State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Still No Answers 9 Years After District Attorney Ray Gricar Disappeared

by on April 15, 2014 6:00 AM

It's been nine years since Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar disappeared and authorities still seem to have more questions than answers.

Was it suicide? Murder? Or did he simply walk away from his life? While a court declared Gricar dead in 2011 -- despite the absence of a body -- authorities still cannot say what happened to him.

In 2005, 60-year-old Gricar disappeared after leaving his home to go for a drive. Later, authorities located his vehicle parked outside of an antique mall in Lewisburg, a place he frequently visited. Police also retrieved his laptop and hard drive from the Susquehanna River.

Many theories have developed over the years concerning Gricar's disappearance. For example, some wonder if it is connected to Gricar's decision not to file criminal charges against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.

In 1998, Sandusky abused a boy who later became known as Victim 6 in the locker room shower after an afternoon of working out at Penn State's football facility. The boy's mother was alarmed by her son's wet hair when he arrived home, found out about the shower, and alerted authorities.

The boy's mother later confronted Sandusky in her home while police were listening in on the conversation. Sandusky told the mother of Victim 6 that he 'wished he was dead' and knew he wouldn't be granted her forgiveness. Ultimately, Gricar never filed charges against Sandusky.

It wasn't until years later, after new allegations, that Sandusky was arrested and convicted on child sex abuse charges.

As a prosecutor, Gricar had a hand in sending many criminals to jail, including a member of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang who was also reportedly an FBI informant. Last year, there were reports that a member of Hell's Angels ordered the killing of Gricar. However, authorities later said the tip led to a dead end.

Then there is the suicide of Gricar's brother raising the possibility that Gricar decided to take his own life just as his brother did.

While authorities have not yet solved the mysterious case, it is under a fresh review. In February, Pennsylvania State Police announced it was the lead investigating agency on the case, taking over for the Bellefonte Police Department.

Now, the state police is in the process of interviewing each person Bellefonte investigators originally interviewed and following up on any leads Bellefonte received, according to Trooper Jeff Petucci, a spokesman for the state police.

"Our investigators are looking at any leads and re-interviewing everyone. If it leads to something more we'll continue to follow up on it," Petucci says.

Since taking over in February, state police have received multiple new tips through its hotline, 800-472-8477. Police would not elaborate on the content of those tips.

When reached Monday, Gricar's daughter, Lara Gricar, declined to be interviewed.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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