Monday, December 05, 2016

Mystery Monday: Ray Gricar

It's Monday, which means it's time for:



Every Monday, I'm presenting a new mystery. Some have been solved...some remain unsolved to this day. 

Last week's mystery focused on a businessman who disappeared and was eventually found. This week, we look at a very similar story...with one key difference: Ray Gricar's body is still missing.



From 1985 to 2005, Ray served as the district attorney of Centre County, Pennsylvania. He was involved in numerous cases during his time, but in retrospect, the most notable was his decision NOT to prosecute this man during the first round of child sexual abuse allegations in 1998:



But several years before word of Jerry Sandusky's elicit activities came out, Ray vanished. He was last seen on April 15, 2005. That morning, he woke up early and told his live-in girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, that he would be playing hooky from work that day.


Ray's girlfriend, Patty Fornicola

He was still at home when Patty left for work that morning. He called her around 11:30 a.m. to tell her he'd taken his Mini Cooper for a ride. Long drives were a favorite pastime of his.



When Patty returned from work that evening, Ray still wasn't home. Calls to his cell phone went straight to voicemail. After a few hours, she called 911.



The next day, officers found his car in the parking lot of this antique store approximately 55 miles from his home:



The car was locked, his cell phone inside, and there was a strong tobacco odor in the car. Ray was not a smoker and he would never have let anyone smoke in his car, loved ones said. There were cigarette butts on the ground nearby.



Family members made the connection between Ray's death and the death of his brother, Roy, who had committed suicide eleven years earlier by jumping off a bridge into the Great Miami River. Ray's car was found near the Susquehanna River. Did Ray commit suicide?



Just as everyone was settling on that theory, though, more evidence was found. Three months after Ray disappeared, police found his work laptop in the nearby river, but its hard drive was missing. Two months later, the hard drive washed up on the banks 100 yards away. The data on the hard drive was unrecoverable, even by the best minds in the FBI and Secret Service.



Just before his disappearance, though, someone had used Ray's home computer to search the terms "how to fry a hard drive" and "water damage to a notebook computer."


Ray Gricar's office

When Jerry Sandusky was later arrested, the media immediately made the connection to Ray Gricar. The Grand Jury investigation into allegations against Sandusky began in 2008--three years after Ray's disappearance. In 1998, Ray had cited "insufficient evidence" when choosing not to investigate allegations against him. Is it possible someone had a reason to get rid of Ray and his laptop? Could there have been evidence on it?




What do you think happened to Ray Gricar?

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38 comments:

  1. Probably not a connection to the coach, but if he was the district attorney, he probably had evidence of someone who wanted that evidence gone.

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    1. Definitely...and the whole Jerry Sandusky thing was always more than a little shady. It's pretty obvious people were covering for him over the years. Football brings in way too much money for there not to be corruption.

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  2. Creepy and weird. I don't think it was suicide this time; I think it was someone trying to kill him. Wonder if he took the laptop with him when he left his home or if someone broke in, stole it, and followed him?

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    1. Since there was a search on his home computer, it does sound like someone may have gotten access to his house at some point. I always assumed he'd taken the laptop with him, but that's an even better explanation! Why would he have taken his laptop with him on a leisurely drive on a day he was playing hooky?

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  3. Hmm...definitely suspicious considering the computer search.

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    1. I agree...although if someone were truly determined, they could have broken into his house and entered that search. Or hacked in and made it seem like it had been done from inside the house... Or it could have been someone he knows.

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  4. So many unsolved mysteries in the world...like....what happens to socks after they go in the wash?

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  5. This is so strange!!
    Do Matrice Richardson. She was one of my fave disappeared episodes!! Her story pissed me off and made me so sad.

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    1. I will! Thanks for the suggestion. I got upset by some of those episodes, too.

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  6. This is indeed a mystery. I wasn't aware of this one until now. Of course, I did not escape the news of Jerry Sandusky.

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    1. Yes, it was impossible to get away from that news!

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  7. I wonder if he created a new identity for himself and disappeared with the help of 'Cigarette man'.

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    1. LOL, he could have! There was also a whole thing of him supposedly being seen wandering the antique mall with a woman...but there was no surveillance footage of that. Just one person's word. Supposedly they weren't shopping together--they just would go into separate shops and occasionally meet in the middle.

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  8. Seems like foul play to me. Who goes through all that work of destroying a computer if they are going to commit suicide? Somehow I think it's connected to Sandusky.

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    1. True. Even with the Internet search from inside his house, I can't imagine why he'd want to destroy the laptop if he was just going to kill himself.

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  9. If he took his work laptop with him on a long drive, then I'm thinking suicide. He was going to end it all and destroy the evidence of something or other on his computer to spare his family finding out.

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    1. Could be...unfortunately, nobody knows for sure whether he took the laptop with him. Maybe he was meeting someone and that's why he had the laptop with him? And that meeting went astray?

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  10. I'm loving everyone's theories in the comments :) Certainly seems really odd for suicide to me, but then again, who knows! Fascinating story!

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    1. I have a feeling this is one that will never be solved. Although I thought that about the case I covered last Monday and they did eventually find his remains.

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  11. The smoke smell in his car is weird. Did he meet someone on purpose?

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    1. That's what I'm wondering...and maybe that's why he had his laptop with him (if he did)?

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  12. I hate to say it, but Penn State football is a religion out in Happy Valley. I think he had stuff on the laptop and someone wasn't happy.

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    1. I really do have a feeling about that. College football is serious stuff. When something makes that much money, the powers-that-be will go to extreme measures to make sure it doesn't STOP making that much money!

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  13. He was murdered because he knew too much. He may have been working, on the side, gathering evidence or his evidence was on this computer from the Sandusky case way back and they needed to get rid of him. I wonder if the police grabbed the butts located near the car because they could possibly find DNA evidence from it. I agree that the person went back and got the laptop. Funny that his girlfriend never noticed his laptop missing??

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    1. Unless the police were idiots, they for sure would've gathered the butts! Of course, there are some things they'll never release to the public, which makes following these cases as an amateur very difficult.

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  14. The computer search is very telling.. obviously there was information on the computer that was in danger of being found out.. I feel sad for his girlfriend and family that his body has not been found

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    1. I felt really bad for the girlfriend when I saw the Disappeared episode on him. She seemed truly heartbroken.

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  15. Definitely a strange one and sad that it's never been solved.

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  16. Fascinating! Definitely some foul play, I think. The part about his brother is disturbing though.

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    1. I think that part of it is just a coincidence, but it is eerie...

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  17. Very eerie. Got to believe it had something to do with one of his cases, but the info on frying hard drives on his computer is strange.

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  18. Sounds like he's dead and not by his own hand. I hope they solve this one someday.

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  19. WOW, another thriller! I wonder if he was having a mental breakdown. I'd believe suicide, but then the other evidence makes me think foul play....

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  20. Sounds like a very strange case...especially about the hard drive and computer. Do they know who made the computer searches about 'how to get rid of a hard drive' etc? Or is that part of the mystery too? I hope they solve the case soon :(

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  21. My guess is that Ray kept what little evidence he had and was probably black mailing Sandusky with it. He probably met up with someone to get a payload and after the switch-a-roo, they offed Ray and destroyed the laptop.

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  22. I think he had stuff on the laptop and someone wasn't happy. It's too bad!!

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