, who began talking to reporters about the case later in 2005, said that he has made reference to the woman in Lewisburg through general statements about Gricar having possibly been seen with women at several reported - but unfruitful - sightings.

The witness' description of the woman in the Lewisburg market was too vague to put together a composite sketch, police said.

"It was kind of a nonevent at the time," Gricar's nephew said. "On one hand, it's a great thing that they are readdressing this. On the other hand, I don't know realistically what outcome will be from that."

ON THE NET

Gricar family site: Gricar family site: http://www.raygricar.com/


monkalup - May 14, 2006 02:14 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/14569409.htm

Posted on Sat, May. 13, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Missed leads
Ignored sightings, witnesses spur questions in Gricar probe
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com

CDT/Nabil K. Mark
Patty Fornicola, Ray Gricar's girlfriend, speaks at a press conference Friday morning. A press conference was held Friday at the Centre County Courthouse Annex in Bellefonte to update the case on Ray Gricar's disappearance.
More photos
Blog: Gricar case back in the news
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Ask your questions about the case
BELLEFONTE -- One year after former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar seemed to step off the face of the planet, a review of the police investigation has uncovered new details that indicate key elements may have been missed.

Following the previously undisclosed news this week that a witness reported seeing Gricar talking with a woman in a Lewisburg antiques mall the afternoon he disappeared, the Centre Daily Times reviewed the early days of the police investigation by interviewing Gricar's family, friends and co-workers. Some startling revelations emerged:

u An assistant district attorney is certain she saw Gricar in Bellefonte at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 15, 2005, the day he vanished. It was reported to police but dismissed as not fitting the timeline police had established for Gricar.

u Police admit they are not monitoring Gricar's checking and savings accounts for strange activity, which experts called a serious mistake.

u Two close and longtime friends of the missing district attorney -- Ed Walker and Assistant District Attorney Steve Sloane, who is perhaps Gricar's best friend -- say they were never interviewed by Bellefonte police Officer Darrel Zaccagni, the lead investigator in the case. Zaccagni also never interviewed Gricar's co-workers in the courthouse or District Attorney's Office.

"I find that incredibly odd," Sloane said.

The men have never been asked for advice or their thoughts on Gricar's state of mind in the months and weeks leading up to his disappearance.

"I'm really surprised (Zaccagni) didn't talk to Steve," Walker said.

Zaccagni said conducting interviews of Sloane, Walker and a bevy of county workers likely would yield nothing.

"If my chief wants me to go and do that, I have no problem with doing that," Zaccagni said. "It may be worthwhile, it may not be. But I really don't have an answer to that. It could be a lot of time to lead us nowhere. It could provide us a real lead.

"But it more likely would just lead us toward a theory," he said.

New sighting

Authorities say the last credible sighting of Gricar occurred on the afternoon of April 15, 2005, at the Street of Shops, a Lewisburg antiques mall. That's where his red Mini Cooper was found the next day.

But Centre County Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Fenton said she saw Gricar in the county courthouse parking lot in Bellefonte about 3 p.m. April 15, Zaccagni revealed.

Fenton, then a law clerk for Judge David E. Grine, was taking the afternoon off after a trial ended and was feeling guilty about leaving early, she said.

"I see a car leaving the parking lot and the driver was Ray," Fenton said Friday. Police never revealed the sighting until questioned by the Centre Daily Times, which then contacted Fenton.

"I thought, 'Well, even the district attorney is taking the rest of the day off, so I don't feel so bad now,' " Fenton said.

She looked to see if Patty Fornicola, Gricar's housemate, girlfriend and co-worker, was in the passenger seat. But Gricar was alone, Fenton said.

Fenton said she was about 15 to 20 feet away. Gricar was driving a gold or silver, metallic-colored car, not his Mini Cooper or Fornicola's Honda, she said.

When she heard Gricar was missing, she went to police. But her sighting was immediately ruled out as not fitting the timeline they'd established, which put Gricar in Lewisburg at that time.

Gricar had called Fornicola about 11:30 that morning to tell her he was taking a drive toward Lewisburg, police said, and reported sightings of him at the antiques mall followed.

Surveillance footage shows Fenton leaving the courthouse at the time she remembers, but cameras did not pan wide enough to catch the car she said was driven by Gricar.

Gricar's daughter, Lara Gricar, seemed stunned by the information when contacted at her Lake Stevens, Wash., home.

"I've never heard that before," she said.

Uncharacteristic behavior

Centre County Criminal Court Administrator Cheryl Spotts was never interviewed by police. But she has long been struck by what she says was odd behavior by Gricar about a month before his disappearance.

"I remember distinctly a meeting we had, March the 9th," Spotts said. It was a meeting in the chambers of Centre County President Judge Charles C. Brown Jr. They were there to talk about a potential death-penalty case and set a trial date.

"It just seemed that Ray wasn't with it," Spotts said. "He was just looking around, which kind of shocked me because this was a death-penalty case."

At one point, Brown told Gricar he had two weeks available in October for the trial.

"Ray just turned and looked at the bookcases," Spotts said. "He didn't even look at the judge when he said it.

"He just said, 'I won't be here,' " Spotts said.

What he meant is not known. That was a time of year Gricar sometimes would vacation in Vermont, Sloane said. Other sources also speculated that Gricar was referring to vacation plans. Gricar's 60th birthday was Oct. 9.

But his behavior left Spotts unsettled enough that she remarked on it to several co-workers at the time.

Spotts said she did not go to police with this information because she knew they hadn't believed Fenton's supposed sighting of Gricar.

"So why would they believe me?" Spotts said.

Spotts' story about Gricar's behavior on March 9 startled Zaccagni.

"That's the first I've heard of that," Zaccagni said. "No, we did not talk to every county employee Ray had contact with. But we made it known we would sit down with anybody."

He said Sloane was interviewed for hours in the days after Gricar disappeared by a state police profiler, who later said Gricar likely committed suicide.

Zaccagni could not recall the profiler's name.

"To be honest with you, we never got the written reports (from the profiler)," Zaccagni said. "But we spoke verbally."

Call for 'another set of eyes'

These revelations, including the previously undisclosed news that Gricar was seen with a woman in Lewisburg the day he vanished, prompted Montour County District Attorney Bob Buehner to again call for the investigation to be handed over to the state Attorney General's Office or FBI.

"I think this case is larger than the Bellefonte Police Department's capacity to investigate every lead that is out there," said Buehner, a friend of Gricar's who believes he was murdered. "They have worked it as hard as they can. But this case needs a statewide task force led by a veteran prosecutor."

Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira has repeatedly said that the only way the state could take over the investigation is if a grand jury became necessary, or if Madeira could argue he does not have the resources to investigate the disappearance. Neither is the case, Madeira has said.

Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar, was reluctant to criticize local police, but said new eyes are needed in light of the latest information. He said he plans to be in Centre County next week to find answers.

"At this point, given the revelations, another set of eyes can do a lot of good," Tony Gricar said.

"If there are lapses in the investigation, things need to be tightened up and we need to find whoever can complete this investigation. I just hope there haven't been other lapses."

Relying on Lara

Zaccagni also revealed that police are not monitoring Gricar's checking and savings accounts, which Zaccagni said totaled more than $100,000 -- but not much more -- when Gricar disappeared.

The accounts were held jointly by Gricar and his daughter, Lara, and had been for years. Since his disappearance, Lara Gricar has been named trustee of her father's estate.

"It's a substantial sum, but nothing extravagant," Zaccagni said.

"I don't personally check it at all. Lara knows to contact us if anything unusual happens. We rely on Lara to contact us if there are any unusual withdrawals."

Zaccagni said he last talked with Lara Gricar more than a month ago.

Gricar was making $129,000 annually when he vanished.

He had no investments.

He owned no property.

He was living in his girlfriend's home and owed nothing to two ex-wives.

When he bought his Mini Cooper, he paid cash and registered it in Fornicola's name. Zaccagni said Fornicola told him Gricar did this as a precaution in case he was ever sued for wrongful prosecution, or something of the sort, Zaccagni said.

Sloane, when told the state of Gricar's financial accounts, was stunned. Gricar was known as a frugal man who did not throw money around, he said.

"Wow," Sloane said.

"He should have had more money than that, I would think. He wasn't into investing. He wasn't very into 401(k)s or IRAs."

Lara Gricar would not comment on her father's finances. "That's nobody's business," she said.

Gricar's finances should be the Bellefonte Police Department's business, said John Lajoie, a nationally known, Massachusetts-based private investigator who serves as Northeast regional director for the National Association of Legal Investigators.

"If they are not personally watching his checking, savings and credit cards, they're not conducting an effective investigation," Lajoie said.

Lajoie also took issue with the fact that Zaccagni never personally interviewed Gricar's best friends and courthouse employees.

"I would think you would want to talk to as many people who knew him as possible," Lajoie said.

'I believe he is alive'

"In my heart and soul, I believe he is alive, and that might be just wishful thinking on my part," Sloane said. When told of the new information, Sloane conceded the disappearance is beginning to sound "like something he planned."

"But it just doesn't make sense though," Sloane said. "Why?"

The Gricar family, however, no longer holds much hope that Ray Gricar will be found alive, Tony Gricar said.

Even Lara, who long believed her father was still alive, has accepted that, he said.

"Early on, she was hopeful," Tony Gricar said.

"But now, she doesn't believe he is alive."

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.




monkalup - May 16, 2006 02:31 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/14574849.htm

Gricar family upset by missteps
Chief refuses to hand over case
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com
The family of Ray Gricar is calling for Bellefonte police to hand its investigation over to a state or federal agency in light of a Centre Daily Times review of the case that found apparent mistakes by the department.

The plea came Saturday, the day the CDT published what Tony Gricar called "stunning" missteps by the Bellefonte Police Department.

"At this point, it seems to be a colossal collapse in judgment," the nephew of the missing former prosecutor said, speaking on behalf of the Gricar family.

But Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver said his department will not relinquish the case -- despite the request from Tony Gricar and what the chief called pressure from the media.

"I'm not going to be swayed to give this case up," Weaver said. "We will remain steadfast in this investigation, and we will see it through."

Messages left for Gricar's live-in girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, were not returned Saturday.

New revelations more than a year after a Gricar vanished, supposedly from a Lewisburg antiques mall, also prompted district attorneys in two nearby counties to call for a statewide task force of investigators. The two prosecutors also questioned whether Gricar's disappearance should have been handled by Bellefonte police in the first place.

Among the findings revealed Saturday in a CDT review of the case:

u Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Fenton said she is positive she saw Gricar in a metallic-colored car leaving the county courthouse parking lot at 3 p.m. April 15, 2005, the day he vanished -- supposedly -- from an antiques mall in Lewisburg. The sighting was discounted and never made public because it did not fit a police timeline of Gricar's whereabouts.

u The case's lead investigator, Bellefonte police Officer Darrel Zaccagni, did not personally interview Gricar's two best friends, Assistant District Attorney Steve Sloane and State College resident Ed Walker. Zaccagni also did not interview all county employees who had daily contact with Gricar.

u Police admit they are not personally watching Gricar's savings and checking accounts but are leaving it up to his daughter, Lara Gricar, to report any unusual activity. Experts called this move a "serious" mistake. Lara Gricar held those two accounts jointly with her father.

"It's just incredible," Tony Gricar said Saturday.

He was particularly disturbed by the fact that Fenton's sighting of Gricar was rejected. "She's as credible a witness as we've had all along," Tony Gricar said.

Fenton told police in the days following Gricar's disappearance that she saw him in a metallic-colored car, not his red Mini Cooper or Fornicola's Honda. Fenton said she is sure of what she saw, but police said it could not have been Gricar because he was spotted by witnesses in Lewisburg during the early afternoon.

"But she knew him," Tony Gricar said in near disbelief. "The single most-credible witness was discredited because of timeline issues when police didn't even have a credible timeline."

The Gricar family is also upset that Zaccagni has not sat down with Sloane and Walker -- or any other county employee -- for in-depth interviews during the past 13 months.

"The fact that (Zaccagni) never spoke to Ray's two closest friends is amazing to me," Tony Gricar said. "If I went missing, I'd want investigators talking to my best friends."

Weaver, sworn into office in January, said he met with a plethora of investigators when he became chief and came away impressed by the investigation.

"I still am very impressed by the work we've done, and we will continue to stay the course," Weaver said.

Montour County District Attorney Bob Buehner renewed his calls for state Attorney General Tom Corbett to step in -- now.

"The attorney general has been too silent for too long," Buehner said Saturday. "The information the CDT has been able to uncover absolutely reinforces we need a statewide task force for this investigation, made up of top-notch police investigators, led by an experienced prosecutor, to come in and solve this thing."

Bellefonte police, and Zaccagni, have done the best they can on limited time and resources, Buehner said. State police at Milton, literally one mile from the Lewisburg bridge from which Gricar's laptop may have been tossed, have been "underutilized," he said.

And the Lewisburg police have not been used, he said.

