Part I: Ray Gricar Missing Person

This is the first post of a multiple part series on the Ray Gricar missing person case. My format for case postings will be provide some background, list oddities, and discuss the available evidence and the probability of certain scenarios that would explain the disappearance.

As with any police investigation, outsiders (like me) are only making an educated guess as to what happened. Obviously, many more details are known by investigators that are never released to the general public. In contrast, with the Internet and the ability to communicate directly with members of the missing person’s family, more case details are available to the general public as compared to ten or so years ago.

Case overview:
Ray Gricar was a district attorney in Pennsylvania for the area that includes Penn State University for 20 years. On April 15, 2005, he called his girlfriend and stated that he was taking a vacation day from work and driving to a town about an hour away to do some antiquing. He was reported missing when he did not return home, and his vehicle was recovered the next day in a parking lot next to an antique shop in Lewisburg, PA.

Gricar’s keys, wallet, sunglasses, and laptop were initially listed as missing. After a comprehensive search of the area around Gricar’s car, nothing was found. Strangely, in September 2005, Gricar’s laptop minus the hard drive was recovered submerged in the Susquehanna River a hundred yards or so near where the vehicle was recovered. Authorities again searched the area, and reportedly found nothing else.

Two months later a boy and his mom skipping rocks discovered the laptop’s harddrive in the shallow water a few yards away from where the laptop had been previously recovered. Authorities and private computer services were unable to retrieve any of information from the hard drive due to the extent of the damages.

What Makes This Case Odd
Point 1-Uncertainty (Crime or Left Willingly: In most missing person cases, the more the investigation moves forward, the likelihood that one of four scenarios occurred develops—either the person left voluntarily, was a victim of a crime, has mental problems that resulted in the disappearance, or was suicidal. With the Gricar case, indications that he could have been a crime victim or left voluntarily are both strong.

Other than having personality oddities, I did not get the impression that he had mental problems; and, with no body, the likelihood of suicide has decreased drastically.

Point 2-Minimal connections: Gricar had few connections to the area that have would prevented him from planning his disappearance. He was divorced twice, has an adult daughter who resides out of state, and was living with his girlfriend. He owned no property, had no investments, and was set to retire in a few months.

In phone conversations with his girlfriend on the day of his disappearance, he said that he would not make it home to let his dogs out. It could be argued that his animals, that would be cared for by his girlfriend, were one of the few bonds that he had linking him to his community. In sum, one would expect a person who worked in a community for so long to have more tangible connections to the area.

I’ll post more soon…