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Vanished: The Story of Ray Frank Gricar

by on August 12, 2014 6:15 AM

Editor's Note: This is the third in a six-part series highlighting missing persons cases in Centre County.

Jennifer Cahill-Shadle is the most recent one – but she isn't the only one.

Cahill-Shadle was last seen May 15 at Walmart on North Atherton Street in Ferguson Township. She joins a group of missing persons connected to Centre County, including Joey Lynn Offutt, Ray Gricar, Hyun Jong "Cindy" Song, Dawn Marie Miller and Brenda Louise Condon.

State College residents will recall each of these high-profile cases and may have information that can help answer the unknown.

This is the story of Ray Frank Gricar.

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

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

Since then, there have been several alleged Gricar sightings in other states that investigators have followed up on, but they could not be confirmed, according to Trooper Jeff Petucci, state police spokesperson.

Petucci says investigators also continue to conduct interviews and review case materials from the Bellefonte Police Department.

"It is still a very active investigation and we encourage anyone with information to contact Pennsylvania State Police," says Petucci.

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 a 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.

Anyone with information regarding Gricar's disappearance can call 800-472-8477.

Related Stories:

Vanished: Authorities Investigate Unexplained Disappearances in Centre County

Vanished: The Story of Joey Lynn Offutt

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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