"I have never believed from the first weekend that Centre County law enforcement had any jurisdiction in this," Buehner said. "There is strong possibility foul play was involved and, if so, it appears to have happened in Lewisburg, Union County."

Union County District Attorney Pete Johnson was out of the area Saturday and could not be reached for comment. Messages left on Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira's cell phone and at his office were not returned Saturday.

"It's not a Centre County case," Clinton County District Attorney Ted McKnight said.

He too is calling for Corbett to take over the case with state police -- if Lewisburg police and the Union County District Attorney's office do not want it.

"The reality of this case is the center of events and sightings has been Lewisburg, and that happens to be in Union County," McKnight said.

Because Gricar was reported missing to Bellefonte police, they have led the investigation.

Tony Gricar welcomed Buehner's and McKnight's involvement.

"It's great to have more learned voices speaking out," Tony Gricar said. "It's definitely nice to hear those voices standing up for Ray."


monkalup - May 17, 2006 11:42 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...ar/14597149.htm

Posted on Wed, May. 17, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Madeira seeks review of probe
Elite state police team to go over case, search for missed leads
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com
BELLEFONTE -- Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira called Tuesday for an elite state police investigative review team to evaluate Bellefonte Police Department's handling of the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar.

The state police Criminal Investigation Analysis Team is made up of a group of highly trained and experienced state police investigators from across the commonwealth. It is their job to go over difficult and yet-unsolved investigations to determine whether any evidence or clues were missed early on, Madeira said.

"I'm not suggesting anything was," said Madeira, who became involved in the case after he was sworn into office in January. Gricar has been missing since April 15, 2005.

A much-hyped "Dateline NBC" segment on the case Saturday night prompted five telephone tips, but none of them resulted in a lead, Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver said Tuesday.

The call for an investigative review comes days after the Centre Daily Times, based upon interviews with Gricar's family, friends and co-workers, reported several avenues of investigation that may have been missed. Bellefonte Police Officer Darrel Zaccagni is lead investigator on the case.

"Even since April 15, where we were at a point where we are essentially at a loss, I had thought of taking that step," Madeira said of the investigative team. Informally, such a team has twice before consulted with local authorities, Weaver said.

Weaver, sworn in as police chief in January, welcomed the review by the state police team.

"Maybe it will give us direction, if direction is needed," he said. "It is looking not only at our work, but the work of all of the agencies that have been involved since day one. It's standard protocol in these types of cases and we welcome it."

Gricar family spokesman Tony Gricar has called Bellefonte Police Department's decisions in some instances a "colossal collapse in judgment." Tony Gricar, while he could not be reached for comment Tuesday, has called on Bellefonte police to hand over the investigation to state police or the state's Attorney General's Office.

They potential missed leads, as reported Saturday, include:

u An assistant district attorney who said she is sure she saw Gricar leaving a courthouse parking lot at about 3 p.m. the day he vanished. Police said they dismissed the sighting because it did not fit their timeline of where Gricar supposedly was, at an antiques mall in Lewisburg. Madeira did not know about that reported sighting until Friday.

u Gricar's best friends, Assistant District Attorney Steve Sloane and State College resident Ed Walker, were never interviewed by Zaccagni. Zaccagni has since claimed other investigators talked to the men, but other than a three-hour interview a state police officer conducted with Sloane early in the investigation, Sloane and Walker say they've not been interviewed.

u Zaccagni did not interview all county employees who had regular contact with Gricar, including Centre County Criminal Court Administrator Cheryl Spotts, who told the Centre Daily Times Gricar had been acting strangely a month before he disappeared.

u Zaccagni is not personally monitoring Gricar's checking and savings accounts -- which he held jointly with his daughter, Lara Gricar -- for strange activity. Police are relying the daughter to report any withdrawals she is not responsible for, which experts have called a serious mistake.

Madeira said he wants to be sure nothing was missed.

"This is a group of seasoned state police investigators from around the state," Madeira said. "It will take a look to see what else we can do or what may have been overlooked."

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.




oldies4mari2004 - May 19, 2006 01:51 PM (GMT)
Without A Trace
Posted: 5/19/2006 8:21:48 AM


In last night's season finale that missing person was the former District Attorney from Centre County, Ray Gricar. His disappearance last year has baffled police. Chris Schaffer has an up-date on the investigation from Centre County.

Ray Gricar has been missing for more than a year; he was the chief law enforcement officer for Centre County. How such a prominent figure could just disappear is a question that's never far from the mind of the man who now occupies that office.

Gricar was a man who seemed to have everything going for him. After more than 20 years in Bellefonte as the DA of Center County, Gricar was just months from retirement.

Then, on April 15th of last year he called his girlfriend at work - told her he was going for a drive, and asked her to make sure to feed the dogs.

Michael Madeira, Centre County D.A.:
"She said O-K I love you, he said, I love you, and that was the last conversation anyone had with him"

His car was found in Lewisburg, near the Susquehanna river, but Gricar was gone - without a trace.

The new DA, Michael Madeira, says investigators have examined three possibilities:

That Gricar killed himself
Was a victim of murder or kidnapping
Simply ran off and started a new life
Madeira:
"Each of those theories have their own set of problems that go with them"

Especially the third option. Gricar's credit cards and his cell phone have not been used since his disappearance.

"The money in his named account, yes it's still there, hasn't been touched"

But if it was a murder, where is the evidence?
If it was a suicide, where is Gricar's body?
Questions that for now, have no answers.

Madeira:
"That's what's most frustrating because you just don't have anything that points to any one particular direction"

A recent story on a national news magazine generated four new tips about the Gricar case. The DA says those tips did not pan out. He says he would welcome any new information from viewers of 'Without A Trace' .


http://www.whptv.com/news/local/story.aspx...21-644B117661D2


monkalup - May 19, 2006 07:06 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/14620664.htm

Posted on Fri, May. 19, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Fox News to feature Gricar disappearance
From CDT staff reports
The disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar will be featured in a segment on Fox News Channel's "The Lineup," at 9 p.m. Sunday.

"The Lineup" host, former San Francisco prosecutor Kimberly Guilfoyle, will conduct live interviews with Centre Daily Times police and courts reporter Pete Bosak, Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira, and Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar.

April 15 marked the one-year anniversary of Gricar's disappearance. He was last heard from when his called his girlfriend and co-worker, Patty Fornicola, to tell her he was taking a day off from work and driving through the Bush Valley area. His car was found April 16 in the parking lot of a Lewisburg antiques mall.

The case has drawn new interest from national media in recent weeks, as police revealed they are seeking a woman who a witness says he saw with Gricar in Lewisburg on April 15, and as Centre Daily Times stories have raised questions about avenues that may not have been fully explored by investigators.

Last weekend, Gricar was the focus of a segment that aired on Dateline NBC. On Thursday, the case was profiled on CBS' "Without a Trace," and this morning was discussed on CBS' "The Early Show."



Ell - May 21, 2006 07:39 PM (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted on Sun, May. 21, 2006



Fight heats up over handling of Gricar mystery
Neighboring counties' district attorneys call for Attorney General's Office to take the case
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com

Thirteen months after former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar disappeared, a battle is brewing over what jurisdiction should be handling the investigation and whether it has been handled correctly by Bellefonte police.

The battle devolved into a war of words Friday between two central Pennsylvania district attorneys and the state Attorney General's Office.

With Bellefonte police admittedly at a dead end, Montour County District Attorney Bob Buehner and Clinton County District Attorney Ted McKnight are calling for Attorney General Tom Corbett to "step up" and take over the investigation into the April 15, 2005, disappearance of the man who was then Centre County's top law-enforcement officer.

"Attorney General Corbett has been too silent for too long," Buehner said.

Corbett's office fired back Friday.

"Apparently District Attorney Buehner doesn't understand the laws of Pennsylvania," said Kevin Harley, Corbett's spokesman. "The district attorneys, not the attorney general, have jurisdiction over missing person and murder cases in Pennsylvania. We have confidence in the ability of District Attorney Michael Madeira and Pennsylvania State Police, who are investigating the disappearance of Ray Gricar."

This infuriated Buehner.

"Tom Corbett is a gutless coward," Buehner said. "He has been too silent for too long. He should be in front. Ray Gricar was my friend, and I want him back."

As for Harley, "I don't need a lecture from some hired flack," Buehner said. "I know the law far better than he does."

For the state attorney general to step in and take over the investigation, one of two requirements would have to be met. First, Centre County would have to argue it does not have the resources needed to investigate the case. Secondly, there would have to be some conflict of interest in a prosecution.

"And neither apply to the Gricar case," Harley said. "From the day District Attorney Gricar was reported missing, Attorney General Corbett has offered the assistance of the Attorney General's Office to the Bellefonte police, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Centre County District Attorney's Office.

"We will not trample on the law as it is spelled out clearly in the commonwealth's Attorneys Act," Harley said. "It is disturbing that Mr. Buehner has resorted to name calling. We will have no further response to Mr. Buehner other than to suggest that he pay attention to crimes in his own county."

Following the law

Corbett is following the law, Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said.

"My colleagues would be the first to scream bloody murder if I would suggest the attorney general go into their counties and take over cases," Madeira said.

Madeira served 13 years as a prosecutor with the state Attorney General's Office and has contacts perhaps many other district attorneys do not have -- so Centre County is well-equipped to handle the case, he said.

Buehner said Madeira is a good, hard-working district attorney but is in over his head.

"When I'm in a situation where I need help, I'll seek out all the help I can get," Buehner said. "It's about solving cases. It's not about egos."

Jurisdiction questioned

McKnight is raising another argument -- that Union County, not Centre County, should have jurisdiction. He, too, is calling for Corbett to get involved.

"(Corbett) clearly has the resources that are necessary to do a proper job," McKnight said. "My frustration over the past year has been that Centre County and Bellefonte borough have nothing to do with this case."

Gricar was last heard from April 15, 2005, when he took the day off work. He called his girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, to tell her he was taking a drive toward Lewisburg, Union County. His Mini Cooper was found in a parking lot outside an antiques mall the next day. Witnesses reported seeing him at the mall.

Gricar's laptop, minus its hard drive, was found by fishermen in the Susquehanna River. Months later, the hard drive was found along the river banks, too badly damaged for any information to be retrieved from it.

"The reality of this thing, the center of the incident, is Lewisburg, which happens to be Union County," McKnight said.

Madeira strongly disagrees. This remains a missing person case. There is no direct evidence of foul play, Madeira said. Gricar was reported missing in Bellefonte, so it is the Bellefonte Police Department's case, Madeira said.

On top of that, the Lewisburg Police Department doesn't want the case.

"I was happy to let Bellefonte run with it because he was a district attorney in Centre County and most interviews were done over there," Lewisburg Police Chief Paul Yost said. "We based it off the agency that had the best working knowledge of the individual. And that was Bellefonte police."

Union County District Attorney Pete Johnson could not be reached for comment, despite repeated attempts over two days.

The jurisdiction issue gets even more complicated when you consider where Gricar's car was found and where his laptop was discovered -- in the Susquehanna River.

"My jurisdiction goes up to the river," Yost said. "All that happened in my jurisdiction is he parked his car here. Now if someone threw (the laptop into the river) from the shoreline, it would be my jurisdiction. If it was thrown from the bridge, then it would be Pennsylvania State Police in Milton. So it kind of moves across jurisdictions pretty quickly.

"But I don't believe the investigation was hampered at all by jurisdictional issues," he said.

Yost said his department, state police at Milton and other barracks helped in the investigation, and Lewisburg police remain ready to help Bellefonte police with anything they may need.

"I'm sure if he (Bellefonte police Chief Shawn Weaver) needs any help, he knows we're here to help," Yost said.

Foul play?

Yost has a theory of what became of Gricar.

"Unless he is extremely good at disappearing, he was the victim of foul play," Yost said.

Police several times last summer searched the Susquehanna River, which flows near the antiques mall, for signs of Gricar. If the shallow, heavily used river played a role in Gricar's disappearance, it would be known by now, Yost said.

"I grew up beside this river," Yost said. "It can hold its secrets for a long time. But if he was in there, you'd think somebody would have found him by now."

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.






--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

© 2006 Centre Daily Times and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.centredaily.com

monkalup - June 23, 2006 01:50 AM (GMT)
http://www.raygricar.com/

(because it's lost among other posts in the thread)

monkalup - June 23, 2006 01:56 AM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...ar/12208767.htm

Posted on Sun, Jul. 24, 2005
Gricar mystery fading from memories in Lewisburg
By Mike Joseph
mjoseph@centredaily.com

CDT/Mike Joseph
Four detectives investigating the disappearance of Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar confer Tuesday, April 19, 2005, in the parking lot across the street from the Street of Shops antiques mall in Lewisburg.LEWISBURG -- Thick weeds crowd the Susquehanna River banks, and the water rides much lower than it did 14 weeks ago, revealing a log here and a boulder there that in spring were sunken and out of sight.

