Ray Gricar was a successful prosecutor who was later elected district attorney in Pennsylvania. He had been practicing law since 1985, and by the time his career reached its 20-year mark, he had prosecuted many notable and high profile cases. He planned on not running for reelection of district attorney in 2005 and announced his retirement beginning in December 2005. But before Gricar would retire, in April 2005, he would vanish from a small Pennsylvania town with little evidence left behind for investigators.
It was April 15, 2005 when Gricar told his live-in girlfriend that he was going for a drive in the Brush Valley area of Pennsylvania, about an hour north of where he lived. His girlfriend thought nothing of it until he failed to return home nearly 12 hours later.
The following day, his car, a red MINI Cooper, was discovered in an antique store parking lot in Lewisburg, PA. Located inside was the cell phone he used for work; his keys, wallet, and laptop were missing. There were no immediate signs of foul play in and around the vehicle, and antique store workers told investigators they remembered seeing Gricar and a woman walking around the store in a non-suspicious manner the day he went missing. Could he have been having an affair with another woman, unbeknownst to his family and long-term girlfriend? His daughters and his girlfriend did not think that was possible; Gricar was in a wonderful, healthy relationship and his girlfriend said they had never felt happier together.
There was one thing that did interest investigators, which was the actual position of where his car was found – near two bridges of the Susquehanna River. Could he have been robbed, killed, and thrown in the river? Could the mystery woman he was with in the store lured him to his death? The river surrounding the location of the car was searched, but nothing was found. Months later, however, fisherman discovered a lap top missing a hard drive at the bottom of the river in a shallow area. They turned it over to police, who determined that this was the laptop that was missing from Gricars abandoned vehicle. Divers searched for the hard drive, believed to have also been in the river, and they located it approximately 100 yards away from where the computer was found. Since the hard drive had been sitting in the water for months, forensic experts were unable to recover any information from it.
Police had searched Gricars bank accounts and found no activity after he was reported missing and also analyzed his cell phone records, but no clues surfaced despite the analysis. However, police were able to search his home computer years later where they found records of internet searches of the following queries: how to wreck a hard drive, how to fry a hard drive, and water damage to a notebook computer. This was the biggest lead investigators had that indicated that Gricar purposefully vanished and had been planning his disappearance, knowing there was incriminating information on his work laptop that could reveal his location. Could he have calculated a getaway from the United States, planned to live a new life under a new identity simply because he did not want to be found? Those closest to Gricar said he would never do that to his family and loved ones, knowing all of the pain and uncertainty it would cause them.
Could someone had sought revenge on a case Gricar had prosecuted? Gricar was the prosecutor who had declined to initially press charges on Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State assistant football coach accused of sexual abuse in the late 1990s. Though Sandusky was eventually charged and convicted after Gricars disappearance, could one of the victims wanted revenge on Gricar for initially declining the case? The two major theories of what happened to Gricar still remained: did he vanish voluntarily or was he a victim of foul play?
Ray Gricars daughter had him declared legally dead by a judge in 2011. Leads, tips, and sightings come in every so often and the state police have recently taken over the case, they are still no closer to finding Ray Gricar, dead or alive.
If you have any information pertaining to the disappearance of Ray Gricar, please call the Pennsylvania state police tip line: 800-472-8477. Connect with our appeals lawyers.
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