Skip to comments.Third witness says she saw Gricar
Posted on 04/22/2005 4:47:01 AM PDT by tomkat
BELLEFONTE -- The collection of clues is growing, but Bellefonte police still have no answer as to the whereabouts of District Attorney Ray Gricar, who has been missing for the past week.
In a room packed with reporters, including Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, Bellefonte Police Chief Duane Dixon said another Lewisburg business owner said she thinks she saw a man fitting Gricar's description between 1 and 2 p.m. Saturday. She is the third person to report possibly seeing Gricar on Saturday.
Based on that, Dixon said, police will continue to focus their search efforts in the Lewisburg area. All week, investigators have been interviewing people and searching the Susquehanna River by boat and the surrounding area -- all the way to Harrisburg -- by helicopter.
So far, though, those searches have come up empty. Police have found no information on Gricar's whereabouts between the time he called co-worker and girlfriend Patty Fornicola, about 11:30 a.m. Friday and when the business owners reported spotting him in Lewisburg a little more than 24 hours later.
"We can't just focus on one thing. You've got a murder case, you focus on a murder. You've got a kidnapping case, you focus on a kidnapping," Dixon said. "I've got a missing person's report, so I got to look at everything from foul play to he left by himself, is there a medical issue, or is there a mental health issue. Everything is being looked at."
Police received a copy of Gricar's medical records from Geisinger Health Systems after requesting a search warrant Wednesday. The request was based in part on Fornicola's statements that Gricar had been "complaining of fatigue and would often have to take naps at lunchtime and after his work day," according to the warrant.
Also at Thursday's news conference, both Dixon and Fornicola repeatedly asked members of the media to stop speculating about the case, specifically about the state of Gricar's mental health.
"We, the family, are continuing to treat this as a missing person's case and would greatly appreciate the media continuing to do the same," Fornicola said. "There is a lot of speculation about what has occurred, but we have no conclusive evidence to confirm any of those scenarios."
Dixon said there is no evidence that Gricar had been diagnosed with depression or that his disappearance had anything to do with that of his brother in May 1996. Roy Gricar was missing for five days before his body was pulled from a river near Dayton, Ohio. His death was ruled a suicide, according to earlier reports.
Fornicola ended her statement by asking anyone who has seen Gricar or has any information about him to call police. She did not answer questions.
Among the other clues police have investigated this week was a cassette tape reportedly found in the Street of Shops parking lot in Lewisburg where Gricar's car was parked. The postal carrier who picked up the cassette said he didn't remember seeing Gricar's red-and-white Mini Cooper.
It turned out to be an aerobics tape, Dixon said.
"We listened to both sides of it," he said. "There's nothing of note on there."
Police found Gricar's county-issued cell phone inside the Mini Cooper, which is registered to Fornicola and used by the both of them. Still missing is Gricar's laptop computer, wallet, sunglasses and keys.
Dixon said a police dog that sniffed around the lot where Gricar's car was found acted in a way that "possibly could have meant that Ray might have gotten into another vehicle."
Five fingerprints found in or on the Mini Cooper have been sent to the state police crime lab in Harrisburg and will be compared with Fornicola's and Gricar's prints, Dixon said. Cigarette butts found in the parking lot also will be analyzed, although Dixon said it's unlikely they are connected to the case.
Investigators said they have found no activity on Gricar's credit cards or bank account since he's been missing. They also said there were no unusual withdrawals before he disappeared. They have not looked into the district attorney's office finances, Dixon said Thursday.
Also at Thursday's news conference were several officials, including Bellefonte Borough Manager Ralph Stewart and two county commissioners, Steve Dershem and Scott Conklin.
Gricar was the subject of a brief discussion at Thursday's county commissioners meeting. They debated whether to suspend Gricar's pay until he is located but decided to wait two weeks, until the end of the next pay period. The move would be to protect not only the taxpayers but also the missing district attorney, Commissioner Chris Exarchos said.
"These are mysterious circumstances. We don't know who has access to his accounts," Exarchos said. "It's for his own protection, as well."
Gricar, with a $129,000 annual salary, will be paid for the last two weeks he worked. If his pay is suspended, money he is owed would be held for him, commissioners said.
"It's a difficult situation we find ourselves in," Dershem said. "We've never lost a public official before."
I think I saw him at a truck stop in Gorman California. He got into his big rig and drove away, with Elvis.
1) He's dead.
2) He's shacked up with some floozy.
I bet he's dead.
I saw this exact thang on Law and Order.
As an after thought, how long has he been missing? Is there any way to tie him to Ray Reggie and his magic tape recorder?
What happened on Law and Order?
He did just make a big heroin ring bust not too long ago.
Her death was staged and she was whisked away by the alphabet people.
She did a reappear to say bye to the detectives that were handling her murder.
I only posted this thread and took the pics referenced above 'cause it's all right across the river from me.
Lewisburg is a lovely little town, slightly leftish because of Bucknell, but surrounded by much conservativism.
State College, 50mi west of here, is Gomorrah in comparison.