But there's no sign of Ray Gricar.

The riverside moorings have long been cleared of last winter's clinging debris, and two popular boating holidays -- Memorial Day and the Fourth of July -- have come and gone since the Centre County district attorney vanished after taking a Friday off from work and driving here, an hour east of Bellefonte.

There's been no sign of him since, and the vortex of the unexplained that once pulled in detectives, rescue crews, reporters and the neighborhood curious no longer consumes so much attention.

Or so it seemed last week at an antiques mall restaurant, the Remember When Cafe, where police think the district attorney was last seen.

"So how's the search for Ray Gricar going?" a reporter asked waitress Bobi Keiser.

"For who?" Keiser said.

"Ray Gricar."

"Oh, is that that DA guy?"

"Yes."

"You don't hear too much about it any more."

The restaurant, a milkshake and hamburger stop that spotlights nostalgia for Elvis Presley and other rock 'n' roll icons, was not quite ready to open on the weekend Gricar disappeared. On that Saturday, April 16, antiques mall owner Craig Bennett stopped by about noon to check on the last phase of construction.

Bennett noticed a man standing eight to 10 feet away. The man stood there five to 10 minutes, neither shopping nor browsing. When Bellefonte detectives converged on the Street of Shops antiques mall after Gricar disappeared, Bennett told them repeatedly that the man fit the district attorney's description.

Last week, Bennett remained steadfast in his recollection. Bennett saw nothing else that was relevant. He didn't see the man interact with anyone, and he didn't notice how the man came to leave the mall. But Bennett's apparent sighting of Gricar -- detectives call it a "visual on Ray" -- has given him an eyes-on connection to the mystery and, for a time, helped fuel hope that Gricar may be alive somewhere.

"He looked anxious," Bennett said last week. "He was not a relaxed person. He was waiting for someone."

Bennett dismisses suggestions that Gricar may have jumped off a nearby bridge into the Susquehanna River or otherwise drowned there. With water only about 30 inches deep now, the river bottom shows quite clearly from above, and fish can be easily spotted navigating their way through the deepest of quite shallow channels.

"They would have found him if he'd jumped," Bennett said.

Detectives have had less and less presence in the area as the time has gone by, but Bennett did notice plain-clothes agents nosing around one day within the past month.

Gricar's car, a red-and-white Mini Cooper, was found in the antiques mall parking lot after he disappeared -- one of the case's few anchoring facts around which many have tried to lash their theories, however inconclusive.

"How can something so bizarre happen and still be unexplained at this time?" Bennett said. "Somebody knows. That car didn't beam itself down here. It got here somehow."

In the oaken taproom of the Lewisburg Hotel, two blocks from the antiques mall, radio station owner Don Steese and bartender Terri Peterson chatted over the lunch hour.

The small talk had nothing to do with Gricar, though Steese and Peterson allowed that three months ago it might have.

"That's yesterday's news -- not top of mind any more," Steese said.

Peterson joked that Gricar was probably off somewhere with Elvis or Jim Morrison, another rock star who died young, but then she got serious. She recalled how, in the early days of the investigation, detectives asked her and others at the hotel to try to remember whether they'd seen Gricar.

The bar gets fairly crowded on weekends, Peterson said, especially with middle-aged men, and she hadn't been able to help the police.

"I wish I could have said, 'Yes, I saw him,' but I couldn't," she said. "How would I know if he was in here? I see how many people a day ... ?"


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mike Joseph can be reached at 235-3910.


monkalup - June 23, 2006 02:02 AM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...ar/13364699.htm

Posted on Fri, Dec. 09, 2005
Hard drive fails to help Gricar case
Hardware too heavily damaged to retrieve data, experts say
By Erin L. Nissley
enissley@centredaily.com
Experts were unable to pull any data off a hard drive thought to belong to Ray Gricar's county-issued laptop because of the heavy damage it sustained in the months since the district attorney's disappearance.

The news dashed local investigators' hopes that the hard drive, found in October along the banks of the Susquehanna River, might give them a better picture of the circumstances surrounding Gricar's April disappearance.

"They got it apart and cleaned it," Zaccagni said. "But it was so damaged ... the water and grit pretty much destroyed it."

After the hard drive was found in Lewisburg, state police attempted to examine it but were unsuccessful. They sent the hard drive to the Secret Service in Philadelphia, who forwarded it to a special lab in California run as a joint effort among the Secret Service, the FBI and the Los Angeles police.

Zaccagni, who spoke to a Secret Service agent Thursday, said experts say they are almost certain they will be unable to retrieve any information off the hard drive, although they plan to try "one or two other things they've never done before" before giving up. He expects to receive an official report and the hard drive within the next week.

Special Agent J.J. Klaver, based in Philadelphia, said the FBI does not comment on another agency's cases nor on ongoing investigations. He said he could not confirm that the FBI ever analyzed the hard drive found in Lewisburg.

Calls to the Secret Service office in Philadelphia were not returned Thursday.

Gricar was last heard from about 11:30 a.m. April 15, when he called his office and spoke to girlfriend and housemate Patty Fornicola. She said he told her he was taking a drive in the couple's red-and-white Mini Cooper. She called police to report him missing about 12 hours later. The car was found in a Lewisburg parking lot a day later.

Police are still treating Gricar's disappearance as a missing persons case, because there is no strong information pointing to homicide, suicide or any other type of death.

Because experts were unable to access any information from the hard drive, police can't even confirm that the hard drive came from Gricar's laptop computer. The computer, minus its hard drive, was found by fishermen in the Susquehanna River in Lewisburg in July. The hard drive was later found about 100 yards from where the computer was found. It is the same make and model as the laptop.

"It looks like a duck and walks like a duck, but it won't quack for us," Zaccagni said. "We're pretty much right where we were before -- nothing."

The news didn't surprise Fornicola and Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar.

"We're all pretty nonplussed by it," Tony Gricar said. "It seems to be the way everything goes in this case."

Fornicola said she knew the hard drive was damaged but still was hoping experts would be able to pull some information from it.

Where the investigation goes from here is anyone's guess. Bellefonte police have received no new tips about the case, Zaccagni said. They continue to look into names they've received as "people of interest," but Zaccagni declined to give specifics. He said the department is not planning to take a harder look at Gricar's previous and pending cases, which span two decades.

"Bellefonte just doesn't have the manpower to go through the thousands of cases," Zaccagni said.

He added that he welcomed any help from outside agencies, including the U.S. Justice Department. State Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia, sent a letter Dec. 2 to that agency asking for investigators there to take a closer look at Gricar's disappearance.

Police are planning a meeting soon to review the case. Taking part in the meeting will be the borough's new police chief, Shawn Weaver, and Michael Madeira, who will succeed Gricar as district attorney in January, Zaccagni said.

"It'll be a chance to review where we've been and bounce ideas off new people," Zaccagni said. "They might have new ideas, too."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Erin L. Nissley can be reached at 231-4616.



monkalup - June 23, 2006 02:08 AM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...ar/14664993.htm

Posted on Thu, May. 25, 2006
Gricar mystery gets a novel new twist
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com
BELLEFONTE -- In yet another odd twist in the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar, his nephew confirmed Wednesday that a legal book containing information on replacing a district attorney was found on the desk of an assistant district attorney the day after Gricar vanished.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Smith, wondering where the book came from, grasped both covers and turned it upside down, in hopes of finding what page it had last been opened to, Tony Gricar said he was told by police.

The book opened to the statute detailing how to replace a dead or retired district attorney, Tony Gricar said.

With rumors about the book swirling through the courthouse and beyond this week, Tony Gricar said he'd placed a call to borough police to find out why the information, which he's known for some time, is coming out now.

"We don't know who put it there," Tony Gricar said.

"It was on Mark Smith's desk. But it still doesn't get us anywhere. It's surprising this got out there."

Bellefonte police would not confirm or deny the account. Smith served as acting Centre County district attorney after Ray Gricar's disappearance until District Attorney Michael Madeira took office in January. Smith could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

"This has been investigated, and it is part of the ongoing investigation," Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver said Wednesday. "Police simply cannot give out every piece of information on the case or else we could jeopardize the investigation."

The rumors contain inaccuracies -- the story being spread is that the book was found on Gricar's desk, open to the page detailing how to replace a district attorney. "That's not true," Weaver said. "But something similar." He would not elaborate.

Madeira said he first heard the rumor during his campaign for district attorney. "I'd heard it," Madeira said. "But it never crossed my mind this was serious. I'm going to look into it."

Gricar vanished April 15, 2005, after calling his girlfriend to tell her he was taking a drive through Brush Valley. His car was found in Lewisburg the next day. Authorities say they still have no idea what happened to him.

Madeira has called for a state police Criminal Investigation Analysis Team to review the work of the Bellefonte Police Department and other jurisdictions who have aided in the investigation. A time for that review has not yet been set, Madeira said.

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.






monkalup - September 16, 2006 09:52 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...al/15513643.htm

Posted on Thu, Sep. 14, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Gricar review remains undone
Investigators set to evaluate handling of case
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com
Gricar case forum with Pete Bosak
Happy Valley: No priority in Gricar case
BELLEFONTE -- A state police team of investigators looking into Bellefonte Police Department's handling of the Ray Gricar disappearance now is not scheduled to meet until the middle of October.

While he had hoped the team of elite criminal investigators would have met by now for an in-depth review of the investigation into the disappearance of the former district attorney, Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said he is not concerned about the time the troopers' review is taking.

"I'm willing to let it take whatever time it takes," said Madeira, who requested the review.

Gricar seemed to vanish without a trace after calling his live-in girlfriend on April 15, 2005, to say he was taking a drive along state Route 192 toward Lewisburg and would not be home to walk their dog that afternoon.

His Mini Cooper was found outside an antiques mall in Lewisburg the next day, but there was no sign of what happened to Gricar.

Family spokesman Tony Gricar, Ray Gricar's nephew, said he also is not troubled by the time it is taking troopers -- gathered from across the state -- to review the investigation.

"I want them to do it right," Gricar said. "I hope the reason it has been pushed out from June to mid-October is due diligence."

Gricar renewed his call for Pennsylvania State Police to take over the investigation into his uncle's disappearance. He said Bellefonte police are only reacting to information that is given to them rather than aggressively investigating at this point because they do not have the resources. Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver said no new information has been provided to his department. And Tony Gricar said the family also has heard nothing of late.

"Not a thing," Tony Gricar said. "Obviously, that's frustrating."

The state police team has gathered material from Bellefonte police and have conducted interviews, Madeira said. But it has not yet been able to coordinate a meeting of the troopers to meet and discuss the investigation. The meeting set for mid-October could last three days.

Madeira said nothing from that meeting likely will be made public immediately. The review is to determine whether anything may have been missed by Bellefonte police in their search for the missing prosecutor.

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.


Ell - November 22, 2006 11:38 AM (GMT)
DA still considered a missing person


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Bellefonte police Chief Shawn Weaver and Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira
Barry L. Reeger/Tribune-Review



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By Robin Acton
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, November 22, 2006


BELLEFONTE -- Nineteen months after he vanished, former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar still is considered a missing person by investigators who promised Tuesday that the case "will not grow cold."
District Attorney Michael Madeira said the Bellefonte police will continue to lead the investigation and take a fresh look at evidence reviewed at his request last week by the state police's Criminal Investigation Assessment Unit.

The unit -- 17 investigators with more than 200 years' combined experience -- reviewed the demographics, the timeline and reports from interviews with witnesses and "persons of interest" related to the case, Madeira said. Investigators examined Gricar's phone, computer and financial records and information concerning his behavior prior to April 15, 2005, when he was reported missing by his girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, a clerk in his office.

The review produced no new evidence to suggest what happened to Gricar.





"We were under no illusion that the case would be solved, but we wanted to provide a fresh set of eyes to suggest leads," Madeira said. "I think the family has understood that this may never be solved. ... He may be alive. He may be dead."

He said the unit recommended several investigative strategies but will not issue a formal report of the review that he insisted "was not a critique of the Bellefonte police." He said the review concluded that all of the local, state and federal agencies involved in the investigation have done a "thorough job" with the evidence.

Bellefonte police Chief Shawn Weaver refused to speculate as to whether Gricar is alive or dead but called him "a missing person." He said authorities will continue to pursue three avenues: suicide, homicide or that Gricar is still alive somewhere.

"Nothing has been eliminated," Weaver said. "We're going to look at some things from a different angle."

Weaver, who joined the force 10 months ago, said he cannot estimate the number of hours the officers in his 10-member department and investigators from other agencies have put into the probe. However, he said police "will devote resources to this case as long as there is evidence."

Family spokesman Tony Gricar, of Dayton, Ohio, said that he is pleased authorities are attempting to advance the case but expressed disappointment that the borough police will continue to lead the investigation into his uncle's disappearance.

"If Bellefonte's handling it, I'm not sure if that's a fresh set of eyes," he said.

