EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Where is Ray Gricar? The Centre County District Attorney vanished in April of 2005.
Despite the passage of more than 15 years, his disappearance is still the focus of much speculation across our region.
59-year-old Ray Gricar was the top prosecutor in Centre County for 20 years. Investigators say his disappearance is one of the most intriguing cases they have ever seen.
Gricar was known as a tough but fair prosecutor, elected as the Centre County District Attorney in 1985. Re-elected four times, he announced in 2005 he would not run for re-election. That same year, he vanished without a trace.
His mysterious disappearance began to unfold on a sunny Friday afternoon on April 15th, 2005 when investigators say he told his longtime girlfriend that he was going for a drive.
His red mini-cooper was discovered the next day parked outside “The Street Shops”, an antique mall in Lewisburg, Union County.
“It’s kind of been a cold case for us. We’ve had no other person come forward. I’m sure by this day a lot of people don’t really remember the situation or the occurrence,” said Buffalo Valley Regional Police Chief Paul Yost.
Yost says it is one of the most intriguing, if not bizarre, cases he’s ever seen. Gricar’s cell phone was inside the mini-cooper. It was turned off and there were no signs of foul play.
Two weeks later, Gricar’s laptop was found in the nearby Susquenanna River. Its hard drive was missing.
“Like I said time always erases memory. Another issue we did you know quite an exhaustive look through everything. We could at that time, assisting Centre County on this. We really didn’t have anything substantial come forward for us. And of course back then video systems were not as good as they are now,” said Yost.
Chief Yost is hopeful the I-Team focus on the case can help bring some answers to this cold case.
“I always like it when the news brings forth an older case like this because there may be somebody out there that can provide some additional details to us that will help us move in a new direction,” Yost said.
Chief Yost urges anyone with any information about Gricar’s disappearance, no matter how insignificant they might assume it may be, to contact law enforcement.
“I would say if they have something, if they’re not sure if it is a relevant piece of information, they can either contact our department or call the Centre County District Attorney’s office… You know provide them with the information,” Yost said.
Investigators say they have not ruled anything out as for the reason for his disappearance. Of course, there has always been speculation that maybe Gricar was the victim of foul play since he had prosecuted thousands of cases over those 20 years.
Was he targeted by someone? Detectives say they were unaware of any threats made against him.
The possibility that he wanted to disappear for whatever reason has not been ruled out, but we do know that a Centre County judge declared Gricar officially deceased in July of 2011. A hearing was held at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte.
His only daughter as well as his girlfriend testified at that hearing, saying there had been no sign of him and that his bank accounts and credit cards were never used after he vanished on April 15th of 2005. There was no electronic footprint.