The local paper here ran this story yesterday:
Stuff like this doesn't happen around here too often.
There are some pretty ornery dudes locked up in the Federal Pen out north of town, but their claims to fame all happened somewhere else.
Anyway, Gricar is reputed to be a pretty decent guy, and for his family's sake I hope he turns up safe somewhere.
Sounds like possible symptoms of Depression, which the police are looking into as a possible indication of suicide. I saw a photograph of him that was shown on Fox News. He LOOKED depressed in the photo. That is not a diagnosis, btw, just something I noticed. If anyone can find and post the photo, it might prove interesting. Then there's the part about his brother committing suicide nine years ago, very near this time of year. Could Depression run in the family? Could he be depressed in part because of his brother's suicide? I have a sense this might be a personal, rather than a professional thing, but who knows? It might even be some of both. The "met with foulplay angle" is being played down by just about everyone, is it not? An impression I have, anyway...
Maybe he's in the desert rebuilding his crashed airplane into a new one to fly home..
A pretty decent guy? When he was married and poundatating the office secretary, who he eventually left his wife for?
I've no clue as to the man's personal life or background.
What I do know is that the ending of some 'marriages' is the best/healthiest possible outcome for all involved.
LOL, NBC recycled an old episode of "Wings" when Lowell had to go into witness protection.
I think he's shacked up with some floozy. Maybe a male floozy (er...whatever you call a male floozy).
And as for calling himself a Republican, that doesn't always mean much. Lincoln Chaffee and Chuck Hagel call themselves Republicans too.
As posted earlier, there was a very prominent and respected Republican lawyer in my area who faked his own suicide at the Jersey shore --left his car, wallet etc. in his car in the beach parking lot, and articles of clothing on the beach.
Well, that guy was found a few weeks later, shacked up with a floozy in Mexico.
Though what's on their site at the moment is from last week, a car from WNEP-TV16 was looking for a parking place along the 'Street of Shops' as I was driving by.
They're out of Wilkes-Barre but are as close as we get to 'local' tv and they do a pretty good job of it.
Will watch their broadcast at 6 (unless my Sometimer's kicks in ;) and report back if there's anything substantive...
Meant to say they do a pretty good job of getting airtime for local stuff.
They're still an ABC affiliate, ergo a socialist propaganda circlejerk.
whew, now i feel better
Hey, tomkat...next weekend is the Lewisburg Arts Festival...a street fair and art exhibit combo. Maybe Ray will resurface then.
I did have a thought about that antiques mart on Water. Down in the basement it's kind of creepy, and there are some back corners where no one would ever notice if you fell over with a heart attack. But if that happened, the people with shops downstairs would have realized it by now...one week later.
About Ray being sleepy and taking naps...could be his heart...or, meds he was on...or, staying up late at night conversing with "new" friends in chatrooms on the internet. By now they must have examined his computer to find any leads of this nature.
The video on the 6pm newscast is mainly of boats and cadaver dogs on the river.
Otherwise, the info in the story below is about all they have, by the sound of it.
It's been one week since Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar disappeared. Now crews are using a cadaver dog to help in the search.
Crews said they are trying to keep their hopes high but after one week of searching, those hopes are starting to fade.
Search and rescue teams from four central Pennsylvania counties gathered in Lewisburg Friday. The 59 year old D.A. drove to Lewisburg last Friday, parked his car at a street of shops and hasn't been seen since.
"From the possible depression, suicide situation to the 'I just walked away. I want to get away for a while' or possible foul play yet, nothing's been ruled out," Bellefonte Police Chief Duane Dixon said.
He is leading the investigation and is trying new tactics to find Gricar, including using a cadaver dog.
"This morning (Friday) we put the boat out on the river with the cadaver dog around 7:20, 7:30 this morning," he said.
The dog from Dauphin County can pick up human scent, even if a body is underwater. Chief Dixon thinks if Gricar is in the river, he'll need the dog or trained divers to find him.
"Due to the weather the water is still a little cold yet and it could take longer for the body to come up if, in fact, the body would be in the river. Also (it) could be snagged on something," the chief added.
Thirty to 40 searchers spent the day looking for the missing man. Some were on foot, others were in boat, all covering all the bases until new information comes in.
"Being the last place he was observed, we're going to continue to search down in this area until we get leads that tell us otherwise, to go another direction," Dixon said.
Gricar was last seen wearing blue jeans and a dark blue fleece shirt. Bellefonte police would like a phone call if you know anything about his whereabouts. The number is 814-353-2320.
There's a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the Gricar's location.
Centre County District Attorney page and photo here:
Look at this one; although it is small like the one you linked to, it really makes him look depressed. This is one like I saw when Greta covered this, only that one was much enlarged.
That just might be the case.
Normally they come in the middle of the night to haul someone in witness protection, but since he was shacking up with a woman they might have wanted to keep it private, and follow him. He would definitely have known beforehand if he were a candidate for witness protection, which would have caused his anxiety. Protocol for the Marshal Service is to impound the witness's vehicle and assets, and sell them, but the car was in her name, so they just left it there.