Ray Gricar, who had served as district attorney for two decades, was eight months away from retirement when Fornicola reported him missing after he went for a drive on his day off and didn't return to their home.

The next day, his car was found about an hour's drive from Bellefonte in the parking lot of a Lewisburg antiques mall. That August, his government-issued laptop computer -- with its hard drive missing -- was found by fishermen in the Susquehanna River in Lewisburg.

In the months after Gricar's disappearance, authorities received a number of tips from people who reported sightings of the missing man as far away as Texas.

"I can't say that any of the sightings were credible. We heard everything, frankly, from the sublime to the ridiculous," Madeira said.



Robin Acton can be reached at racton@tribweb.com or 724-830-6295.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburgh...n/s_480929.html

monkalup - December 17, 2006 06:02 AM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/16226511.htm

Posted on Wed, Dec. 13, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Gricar case review dispirits family
Nephew says detectives rehashed old files, failed to look for missed leads
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com
Should Gricar case be sent to the state attorney general or FBI?
Gricar case q&a forum
Happy Valley: Questioning state police 'review'
BELLEFONTE -- It was the first glimmer of hope the family and loved ones of Ray Gricar had had in a long time.

The Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Investigation Assessment Unit was asked in June to review Bellefonte Police Department's investigation into the April 15, 2005, disappearance of the former Centre County district attorney. After five months of review and several delays, the unit finally met last month for three days to discuss the case with District Attorney Michael Madeira and Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver.

When it was over, the family's hopes were dashed again.

"To go that many months with it being put on hold, delay after delay, and not get anything out of it is frustrating," said family spokesman Tony Gricar, the missing prosecutor's nephew. "I'm definitely disappointed we didn't see anything come out of the CIA review."

Tony Gricar, despite a conference call last week involving himself; the missing prosecutor's daughter, Lara; Gricar's former live-in girlfriend, Patty Fornicola; and Madeira, still is at a loss to understand what the CIA unit did.

"We didn't get any specific details on it other than they assessed it," Tony Gricar said.

The state police criminal investigation assessment team was expected to go over the case from top to the bottom and perhaps find missed leads or new avenues to pursue. According to Weaver and Madeira, the unit found no new evidence or missed leads.

Gricar, just eight months from retirement, took Friday, April 15, 2005, off from work. He called Fornicola near midday to tell her he was taking a drive on state Route 192 toward Lewisburg and would not be home to walk the dog. His red-and-white Mini Cooper was found the following day outside an antiques mall in Lewisburg.

Police found no trace of Ray Gricar. In June 2006, Madeira asked the state police Criminal Investigation Assessment Unit to review Bellefonte's investigation.

"I'm not at liberty to discuss what was and was not missed," said state police Cpl. Tony Manetta, a member of the CIA unit that reviewed Bellefonte's work in the case.

Not involved in the state police review was retired Bellefonte Police Chief Duane Dixon, who was at the helm of the department when Gricar disappeared.

"Only police officers active in the investigation took part," Manetta said.

The state police unit did not speak with Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Fenton, who said she saw Gricar in a parking lot behind the Centre County Courthouse at 3 p.m. April 15, 2005. She noticed he was not in his Mini Cooper or his girlfriend's car. She said she remembered because she felt better going home early knowing that the district attorney was doing the same. She was working as a law clerk for Judge David E. Grine at the time.

Police discounted Fenton's sighting because it did not fit their timeline of Ray Gricar being in Lewisburg.

Manetta said he could not comment on whether his unit knew of the possible sighting.

"I just can't talk about it," Manetta said, adding that state police only report its findings to Bellefonte police. "We have a professional courtesy to provide them with professional opinions on what they may do to further their investigation. But I cannot share that with you because it is their investigation."

The unit also did not speak with Assistant District Attorney Steve Sloane, Ray Gricar's best friend.

Sloane has said Bellefonte police also did not talk with him at length immediately following his friend's disappearance.

They still haven't, Sloane said.

The one thing the family learned from the CIA unit was that they performed a "risk assessment" of Gricar to determine whether there was a likelihood he could have met with foul play, Tony Gricar said. The team found "no inherent risks," the nephew said.

"Based on what we've seen, and all those delays, I don't understand what they did, considering all the time and manpower they had on it," Tony Gricar said.

Tony Gricar said it is his impression that the Bellefonte Police Department turned over all of its files to be studied by 20 to 25 seasoned state police investigators. It also was his impression that it was left to Madeira and Weaver to present the case to these investigators.

And therein lies the problem, Tony Gricar said.

"How can they present something they missed?" he said. "There was never really an independent review. It was just an assessment of Bellefonte's work. It really was just a review of the files."

After the review was finished, Madeira and Weaver held a news conference to announce, essentially, that the CIA unit found nothing and that the investigation was conducted properly. The pair said they were given suggestions by the unit and planned to re-interview some potential witnesses.

A representative of the state police was not at the press event.

Tony Gricar has repeatedly called for a larger agency, such as the state police, to take over the search for his uncle but has grown weary of even doing that.

"I could ask for a larger organization to take this on until I'm blue in the face," he said.

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.


Ell - January 26, 2007 04:14 PM (GMT)
New investigator chosen to head missing DA case


By Halle Stockton
Collegian Staff Writer
For more than a year and eight months, one man has led the search for the missing former Centre County district attorney, but the investigation will soon shift to new hands within the Bellefonte Police Department.

Bellefonte Police Det. Darrel Zaccagni led the investigation into the 2005 disappearance of Ray Gricar, who called his girlfriend one afternoon to say he'd be late but never came home. Because of Zaccagni's approaching retirement, Bellefonte police have been prepping a new point person for the case -- Bellefonte Police Det. Matt Rickard.

Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver said the transfer will not affect the investigation "whatsoever."

"Rickard has been working with the case since the beginning," he said. "I envisioned this happening in the future so I made [Rickard] more involved in the case."

Rickard has followed up on leads for the duration of the investigation and was involved at a November meeting with Pennsylvania State Police, assessing the investigation thus far, Weaver said.

"So he is pretty much up to speed with every aspect of the case," he added.

Gricar was last heard from April 15, when he called his longtime girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, to tell her he wouldn't be home in time to feed their dog and that he was taking a drive on Route 192. His red-and-white mini cooper was found outside an antiques market in Lewisburg the next day. Gricar was nowhere to be found.

Neither Rickard nor Zaccagni were available for comment yesterday.

Tony Gricar, Ray Gricar's nephew and family spokesman, said he has mixed feelings about the case changing hands.

"Zaccagni retiring mid-case, it makes things a little difficult from an informational standpoint," he said. "But, we have been calling all along for a second set, a fresh set of eyes. You can't help but hope that this is a positive for the case."

But Tony Gricar said he is appreciative of Zaccagni's work.

"[Zaccagni] is a great guy and really did a lot to keep the family in the loop early on in the case," he said.

Fornicola declined to comment on Zaccagni's retirement from the police force and the investigation.

Several leads in the case have trickled in since Ray Gricar's disappearance, but they have provided no answers. Weaver said he could not comment on any new information but said police are following leads weekly and tips come in "sporadically."

The last major developments occurred when Gricar's laptop, without the hard drive, was found in the Susquehenna River in July. The hard drive was found in October about 100 yards from the laptop's location.

Weaver added that Zaccagni, who was with the Bellefonte Police Department for 28 years, will assume a new position as a school resource officer, primarily at Bellefonte High School.

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2007/...-07dnews-03.asp

Ell - April 16, 2007 05:14 PM (GMT)
Yesterday was the second anniversary of the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar.

As time has passed, hopes of finding Gricar alive and well have faded. The number of leads and tips police can follow has dwindled to nearly nothing. Even the hopes of Gricar's family -- his nephews and daughter -- have dimmed, and they say they've begun to face the reality that this case, if ever solved, will not have a good outcome.

The case, because of the anniversary, has recently received attention on some national television shows, and in central Pennsylvania newspapers, TV and radio stations. It's gotten that kind of attention often before. Before, however, there always seemed to be the hope that the publicity would lead to some break in the case.

This time, we're not hearing many people express that hope.

http://www.centredaily.com/126/story/70200.html

monkalup - February 27, 2008 01:15 AM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/news/local/story/426195.html

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008
Investigator combs files, book for clues
By Pete Bosak- pbosak@centredaily.com
Since Bellefonte police Detective Matt Rickard became lead investigator in the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar last year, he's read and re-read boxes of case files, police reports, witness accounts and forensic analyses.

Centre Daily Times

District Attorney Ray Gricar speaks at the Attorney General's office in State College Thursday. March 31, 2005


Key events in Gricar disappearance
Fiction or clues?
Information and Reward Site
Crime & courts page
Some previous Gricar case coverage
Gricar case Q&A
He's reinterviewing anyone who knew Gricar, or may have some idea of what could have happened to him. He's pondering whether there's any significance to the disappearance in Gricar’s apparent interest in the case of an Ohio police chief who vanished in 1985. At least two of Gricar's co-workers recall him talking about it a decade or more later.

He's considered the implications of there being no fingerprints identified as Gricar's found inside his abandoned Mini Cooper the day after he disappeared on April 15, 2005.

He's even, in the last month or so, read an out-of-print science fiction murder mystery, after its author pointed out what she said were eerie similarities to aspects of Gricar's disappearance.

After reading "20/20 Vision" by Pamela West, formerly Pamela Kraske, Rickard tends to agree.

"What does it mean?" Rickard said. "I don't know."

AdvertisementAfter it all, he said he is still no closer to deciding between three theories of what may have happened to Gricar: That he was murdered, committed suicide, or just walked away from his life.

Crossed paths

Gricar, in the late 1980s, helped West research the 1969 murder of Penn State student Betsy Aardsma, whose killing in the stacks of Pattee Library remains unsolved. He even encouraged her to write about the case.

“He thought maybe it would lead to a break in the case,” said West, a former thesis editor at Penn State. “I had met with Ray back in the late ’80s, and he had encouraged me to write the nonfiction book.”

He didn’t envision the fictional, futuristic novel based on the case that she ended up writing, set in a fictional town modeled after State College.

West, now of East Greenwich, R.I., said she learned only recently that Gricar vanished without a trace on April 15, 2005, after telling his girlfriend he was taking a drive in Brush Valley. His red and white Mini Cooper was found in a parking lot outside the Street of Shoppes in Lewisburg the next day.

In learning of his disappearance, West found odd similarities to situations in her book:

•The book’s hero is an aging detective nearing retirement, a man looking for meaning in his life and career. Gricar was eight months from retirement.

•In the book, the detective drives a “white boxy BMW, an ‘88, named “Lady.” Gricar’s red and white Mini Cooper had a vanity plate that read “PFO,” a play on the name of his girlfriend, Patty Fornicola.

•In the book are repeated references to a cassette tape, along with evidence cassettes, carried about by the lead character. A cassette tape was found in the Lewisburg parking lot where Gricar’s car was found. But that was an aerobics tape. In the novel, it was U2 tape.

•The fictional detective breaks the case on April 15, the same date he began his career. Gricar vanished on an April 15. Actually, in this science fiction mystery with time-traveling cops, all of the action takes place on an April 14 and 15.

“The ides of April, not a lucky time,” the book reads. “In those hours, Lincoln was shot and died; the maiden Titanic struck ice and sunk ... Death and taxes.”

•In “20/20 Vision,” ashes in an urn that turn out not to be human ashes are a key piece of evidence, proving the killer faked his death. An unexplained piece of evidence in Gricar’s disappearance were slight traces of cigarette ash on the passenger side floor of his car. Gricar did not smoke, and didn’t allow smoking in his car.

“I was a little bit spooked,” West said.

To her knowledge, Gricar never read her novel. She did not send him a copy, and they had not talked since it was published in 1990.

But Rickard saw enough similarities to make him wonder. He searched Gricar’s belongings, but a copy of “20/20 Vision” was not among them.

“It’s strange because we don’t know if Ray ever read the book,” Rickard said. “It’s not at his house. It’s not in his belongings. I don’t know what to make of the book. Could it just be coincidence? I don’t know. But it’s strange.”

To Gricar family spokesman, Tony Gricar, it sounds like nothing more than coincidence.

“Anything can be shaped into anything if you try hard enough,” said Tony Gricar. “I just don’t see anything to it.”

Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira agreed, saying he had “way to much respect for Ray” to think he would have staged his own disappearance to match minor plot lines in a novel, just to tease investigators.

“Is this the Ray Gricar we all respect as the pre-eminent law enforcement figure in Centre County for 20 years?” Madeira said. “I would say we have the ability now, with 20/20 hindsight, to make some element of the story fit some parts of just about any book.”

A missing police chief

In his search for some clue to Gricar’s disappearance, Rickard has also been intrigued by tips about Gricar’s interest in another missing persons case.

Mel Wiley was the chief of police in Hinckley Township outside of Cleveland until he vanished without a trace in July 1985.

