Fellow crime blogger JJ in Phila continues to dig into the strange disappearance of Ray Gricar.
Reading his work, motivated me to post the following on the case.
In addition, Gricar's hard drive was found months after the car and computer were recovered--submerged in the same river area.
Case Update: About the Witnesses
Unlike some of the other older missing person cases, Ray Gricar's disappearance includes numerous reported sightings of the missing man. In a two-part guest post earlier this year, JJ detailed many of those witness accounts.
At least twelve persons claim to have seen Mr. Gricar between April 15th and April 18th, 2005.
A colleague and attorney reported to police that she saw him near the courthouse parking lot in the community where he worked. An off-duty police officer and a bartender told authorities that they believe they saw Mr. Gricar at a restaurant in Wilkes-Barre, PA, a 90-minute drive from where his car was recovered, on April 18, 2005.
Recently, additional information was made public about two citizens who believe they saw Gricar in Michigan a month after he disappeared.
JJ from Phila offers this potential description of the account, known as the Southfield Sighting:
...The date was Friday, May 27, 2005. The place was a restaurant in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, MI. The witness was having dinner with his daughter when he noticed someone who looked vaguely familiar; he couldn’t place the other man and pointed him out to his daughter.
The man was with a woman, but one about 70 years old. The witness even said hello to the man, though the witness couldn’t place where he had seen him before.
When the man returned home, he caught a repeat of a news show about Mr. Gricar, one that showed his photo. The witness instantly recognized that the photo was of the same man he had seen earlier in the day.
The witness was more than just a run of the mill witness. He was a retired Detroit police officer who also happened to be a composite artist...If this was Gricar, why Southfield? Why would he be drinking beers at a chain restaurant in Wilkes-Barre?
JJ has some interesting thoughts as to the Southfield Sighting, but I wanted to make one observation.
The more credible witnesses that authorities have documented in the case file, the more likely it is that Ray Gricar left his life in Pennsylvania voluntarily.
Does it eliminate the other explanations for Gricar's disappearance like crime or suicide victim?
Certainly not, but an unmarried man nearing retirement, with an adult child who lives in another state, and who seemingly had lots of ends tied-up prior to vanishing, could have fled PA to start fresh somewhere else using a different identity.
Back in April, I modified my percentages as to what I believe happened to Mr. Gricar--showing voluntary disappearance to be the most likely explanation (based on what is known by the public):
Left Willingly: 49%
Crime Victim: 44%
Suicide or Other: 7%
I still view Gricar being the victim of a crime as a reasonable possibility, but in my opinion, any of the latest information released about Gricar's disappearance, has only further supported theories that he is alive and chose to leave.
Previous posts on Ray Gricar can be accessed here.