Hinckley’s 1980 Toyota station wagon was found at Cleveland’s Lakefront State Park on Lake Erie. Locked inside were Hinckley’s wallet, police identification and his badge. He hasn’t been seen since. He had told his girlfriend the day before he was going to buy a swim suit and go swimming. He never bought a suit, police said, and his friends told investigators he didn’t like to swim.

Wiley, 47, was an aspiring poet and, when he disappeared, his manuscript for a novel he was writing also vanished, according to published accounts. His literary bent prompted an investigator to check the ribbon in Wiley’s typewriter.

“Where I’ve gone,” he typed, “is of no critical importance, and it’s very doubtful that I’ll ever return . . .”

There was no such obvious clue found in Gricar’s disappearance, although there has been debate about a book of county code that was found on the desk of the Centre County First Assistant District Attorney Mark Smith the Monday after Gricar vanished. It opened to the section on how to replace a missing or deceased district attorney.

Centre County Assistant District Attorney Steve Sloane said he recalls Gricar mentioning the Wiley case at least seven years after Wiley disappeared. He reasoned that Gricar, being from Cleveland, may have known Wiley, and would have been interested for that reason.

“It didn’t have any recent significance,” Sloane said. “I don’t even know why I remember it. He used to talk to me about a lot of people he worked with back in Cleveland.”

Former Centre County Assistant District Attorney Karen Arnold, also wrote on a Web site she created about Gricar’s disappearance that she recalled him mentioning Wiley.

Arnold wrote that Wiley vanished “under near-identical circumstances to those surrounding Ray’s disappearance.”

Second set of eyes

Rickard’s not sure what it all may mean, but he doesn’t want to overlook anything.

“There are things I’ve read three, four and five times just to make sure there’s nothing else there,” said Rickard, who took over the case from Bellefonte’s Darrell Zaccagni, who retired at the end of 2007. “Where we go from here is to take in any information that comes into the office. And there are still certain people I’d like to talk with.”

Tony Gricar said Rickard’s knowledge of the case and his passion for finding answers “were an invigorating change.”

“There was an enthusiasm with certain details of the case, things he’s gone over,” Tony Gricar said. “It’s that second set of eyes, that cliché we’ve been running into the ground. But this is what we’ve wanted.”

Fingerprints taken from the missing prosecutor’s Mini Cooper are a case on point, Tony Gricar said. A now-retired Bellefonte police chief had said five sets of prints, or five fingerprints in other media accounts, were lifted from the Mini Cooper, and said all identifiable prints belonged to Gricar.

The detective saw in case files that was not exactly accurate. There were not five prints. There were three prints, two of them lifted twice, Rickard said. No prints found inside the car were of the quality needed to make a match. The only usable print, from a water bottle, did not have enough ridge characteristics to be linked to Gricar or anyone else, a lab report indicates.

While troubled by the revelation, Tony Gricar found a silver lining.

“It’s good to see there is some greater transparency,” he said.

Madeira credits Rickard for doggedly pursuing the case. He pointed to the “20/20 Vision” tip as proof.

“I appreciate Matt’s hard work on this case, going through every word page by page,” Madeira said.

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.





monkalup - February 27, 2008 01:16 AM (GMT)
Comments
Here is another coincidence. According to a 1985 Time article, Chief Wiley often spoke of and had an obsession with Burnt Cabins PA. This is approx. 67 miles from State College PA. Wiley, according to the article had some "obsession" with Burnt Cabins due to a murder which had occurred there in the 1960's and was the location used as the setting in his unfinished novel.

Posted by: jonnybull
http://pod01.prospero.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx...tag=kr-centretm

burnsjl2003 - February 28, 2008 02:20 PM (GMT)
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008
Ex-officer sure Gricar read novel
By Pete Bosak- pbosak@centredaily.com

BELLEFONTE —; A retired corporal with the state police said Tuesday he is sure missing former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar read a science-fiction novel generating attention because of what its author called eerie similarities with the prosecutor’s disappearance.

The book is a science fiction, futuristic murder mystery entitled “20/20 Vision” by Pamela West

Fiction or clues?
Key events in Gricar disappearance
Investigator combs files, book for clues
Crime & courts page
Information and Reward Site
Gricar case Q&A
Some previous Gricar case coverage

“I can confirm that Ray Gricar read that book,” said retired state police Cpl. John Skerchock. “Ray definitely was in possession of that book.”

The book is a science fiction, futuristic murder mystery entitled “20/20 Vision” by Pamela West, now Pamela Kraske.

While set in the year 2020, it is based on the unsolved 1969 murder of Penn State student Betsy Aardsma, who was stabbed in the stacks of Pat-tee Library. Gricar had helped West research the case in the late 1980s and had urged her to write a nonfiction account of it.

West, upon recently hearing of Gricar’s disappearance, contacted his former prosecutor’s girlfriend to point out what West said are similarities between her fictional work and the real missing person case:

The fictional detective is nearing retirement, as was Gricar, and struggling to find meaning his life by solving the case he had been unable to crack for decades.

The detective drove a white, “boxy” looking 1988 BMW named “Lady” while Gricar drove a red and white Mini Cooper with a vanity plate that read “PFO,” a play on his girlfriend’s name, Patty Fornicola. All of the action happens on April 14-15 in various years. Gricar vanished April 15, 2005. His car was found abandoned in a parking lot outside the Street of Shoppes in Lewisburg the next day.

In Gricar’s car, investigators found traces of cigarette ash on his passenger side floor. Gricar did not smoke. Ash turns out to be a key piece of evidence in “20/20 Vision,” proving the killer did not actually take his own life. The fictional town of Shawneeville is based upon State College and Penn State.

Bellefonte police Detective Matt Rickard, the new lead investigator on Gricar’s case, read the book after

hearing of the similarities. But he could find no indication Gricar read it, until a Centre Daily Times report Tuesday prompted Skerchock to contact Rickard.

Skerchock had worked with the lead investigator on the Aardsma murder. The investigator, now deceased, had helped West with her research and, when her book was published in 1990, bought it and read it, Skerchock said.

“He was going to loan it to me, but he loaned it to Ray instead,” Skerchock said. “I kept waiting for Ray to be done with it and I finally went out and bought my own copy.”

Skerchock said the Aardsma lead investigator talked with Gricar about West’s book.

Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said that still does not mean Gricar intentionally walked away from his life and left behind hidden clues to antagonize investigators.

“It’s interesting to know he read it,” Madeira said. “But it doesn’t change my opinion that these coincidences that (West) refers to as similarities are a stretch. And I continue to say I have too much respect for Ray, with 20 plus years in law enforcement, to believe he would do something to tweak law enforcement.”

Gricar family spokesman Tony Gricar said comparing the book to Gricar’s disappearance is a stretch at best.

“My knee-jerk reaction is while Ray may have read the book, the only thing that really draws a comparison is the date,” Tony Gricar said.

Rickard was hesitant to comment and plans to talk with Skerchock.

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.

http://www.centredaily.com/news/ray_gricar/story/429569.html

Provided photo of Ray Gricar for the 1 year missing story. April 13, 2006. Gricar baked this cake for Patty Fornicola, and she was so impressed, she took this photo.

burnsjl2003 - February 28, 2008 02:25 PM (GMT)

http://www.centredaily.com/news/ray_gricar/story/429569.html

District Attorney Ray Gricar speaks at the Attorney General's office in State College Thursday. March 31, 2005

burnsjl2003 - February 28, 2008 02:29 PM (GMT)

Ell - April 16, 2008 12:45 PM (GMT)
LEWISBURG — On this date three years ago, Centre County’s top prosecutor called his girlfriend at 11:30 a.m. to tell her that he was taking a drive on Route 192 toward Lewisburg.
That would be the last time that anyone would hear from District Attorney Ray Gricar.
The next day Gricar’s red Mini Cooper was found in the parking lot near the Street of Shops. Missing were Gricar’s keys, wallet, laptop and — Gricar.
Bellefonte Chief of Police Shawn Weaver said the case remains open and the department is optimistic that someone, or something will come forward to help solve the case.
As of now, however, Weaver said there have been no recent new leads.
There were reports from witnesses claiming to have seen Gricar in different parts of the country, but current Centre County District Attorney Michael Madira is reported to have said there have been no new leads in the case for roughly a year and a half.
The case is reviewed weekly by detective Matt Rickard.
“A lot of it is rehashing the case file, which at this point is huge,” Weaver said. “Detective Rickard has been going over all the documents — witness and financial statements.”
The leads are becoming few and far between as the case gets older, Weaver admits.
On July 29, 2005, a local fisherman found Gricar’s laptop in the Susquehanna River. Police speculate that the computer — which was missing its hard drive when found — was likely thrown off the Route 45 bridge.
In October 2005, a hard drive was found on the bank of the river near Lewisburg. Police related that it likely belonged to Gricar’s laptop but were unable to recover any information from it.
Other significant leads have included a female witness who was reportedly seen with Gricar in Lewisburg before he went missing, and a cigarette that was found in his car.
The theories as to what exactly may have factored into Gricar’s disappearance are varied, and have been explored on CBS’ “Without A Trace” and Court TV’s “Haunting Evidence.” Gricar has a missing person’s link from FBI.gov and his family has developed a Web site seeking information, www.raygricar.com.
Investigators will not speculate as to which theory is most relevant, and Weaver said the investigation will continue to explore the facts and evidence.
Murder certainly has been given consideration, due to the fact that Gricar’s job certainly may have garnered him a few enemies.
Gricar also had a family history of depression. In 1996, his brother Roy went missing for several days before being found later to have committed suicide.
It has also been considered that Gricar may have voluntarily went missing.
Regardless of what theory holds the truth behind Gricar’s disappearance, the only thing which is certain is that his whereabouts remain a mystery.
“We have had no major case breaking information recently,” Weaver said. “Until then, it continues to be relatively the same case we had three years ago.”

Andrew Zechman: 570-742-9671
andrew@standard-journal.com
http://www.standard-journal.com/news/x475312698

Ell - April 16, 2008 12:48 PM (GMT)

monkalup - July 5, 2008 06:07 PM (GMT)
Submitted by Pete Bosak on Tue, 2008-07-01 20:06.
What a day that was a bit surreal at best. At the Street of Shops in Lewisburg, in that little park with the river behind it. And those two bridges.

And then there's the three-year-old mystery that all unfolded right there.

Montour County District Attorney Bob Buehner and retired Clinton County District Attorney Ted McKnight held a news conference there today to blast Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira and his old boss, Attorney General Tom Corbett.

In short, the men say Madeira and Corbett have failed Ray Gricar, Centre County's longtime district attorney who vanished April 15, 2005.

Buehner and McKnight called Ray their friend, and a colleague whose abilities as a prosecutor they admired.

In any story, a reporter has to decide what he can get in and what he can't. Here are some quotes that didn't make the paper from today's presser. Here also are some observations in no particular order.

• Buehner called for a canvass of every hotel and motel in a 30-mile radius around Lewisburg. His theory is that if Ray was seen in Lewisburg both April 15 and 16, 2005, he had to stay somewhere since he didn't return home to Bellefonte.

"Logic would dictate he spent, somewhere in this area, Friday night," Buehner said. "I know for a fact that was not done, which tells us there has been a need from the beginning that an agency bigger than one investigator from Bellefonte Borough is needed to investigate."

• Both Buehner and McKnight said they believe Gricar was murdered. Both men said suicide or walkaway flies in the face of logic. And Gricar didn't jump in the river. It is way too shallow, Buehner said. "To commit suicide in that river would take a tremendous effort. And for that river not to yield a body is incomprehensible."

• When asked about Gricar's relationship with Tom Corbett, Buehner said his knowledge on the subject was limited, but "I don't think they were close friends at all." He pointed to the Attorney General having a narcotics office in State College.

"I'm not sure they always saw eye to eye because some things overlapped."

• Former Clinton County District Attorney Ted McKnight: "I believe he was murdered. Absolutely."

• "Ray's family deserves an answer, society deserves an answer and Ray's memory deserves an answer," Buehner said.

• "If you can take out a district attorney, what chance does the average citizen have?" Buehner said.

• "They are fully supportive of our efforts," Buehner said of Lara and Tony Gricar, Ray's daughter and nephew.

• More than a year ago, Buehner called Corbett a "gutless coward" for refusing to take the investigation from Centre County authorities. Buehner said Corbett retaliated by putting up a candidate to beat him in the last election. "Like many things Tom Corbett has done, he failed miserably," Buehner said. "Attorney General Corbett tried to silence me because I had the audacity to question his handling of the disappearance of Ray Gricar."

• "All we ever wanted was to find out what happened to our friend," Buehner said.

• "The investigation is just as much a mystery as the disappearance of Ray Gricar," Buehner said.

• "From what I can see, Union County has done the least," said Ted McKnight, about the home county to Lewisburg, where Gricar was last seen, where his car and laptop were found.

• "The worst he could do is break his ankles," Buehner said of Gricar possibly jumping from one of the two bridges into the river. "For those of us who live here, we know the river is very shallow."

• "I will never be satisfied by the lack of a result," said Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira after being told of the news conference.

• "I had committed to having this done before I got his letter," Madeira said of sending the laptop hard drive off to be tested by a private firm.

• "He waits three years after the disappearance of Ray to contact me. And he waits 30 days after writing a letter to call a press conference," Madeira said.

Well, that's that, for now. I have a feeling this isn't going to die down very quickly. But I will say this, we owe Ray. The man gave decades of his life upholding the laws of our commonwealth here in Centre County. We owe him. And it should not stand that a prosecutor, a man elected by the people, can disappear without a trace. Right or wrong, Buehner and McKnight generated a discussion and a debate that had essentially fallen silent. But where does it go from here?
http://community.centredaily.com/?q=node/5239

monkalup - July 5, 2008 06:07 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/news/local/story/696311.html

Friday, Jul. 04, 2008
GRICAR DISAPPEARANCE
Prosecutors speak out in support of Madeira
Pete Bosak
BELLEFONTE — Seven members of the Pennsylvania District Attorney Association held a news conference Thursday to support Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira and condemn the Montour County prosecutor’s public criticism of the investigation into the disappearance of Ray Gricar.

AP

Seven Pennsylvania District Attorneys and a member of the Office of Attorney general during a press conference about the handling of the disappearance of Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar in Bellefonte, Pa., on Thursday, July 3, 2008.


Firm will analyze hard drive
Your turn: Talk about developments in Gricar case
AG Corbett's letter to Montour DA
Back in Happy Valley: DA dogfight continues
Happy Valley Cops: Rally 'round Madeira
The men also rallied in defense of Union County District Attorney Peter Johnson and state Attorney General Tom Corbett, who they said were unfairly and unethically ripped by Montour County District Attorney Bob Buehner. Buehner held a news conference Tuesday to blast what he called a “shameful” investigation into the April 15, 2005, disappearance of Centre County’s top prosecutor.

“We certainly understand and share the intense desire to see a resolution to this case,” association president and Carbon County District Attorney Gary Dobias said. “However, our personal desire for answers cannot and should not take precedent over Pennsylvania

laws and jurisdiction. Nor should it turn into personal, vicious attacks against the public servants who have shown nothing but professional dedication and determination in solving this case despite little evidence.”

“Ray Gricar’s case is tough,” he said, “but it has been handled right.”

Buehner strongly disagrees. He sent Madeira and Johnson a letter nearly 30 days ago detailing three potential leads he felt were missed. He said Madeira did not respond to the letter until he learned of the news conference Monday night.

Advertisement
Madeira has said he does not answer to the Montour County prosecutor.

The panel assembled Thursday praised the Gricar investigation but soon came under fire from the audience of reporters and local lawyers when they conceded they do not know the details of the investigation.

They have never been asked by Madeira to review the case files and have never met to review the investigation in detail, members said. But they said they have absolute faith in Madeira and law enforcement.

And Buehner, they said, had no right to criticize the investigation.

Gricar family spokesman, Tony Gricar, said he was disheartened that his uncle was almost forgotten in what he said seemed to be more of a political rally Thursday. He praised Buehner and former Clinton County District Attorney Ted McKnight for fighting for the missing prosecutor.

“Two district attorneys stick their necks out to stick up for Ray, and Madeira wrangled up eight DAs to counter their attempts,” Tony Gricar said. “Two DAs stick their necks out and eight to 10 guys rally around the DA who hasn’t disappeared. I don’t get it.”

One prosecutor referred to Gricar as a friend and colleague while consistently mispronouncing his last name. Two other prosecutors praised the wrong police force, repeatedly praising the state police, rather than the Bellefonte Police Department, which is conducting the investigation.

But those men know the Gricar investigation far better than Buehner, said Madeira, who attended the press conference but stood in the back of the room in the Courthouse Annex.

“They know far more about this investigation than Buehner does because they bothered to ask me,” Madeira said. “You have to know about something to criticize it. They have asked me questions over the years and offered their support. Buehner has never spoken to me.”

The district attorneys, including Dobias, Johnson, Erie County’s Bradley Foulk, Lehigh County’s James Martin, Crawford County’s Francis Schultz, Delaware County’s G. Michael Green and Cumberland County’s David Freed, made clear they think Madeira is an excellent prosecutor and more than capable of running the investigation.

And they voiced their displeasure with Buehner for going outside “the family” as one prosecutor called it.

“Mr. Buehner, it pains me to say this, but you should be ashamed of your conduct,” Martin said, noting that Buehner was present.

Among the seven prosecutors and Rick Sheetz, state executive deputy attorney general heading up the criminal division, there is more than 130 years of prosecutorial experience and all agreed that Madeira, Bellefonte police and the state police have done an excellent job on the investigation. Sheetz noted that Corbett’s order to him when Gricar first disappeared was to provide every resource available to aid local and state police in the search.

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.


monkalup - July 5, 2008 06:08 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/news/local/story/694568.html

Thursday, Jul. 03, 2008
Firm will analyze hard drive
Madeira says Buehner 'dead wrong' in remarks on case
By Pete Bosak- pbosak@centredaily.com
BELLEFONTE — Centre County will spend thousands of dollars to have a Minnesota firm inspect the hard drive thought to be from the laptop computer belonging to missing former District Attorney Ray Gricar, his successor said Wednesday.


Gricar

Dentist gets OK for bigger building in Bellefonte
Your turn: Talk about developments in Gricar case
Montour DA's letter on Gricar case
Madeira blasted over probe
Happy Valley Cops: Gricar not forgotten
The computer hard drive was found, separated from the laptop, in the Susquehanna River in Lewisburg about six months after Gricar vanished on April 15, 2005.

Investigators had hoped the laptop would yield clues as to what may have happened to the career prosecutor who vanished just eight months before he was to retire. But a government lab determined it was too damaged to make data retrieval possible.

Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said plans were in the works to have the hard drive analyzed by the Minnesota firm, Kroll Ontrack, well before Montour County District Attorney Bob Buehner’s press conference Tuesday in Lewisburg, in which Buehner blasted Madeira for overseeing a “shameful” investigation.

Buehner, joined by former Clinton County District Attorney Ted McKnight in the park near the spot where Gricar was last seen, also took the state attorney general to task for refusing to take over the investigation from Centre County authorities.

“Buehner is flat wrong,” Madeira said. “People need to know he is being disingenuous at best. And that is saying it kindly.”

AdvertisementGricar took off work April 15, 2005, and called his girlfriend before noon to say he was driving along Route 192 and would not be back by midday to let the dog out. His red-and-white Mini Cooper was found the next day in a parking lot across from the Street of Shops in Lewisburg.

With no clues as to what happened to him, police held out hope the hard drive would tell them something. But after it was sent to the Secret Service in Philadelphia, then on to a lab in California run jointly by the Secret Service, FBI and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, authorities were told it was too badly damaged to recover any data.

At his press conference Tuesday, Buehner made public a letter he sent Madeira and Union County District Attorney Peter Johnson — whose jurisdiction includes Lewisburg — detailing how Kroll Ontrack was able to recover data from hard drives on board the space shuttle Columbia, which disintegrated during re-entry in 2003.

Madeira said he is working with Bellefonte police to have the hard drive sent to the company and said he does not know how soon the analysis could take place.

Madeira, who took office eight months after Gricar vanished, said Buehner has no right to publicly rip an investigation he knows nothing about.

“In three years he’s never contacted me,” Madeira said. “And now he wants to run the investigation? Any gentleman or professional would say, ‘How can I help?’ Not ‘How can I bash you?’”

Buehner, who like Madeira and Corbett is Republican, said he thought long and hard before he publicly criticized them. Madeira is close to Corbett and neither cares about what happened to Gricar, Buehner said.

“It was the right thing to do,” Buehner said of his press conference. “It just shows Madeira is an army of one. Well, an army of two. Him and Corbett. It’s not a pleasant task to take on another district attorney. But I asked myself, what would Ray think is the right thing to do?”

Tony Gricar, nephew of the missing prosecutor, still hopes a larger agency will take over the investigation from Bellefonte police, saying the past three years have been one confusing disappointment after another.

“I just don’t know where this is going,” Tony Gricar said. “I don’t even know where this has been.”

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.


monkalup - July 5, 2008 06:22 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/news/local/story/691931.html

Wednesday, Jul. 02, 2008
GRICAR DISAPPEARANCE: Montour County district attorney calls investigation "shameful"
Madeira blasted over probe
By Pete Bosak- pbosak@centredaily.com
LEWISBURG — In a park near the spot where former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar was last seen more than three years ago, Montour County District Attorney Bob Buehner held a news conference Tuesday to blast his counterpart in Centre County for a "shameful" investigation into what became of Gricar.


Montour County District Attorney Bob Buehner, left, and former Clinton County District Attorney Ted McKnight held a news conference Tuesday in Lewisburg to criticize the investigation into the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar.


Buehner also lambasted state Attorney General Tom Corbett for not taking over the investigation that he said has been mishandled, leaving few answers more than 35 years of his life to prosecuting criminals.

Buehner, who repeatedly spoke of his respect for his friend Gricar, released a letter he sent to Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira and Union County District Attorney Peter Johnson. The letter — which Buehner said Madeira never answered and did not acknowledge until he learned of the news conference — tells of a sighting of Gricar, not previously made public, in Lewisburg on April 15, 2005, the day he vanished.

It also lists the name, address and telephone number of a company that Buehner said might have the expertise to recover data from a computer hard drive believed to have come from Gricar’s laptop computer. The drive was found in the Susquehanna River about

six months after Gricar’s disappearance. A federal government lab determined it was too badly damaged for data to be recovered, but Buehner said the company he referenced was able to retrieve data even from hard drives damaged in the 2003 disintegration and fiery reentry of Space Shuttle Columbia.

Buehner said he mailed the letter to Madeira on June 3.

Madeira “did nothing” in response, Buehner said. “He did absolutely nothing for four weeks. This is the state that the investigation (is in) and it is shameful, it is reprehensible, and, frankly, it’s intolerable. The investigation that should have been done has not been done in this case.”

Gricar took April 15, 2005, off from work, and called his girlfriend that morning to tell her he was taking a drive on state Route 192. His Mini Cooper was found the next day in a parking lot across from the Street of Shops, an antiques mall in Lewisburg.

Some witnesses reported seeing Gricar at the antiques mall with a woman who police have not been able to identify. Witnesses also said Gricar, for some reason, moved his car from one spot to another in the fairly small Street of Shops parking lot, according to Buehner.

Buehner and former Clinton County District Attorney Ted McKnight called on Corbett in 2006 to take over the investigation from Madeira and Bellefonte police. Mc- Knight, now retired, joined Buehner at the news conference Tuesday and they repeated that call, saying Madeira does not appear to have interest in the case and Bellefonte police do not have the time or manpower the investigation needs.

“Clearly,” Buehner said, “they don’t have the resources to do anything.”

But Corbett will not act, Buehner said.

“There is one book that I am sure is not on Attorney General Corbett’s bookshelf,” Buehner said. “And that is ‘Profiles in Courage.’ If Attorney General Corbett would spend half as much time investigating this case as he does avoiding it, this case may well be solved.”

Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley said Buehner either does not know the law or misunderstands it. Corbett has no jurisdiction over the case and cannot simply take it over. There would have to be some kind of conflict of interest or a lack of resources or manpower before Corbett could get involved and neither is the case, Harley said.

“The law is very clear,” Harley said. “We do not have jurisdiction.”

Madeira said there is nothing the attorney general can do that has not been done. He criticized Buehner for calling a news conference because Madeira didn’t respond to the letter within a desired time-frame.

Madeira said he does not report to Buehner.

“With all due respect,” Madeira said, “He knows the individual with jurisdiction does not report to other jurisdictions. And he has allowed whatever emotional attachment he has to this to cloud his professional judgment.”

In his letter, Buehner pointed out that hotels and motels are required by Pennsylvania law to keep records of their guests for three years. Buehner said all motels and hotels within about a 30-mile radius should be canvassed by police looking for the “mystery woman” who was seen with Gricar.

Gricar was seen April 15 and 16, 2005, according to witness accounts, and therefore had to have stayed somewhere overnight, Buehner said.

In the letter he also noted that a witness contacted Mc- Knight after Gricar’s disappearance to say he had seen Gricar on U.S. Route 15 the afternoon of April 15. The witness was advised to contact Bellefonte police, but Buehner said the witness has never been interviewed.

Investigators have laid out three theories of what could have happened to Gricar: he was murdered, committed suicide or intentionally disappeared.

McKnight and Buehner on Tuesday rejected the last two theories.

“I believe he was murdered,” McKnight said. “Absolutely.”

Buehner said he has been in contact with Gricar’s daughter, Lara, and his nephew, Tony, who has served as family spokesman. He said he had their blessing to go public with his concerns.

“The more people who are standing up and screaming, the better,” Tony Gricar said when reached after the news conference. “(Buehner and McKnight) have a local voice there that we just don’t have. Anything that we can do to get a bigger organization with the knowledge and the manpower to investigate this, we will do.”

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.



monkalup - July 5, 2008 06:24 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/news/ray_gricar/story/426189.html

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008
FICTION OR CLUES?
Key events in Gricar disappearance
Pamela West, author of the book "20/20 Vision," says the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar has an eerie resemblance to a book she penned years ago. The top investigator in the case acknowledged the two are similar. "What does it mean?" Bellefonte police Detective Matt Rickard said. "I don't know."

Here’s a look at key events in the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar:

April 15, 2005:Gricar, then district attorney, calls his girlfriend at about 11:30 a.m. and says he is driving on state Route 192 in the Brush Valley area. Twelve hours later, she reports him missing.

April 16, 2005:Gricar’s Mini Cooper is found in a dirt parking lot across from the Street of Shoppes, an antiques mall on the outskirts of Lewisburg, near the Susquehanna River. Gricar’s county-issued cell phone is inside. His laptop computer, wallet and keys are not.

April 17 to 22:Searches of the Lewisburg area and the Susquehanna River yield nothing. The FBI is asked to help police access Gricar’s cell phone and bank records, but no activity is found on his credit cards or financial accounts. The disappearance begins drawing national media attention.

May 27, 2005:A retired police officer reported seeing Gricar and an older woman at a Southfield, Mich., restaurant. Police check into the lead but find no concrete evidence that Gricar had been there. It is the first of many reported sightings of Gricar. None have provided any new leads.

Advertisement
April 23, 2005:Two fishermen found Gricar’s laptop — missing its hard drive — in the Susquehanna River.

October 2005:The missing hard drive is found on the banks of the Susquehanna River. Experts later conclude it is too badly damaged to yield any data. May 10, 2006:Bellefonte police Officer Darrel Zaccagni, during an interview on Dateline NBC, discloses for the first time that police had received a report that Gricar was seen talking to a woman in Lewisburg the day he disappeared.

May 13, 2006:The Centre Daily Times publishes a report questioning whether the investigation into Gricar’s disappearance missed some possible leads. For example, the CDT reported that investigators dismissed an assistant district attorney’s report that she saw Gricar in Bellefonte the afternoon he vanished, and the lead investigator had not interviewed several people close to Gricar.

June 2006:Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira asks the State Police Criminal Investigation Assessment Unit to review the investigation. Dec. 2006:The results of the state police review are not made public; Madeira and Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver say that while some suggestions were offered, it produced no new evidence or missed leads.

Spring 2007:Bellefonte Detective Matt Rickard officially takes over the case.


tatertot - April 15, 2009 04:34 PM (GMT)
http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news...secomputer.html

Posted on Wed, Apr. 15, 2009
Missing Pa. DA had looked at how to erase computer
The Associated Press

BELLEFONTE, Pa. - A retiring district attorney who disappeared four years ago apparently conducted Internet searches on how to damage a hard drive, according to an analysis of his computer.

Ray Gricar was reported missing on April 15, 2005, about nine months before he was to retire as Centre County's top prosecutor. His car was found outside an antiques market he frequented in Lewisburg, near the Susquehanna River.

His laptop was found in the river without its hard drive three months later. The hard drive was fished out of the river in October 2005.

The Internet searches came to light after the computer was analyzed by state police investigators nearly three years ago, but they were not disclosed at the time.

Bellefonte Police Detective Matthew Rickard said Wednesday he was disclosing the information, first reported by the Centre Daily Times, in large part to help generate new interest in the case.

The Internet searches included information related to hard-drive-erasing products, as well as phrases such as "how to fry a hard drive" and "water damage to a notebook computer," Rickard said.

Authorities have said they are still considering all theories: that Gricar was a homicide victim, that he committed suicide or that he is living in hiding for some unknown reason.

"I want to generate some leads," Rickard said Wednesday. "Not to dispel the homicide theory, but to put out there that the information was found, in hopes of keeping interest in the case renewed."

Gricar's live-in girlfriend had told police in the days after the disappearance that the prosecutor had discussed buying a program to clean the county-issue hard drive of private information before returning it.

He apparently did purchase such software in 2004, and may have wanted to erase the hard drive on his county-issued laptop for that reason, Rickard said.

Gricar's nephew Tony Gricar, a family spokesman, told the Centre Daily Times that the newly disclosed information "looks like it absolutely knocks out the theory of foul play."

Still, he added, "Everything has been, still is, in that circumstantial realm. ... But I'd be a fool to say that I can rule out or can't rule out homicide at this point."

An FBI lab and a private lab have said they could not glean information from the waterlogged hard drive.

monkalup - April 18, 2009 01:17 AM (GMT)
Gricar Disappearance Anniversary
Reported by: Adam Paluka
Wednesday, Apr 15, 2009 @04:47pm EST


Please Select a Bandwidth High | Med | Low BELLEFONTE, CENTRE COUNTY – On Wednesday, Shawn Weaver defended the way his department has handled the investigation into the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar over the past four years.

Also, he explained why his department released new information about the former district attorney's computer searches only now.

“He was searching for information about Window Washer 5.0, wipe drives on the search engine, there was questions pertaining to how to erase a hard drive,” Weaver said.

Gricar also searched “how to fry a computer hard drive” and “water damage to a computer hard drive” on his personal computer. His county issued laptop was found in the Susquehanna River more than three months after the former D.A. vanished.

“This information may tend to lead more credibility to a walk away or a suicide however you can not count the possibility of a homicide . . . This means that Mr. Gricar was concerned about that computer in a way.”

Weaver told WTAJ News investigators found an opened box that at one time contained hard drive erasing software. It is his belief Gricar used that software on his county issued laptop. The Chief said the department gets about one tip a month about the cold case. That is why they released this latest tidbit of information.

“We feel putting some of this information out now will help spark more interest in the case, perhaps spark more leads.”

On April 15th, like everyday, Weaver cannot help but think about the biggest mystery in his small town's history.

“It's a very important case obviously, and we want to bring closure, not only to his family but his co workers and friends and the law enforcement community.”

The specialty firm hired last year to look into Gricar's water logged hard drive could not uncover any new data. Weaver called that a big disappointment. The hope now is this new information might jog someone's memory and lead to a resolution.
http://wearecentralpa.com/content/fulltext/news/?cid=81841

monkalup - April 1, 2010 04:51 AM (GMT)
http://www.wjactv.com/news/23017216/detail.html

Review Board Formed, New Probe Into Ray Gricar’s Disappearance
Posted: 5:16 pm EDT March 31,2010
Updated: 5:39 pm EDT March 31,2010

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller confirmed with WJAC-TV Wednesday that a review board has been formed to investigate the disappearance of former District Attorney Ray Gricar in 2005.

According to investigators, the last confirmed sighting of Gricar was in a parking lot outside a Lewisburg Antique Shop April 15, 2005.

Parks Miller recently reviewed the entire police report before launching the new task force.

“I personally don’t think it was homicide,” said Parks Miller. “I can tell you, what the public was told was the tip of the iceberg.”

Despite hundreds of tips and sightings reported to authorities, investigators are still unable to determine if the case is a homicide, suicide or if the former D.A. simply left the area at his own will.

Parks Miller told WJAC-TV that family members are satisfied with the renewed investigation efforts and may be re-interviewed.

monkalup - April 2, 2010 01:40 PM (GMT)
http://www.theprogressnews.com/default.asp?read=21863
Centre County DA forms board to review Gricar disappearance
Thursday, April 01, 2010
BELLEFONTE - In her 12th week in office, Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller has announced the formation of a new review board to look into the disappearance of former District Attorney Ray Gricar.
Parks Miller stated, "Ray Gricar's case has been a top priority for me since taking office. This review board is simply an extension of my review of the case and a natural format for investigators with many years of experience to lend their expertise to the ongoing investigation."
The board is made up of seasoned investigators from Centre County who are professionally qualified and personally motivated out of respect for Gricar and the years of service he provided to Centre County as district attorney, Parks Miller added. The review board is comprised of both investigators who have already been involved and also experienced investigators who have not yet been involved.
"My review of the investigation into Ray Gricar's disappearance has revealed a comprehensive investigation that ran much deeper than was portrayed in the media in the preceding years. I came to the table with many questions as an outsider, armed with only the information that was reported in the press," Parks Miller said.
"I was pleased to discover that these reported items were only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what was actually done and continues to be done in the investigation. All leads, even unlikely ones, have been pursued and will continue to be pursued. Many of the ideas and suggestions that poured in from the public have either already been explored or will be explored."
She said the family and loved ones have been apprised of the review board and support the process. The public can rest assured the case is not sitting cold on a shelf but is still being investigated and treated as the significant and important case it is. The review board will be yet another tool to make sure everything that can be done will be done to solve Gricar's disappearance.
Anyone with any leads of information is urged to call the Bellefonte police at 353-2320.

monkalup - July 26, 2010 05:14 AM (GMT)
From The Cleveland Times Free Paper
2005
Article Written By James Renner

THE RIVERS EDGE
Homicide? Suicide? Hoax?
A PROSECUTOR VANISHES AND THE CLUES POINT EVERYWHERE AT ONCE

The Village Of Bellefonte- which the residents pronounce Bellfont- is located alongside a river on the side of a mountain in central Pennsylvania. This time of year the town is saturated with hues of
red, brown and yellow from leaves hanging from the maples, oaks and elms of the endless forest that surrounds it. It's the prettiest autun in decades, thanks to the summer's drought, say a couple of old-timers sitting inside Plaza Centre Antiques.

The tale of Ray Gricar's disappearance is already legend here, Plaza Centre Antiques is in sight of the courthouse where Gricar worked. Two gray-hairs biding time at a card table near the entrance are happy to
share their memories on the fate of everyone's favorite prosecutor.

"Someone got rid of him," says Karl Rudeen, the one in the blue cap. "Everyone he put in jail has a motive. Take a number, get in line. He was killed for what was on the computer."

"Now hold on," says Ron Drenker, a skinny fellow in a red flannel button down, his white hair slicked back against his skull. "The man took an early vacation. Started a new life somewhere, I've thought about doing it, everyone has. And, he new how to do it, because that was his business."

The two men bicker and change their minds. Finally, they give up, frustrated. Denker walks away to tend his section of the store.

"We've had a couple guys disappear around here, never seen again,"says Rudeen in a low voice. "But that's just from a couple of wags" he shrugs. "Maybe he'll show up downstream, in Yellowknife."

Visitors to Bellefonte stay at Schnitzel's Tavern, a historic brick hotel constructed in 1868, one of the first in the country to have electric lights. Today, it advertises "Authentic German Dining in an Old World Setting." Across the street a tall monument honors the seven men from Bellefonte who went on to become governor. Orange koi swim under a bridge in the park and for a quarter you can feed them.



At the center of town, High street splits in two at a memorial for soldiers killed in combat and loops around the county courthouse and jail. Until recently, the man in charge there was District Attorney Ray Gricar. Gricar was a Cleveland id. Collinwood native, avid Indians fan.

Though isolated, Bellefonte is just a straight shot down I-80. It was that blacktop river that took Ray Gricar to Bellefonte from Cleveland 20 years ago,spiriting him to a new life.

Heading north, off Lamb Street, a large brick building, mostly garage serves as both the police station and firehouse. More than thirty bicycles lean against a wall beside two cruisers, just inside the garage. "You'd be surprised how many people lose a bike and never come to claim it," says Officer Darrell Zaccagni (pronounced Zeg- anny) as he leads a visitor upstairs. You can tell this bit of information digs at him a little, a collection of stories without conclusion.

On the second floor, a conference room serves as both the city council chambers and a fine place to interview witnesses. The room has a sterile cold feeling, drab walls contrasting with the tall-backed red leather chairs that surround a cheap wooden table. The officer sits and sighs. He was supposed to meet with Fox News today about the Gricar case, but they canceled again. They keep bumping him for updates on Michael Jackson, Natalie Holloway, hurricanes, the horror of the moment. His uniform is still crisp for the canceled interview.

He wrings his hands, considering where to start.

"His girlfriend called us 11, 11:30 that night to report Ray had not
come home yet," he begins.

"Wait," the visitor asks "Take it from the beginning, how did you know
Ray? Can you tell me a little about him?"

"Ray was the District Attorney, the County Prosecutor, same thing out here, for twenty years. I would go to his office sometimes and talk to him about a case. He was the type of guy where when we were done [talking] he would go over and open the door and wait for me to leave. You didn't chit-chat with Ray at work. He would walk right by you in the hallway. He would just be so focused. When you went into the office, if you didn't know there was a relationship between them, you couldn't tell."

"Between Ray and Patty, his girlfriend?"

Zaccagni nods. Patty Fornicola worked in the prosecutor's office as a victim's rights advocate. They started dating after Gricar's second marriage dissolved. Zaccagni had nown her since she was in high school and he was a rookie.

Pity the small town officer who finds himself swallowed up by high-profile mystery. With this one, it's tempting to rush past the beginning and jump ahead like this, to the laptop the fishermen found in the river, to the possible sighting in Texas, and work the clues backward. That seems the easiest way to go. Taken chronologically, it's easy to get lost. chronologically there are too many tangents, too many tributaries to float down.

The life of Ray Gricar never diverged much. It was as if a path had been set for him at birth, which he followed obediently for 59 years. Ray was born in October 1945, in the first wave of the Baby Boom. His family lived in the proudly Polish section of Collinwood. Growing up, Ray became passionate about Cleveland sports, and would often attend Cleveland Indians games with his older brother Roy. Later, he attended Gilmour Academy, an expensive Catholic preperatory school in Gate's Mills and earned a bachelor's degree from the University Of Daytonwhere he met a young freshman named Barbara Gray.

Though he first had aspirations to study Russian History, he focused on law after landing an internship at the Prosecutor's office. After graduation, he and Barbara moved to Cleveland and married in 1969. He earned a law degree from Case Western Reserve University and took a
job as an assistant prosecutor for Cuyahoga County. He went after career criminals. Rape, murder, the rougher cases.

In 1978, he and Barbara adopted a newborn girl, Lara. When Barbara was offered a position at Penn State in 1985, Ray took the opportunity to take some time off, opting to become a stay at home dad. They moved into a house near State College, Pennsylvania. This brief respite from the dark side of human nature was short lived. Eventually, the
darkness found him.

Word in Bellefonte was a young prosecutor had moved to Centre County, looking to get away from the big city. It just so happened that District Attorney David Grine needed a part-time assistant. It doesn't
appear that Gricar put up much of a fight when the town posse came knocking at his door. Maybe he thought this would be different, after all, Centre County sees only one or two homicides a year.

Gricar became First Assistant Prosecutor for Centre County in 1985. When the D.A became a judge later that same year, Gricar ran for the open position and won.

Even thought the D.A. gig was considered part-time, he often put in over 40 hours a week. That year, he successfully prosecuted one of the first cases in the country to use postpartum depression as a defense after a woman tossed her one-month-old son from a bridge into a local stream. She got eight to twenty years. In 1992, he prosecuted James R. Cruz, an interstate trucker who had dumped the body of a young girl on the on-ramp to I-80 heading out of town. Cruz was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. When an ROTC student open fired in the student union at Penn State in 1996-killing one girl and wounding another- Gricar put the shooter away for 30-to-60 years. Homicides were his specialty.

He and his wife divorced in the early 90's, but it appears the only other time Gricar's life took an unexpected turn was in May 1996, when his brother Roy, suddenly disappeared. Roy was living in Dayton at the time. He had just been fired from his job at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, where he worked as a private contractor. He suffered from bipolar disorder and had been acting erratic. On the pretense of heading to the store to buy a bag of mulch, Roy left the house and didn't come back.

For the next week, Tony Gricar, Roy's son, searched for his father. Ray drove in to speak to the local police and media. Then Roy's body was found in the Great Miami River. Cause of death was determined to be suicide by drowning.

Tony says his uncle was noticeably affected by the tragedy. But the always-focused Ray tried his best to move forward. A month later he married his second wife, Emma While Gricar was withdrawn, Emma was sociable and out-going. She liked to dance. Maybe he liked her for the way she complemented his silent nature. But in the end, the differences were too great. They divorced in 2001.

In January of this year, after two decades as District Attorney, Gricar announced that he would not seek re-election. He hoped to travel. He wanted to visit his daughter Lara in Seattle, where she attends college, maybe spend some time in New England- he especially liked Vermont.

On Friday, April 15, Gricar told his new girlfriend, Patty Forniacola, he wasn't going to work. He said he thought he might play hooky and head into Lewisburg, an hour's drive to the east, to do some antiquing. This was not unusual. Gricar would often take half days off to visit antique shops in nearby towns, questing for vintage toys. Small metal cars, outdated appliances.

Fornicola asked him to call if he wouldn't be back in time to walk the dog at noon. That was the last time she saw him.

Since then, Tony has found himself filling the role for his uncle that Ray took for Roy; family spokesman. For the last month, the 32-year-old entrepreneur from Dayton has been in seclusion at a family owned cabin in Selena, Ohio, coming into town only for interviews with Larry King and to receive updates from Zaccagni. The last six months wear on him.

"There are enough clues to take you in any direction," he says"and enough left over to rein you back in."

Officer Darrell Zaccagni's voice takes on the air of urgency as he gets to the meat of his story, the part where Ray Gricar stops being an aloof acquaintance and becomes the main focus of his job.

Zaccagni begins: "He called [Fornicola] about 11:30 that morning and said ,"Well, I'm on 192. I'm not going to make it home in time to take care of the dog" he says "See you later" Fornicola recalls nothing unusual about his tone.

"When he wasn't home at dinnertime- she kind of expected him home by then -and when he wasn't there, she thought "what's eeping him? Oh, he stopped to get something to eat", but when it got to be about 10, 11 O'clock at night, she's like, "no, he should be home by now", so then she called us.

"We put out a local message to be on the lookout for him. In the morning we started taking it a little more seriously. Obviously now this was a missing person."

That evening, a State Trooper spotted the car in a parking lot across from an antique mall in Lewisburg. The interior and exterior of the car were examined, the surrounding area searched . There were no signs of a struggle, and no one had attempted to wipe away any fingerprints.

"The biggest thing that was found in the car that didn't jive with what we know about Ray was some cigarette ashes," Zaccagni continues,"Now we're not talking alot. But some minute cigarette ash on the passenger's side. When they opened the car, they got a tobacco smell. A cigarette smell came out of the car. Ray didn't smoke. And he never let anybody smoke inside his Mini Cooper. Ray was very fastidious about his car. The cell phone was in there turned off.
Nothing appeared to be missing.

"Later we went to the house and his work and collected all the computers he used for processing to see if there was something on his computers to tell us what had happened. When we went to collect the computer from the house , Patty asked us if we wanted his work laptop too. They had been using his work laptop to do internet searchesand things, but had recently bought a seperate one for the home, "So we don't use it anymore," Patty said. So she goes up and brings down the empty case ans says "It's not here." So, it's missing but all the peripheral stuff is there:the power cord, the floppy drive, everything
extra you would need for the laptop, it's all there. The only thing missing is the laptop with it's self-powered battery that lasts for two or three hours.

"The question becomes, why would a person, who is just going for a leisurely drive take the time to go upstairs and remove the laptop from it's case and take it with them? Why not take the case?"

Zaccagni anticipates his visitor's response. This makes no sense."

"It makes a lot of sense," he replies with a smile before returning to the chronology.

"Friday night, people remember the car sitting in the parking lot. It's a very distinct car. Two people in the antique mall are positive they seen him in there. One man is positive he saw Gricar talking to a female on several occasions., I asked him "Were they together?" he said "Well, in my mind they were together, but they weren't holding hands, they weren't lovey-dovey or anything."

"We have three or four good witnesses from down there who are definitely I.D.-ing him in the park. They saw him sitting in his car, they watched him driving his Mini Cooper back and forth on Friday."

"We can definitely put him there on Saturday too. There's a museum right here, across from the park. I think it's called Cottingwood House. The employees watched Ray bring his car and park it two or three different times across the street. He came and left, came and left, came back. He got out of his car, sat on a bench. He was reading a newspaper or something, he just seems to have fallen off the earth.
What does Zaccagni make of all of this ? "Depends on what theory
you want to go after," he says, pulling himself up to the table. "You
have three prominent theories here."

Theory One: HOMICIDE. Twenty years spent convicting Centre County's
most hardened criminals earns you some enemies. Maybe some thug killed
him and made off with the computer.

Or, perhaps Gricar had uncovered high level corruption, something so
potentially damaging he could only store the evidence on his personal
laptop. Maybe he offered the person a chance to come clean, setting up
a meeting just outside of Centre County's jurisdiction where he could
lay out the gathered information in seclusion. Give them some time to
think it over.

Zaccagni points to the park. "He's contemplating what this guy should
do, and this guy shows up and this ends up becoming a homicide because
Ray doesn't understand how dangerous this man is."

But, if it's a clandestine meeting, why spend the day looking at
antiques with some woman ?? Why spend the night there ?? Several
people claim to have seen him Saturday morning.

Theory Two: SUICIDE. The family history supports this. Tony Gricar
tracked down aerial photographs of both the site where his father's
car was found by a river in Dayton and from North Water Street where
Ray's car was parked by the Susquehanna. The similarities are
striking. The bridge, the water, the car are all in the same place in
relation to each other.

Zaccagni thinks maybe Ray kept a diary on his laptop. Maybe that's why
it's gone. He was traveling to parks to think it through maybe. "We
know that on Thursday, April 14, he was at another big body of water,"
says Zaccagni. "He's over in the Huntingdon area. Raystown Dam. We
have some people who saw him there."

But no one has ever known Gricar to keep a journal. And he was making
plans, looking forward to traveling after retirement. He showed no
signs of the depression that drowned his brother.

Coworkers certainly noticed no difference. "He did not have any change
in his physical appearance or mental state," says Mark Smith, Gricar's
first assistant. "The entire office is baffled by his disappearance."

And finally, suicide is a private act. Why invite someone to smoke in
your car before you jump off a bridge ?

Theory Three: HOAX. Gricar was seen with a woman at the antique mall,
though witnesses can't say for sure if they were romantic. She could
have been a smoker, though Gricar abhorred the habit. Was Lewisburg
their rendezvous before skipping town and starting a new life ?

Even the computer makes sense. He's been communicating via email,
Zaccagni speculates, playing devil's advocate. "It's all on the
laptop. Maybe some directions. Maybe he's been doing some online
banking, because he has a special account set up in a different name."
So he took it with him. And he took the laptop out of the bag to buy
some extra time.

The biggest problem with this theory is his daughter Lara. Lara, whom
Gricar cared for after a skiing accident in 2001. Lara, whom all his
secretaries knew to patch through whenever she called, or face the
most severe reprimand. But Lara has not been contacted by her father.
She recently took a lie-detector test to prove it.

New evidence only adds to the confusion.

On July 30, two fishermen pulled the laptop from the Susquehanna,
under a bridge, directly behind the park where Gricar was last seen.
The hard drive had been removed.

On September 23, a woman walking the low banks of the river came
across a piece of electronic equipment one inch by three inches- a
hard drive. This was near a railroad bridge a half mile upstream from
where the Mini Cooper was parked. The hard drive is the same make and
model as Gricar's laptop, but Centre County did not keep tabs on the
serial numbers, so Zaccagni can only assume it's the one he's looking
for while he awaits confirmation from a lab in California. Says
Zaccagni: "It looks like a duck, but we're waiting to see if it quacks
like a duck." After the five months the equipment spent in the water,
he's not holding his breath.

.........

State Route 192 is not the easiest way to get to Lewisburg from
Bellefonte- heading down Route 45 shaves about 10 minutes off the hour
long journey. But, it is the more scenic road, winding between two
mountains through sparse villages where fields of seed corn outnumber
houses 10 to one. Only four FM radio stations can be picked up
clearly, but sometimes lower-frequency stations sneak through the
static, like pale faces glimpsed under water. Evangelical doomsayers,
mostly.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. And suddenly, there's Lewisburg, home to
Bucknell University. The houses here are Victorian or Colonial and
tower over the main thoroughfares. A movie theater with a tall marquee
advertises an upcoming documentary festival. The sidewalks are
illuminated by glass orbs hanging from wrought iron stands.

The bridge above the spot where the fisherman found the laptop is a
bout a quarter mile long. Zaccagni figures Gricar jumped from the
south side of the bridge, where the pedestrian walkway is; if you're
going in, why cross the street and climb over a concrete wall to do so
? But the river flows south and the laptop was found north of the
bridge.

Nor does it seem that the fall could have killed him. It's only about
25 feet to the water.

So what became of Ray Gricar ?

In August, a man in Texas who'd seen a TV report on Gricar's
disappearance used his camera phone to snap pictures of a man who
looked strikingly similar in a Chile's restaurant. He was sitting
alone. Patty Fornicola said it was her boyfriend, but his nephew said
it was definately not. The FBI analyzed the picture, according to
Zaccagni, and concluded that if it was Gricar, he'd had minor plastic
surgery.

Zaccagni says Fornicola's identification was clouded by optimism.
"She's hoping against hope that Ray is still out there," he says.
"She'll deal with why he's doing this to her later."

And who was the woman in the antique store?

Why was the hard drive removed from the computer if it ended up in the
river anyway?

Who was smoking inside the car ?

It's a mystery to be riddled out on porches overlooking the
Susquehanna or in the cars driving through the void of 192. And it
could be that no one ever comes up with an explanation more solid than
what the old man in the antique mall said: Sometimes, out here, people
just disappear.




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