Well, I’ve asked for my reader’s support in writing a blog post and this is the first submission that I will be including on my blog. This person has been a great help with the Steven Koecher case and also the Maura Murray case and has a lot of information about the disappearance of Ray Gricar. Thanks for your support and your help, here’s the blog post:

Ray Gricar (“Gricar”), District Attorney for Centre County, Pennsylvania, went missing on Friday, April 15, 2005. That morning, he told his live-in girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, he would be going to work late. Gricar had served as Centre County’s District Attorney for 20 years and was planning to retire the following year but he still maintained his long work hours; so when he told Fornicola he would be going to work late that day, she was pleased. Later, he called Fornicola to tell her he had decided to take the whole day off and was going to go for a drive in his red mini cooper (something he enjoyed doing) and he wouldn’t be back home in time to feed their dog. Gricar has neither been seen (no confirmed sightings) nor heard from again.

Fornicola called 911 to report Gricar missing just before midnight that night. Because he was the District Attorney, Gricar’s disappearance was suspect and police responded immediately. In a case fraught with issues, nonsensical clues and thousands of potential suspects, many theories of what happened to Gricar have arisen over the years. Before moving on to those theories, here are the clues:

The car.

Gricar’s car was found later the following day, Saturday, April 16, 2005. It was in a parking lot, near an antique mall, 55 miles away from his home. Nothing about the vehicle or where it was parked seemed to be amiss. He had been known to shop at this antique mall, so even the location of his parked car was not suspicious. Witnesses who had been in or around the mall that Friday afternoon claimed to have seen Gricar at the mall. Some witnesses said they saw him sitting in his car. Other witnesses said they saw him walking with a woman who did not fit the description of his girlfriend (this woman, who has never been identified, has been referred to as the “mysterious dark-haired woman”).

Inspection of Gricar’s vehicle yielded little in the way of clues. It was parked in a normal manner. The doors were locked and the windows were rolled up. There was nothing in or near the car to suggest anything out of the ordinary had occurred. Gricar’s cell phone had been left in his car. Unfortunately, it had been turned off. The only clue was a small bit of ash on the floor of the front passenger seat and a strong stench of cigarette smoke in the car. This was suspicious because Gricar didn’t smoke, didn’t tolerate smoke and would not have allowed anyone to smoke in his car. It is believed to have been left behind by someone else; someone who may have had information about what happened that day.

The laptop

Almost from the outset, there were questions about whether Gricar had taken his work laptop with him on his Friday “drive” and, if so, what happened to it. It had initially been believed that the laptop had been left at home because the laptop case was inside Gricar’s home, in its regular place. However, when the case was opened, the laptop was not inside of it. With the laptop missing, people began to believe its contents may have held clues to what had happened to Gricar and where he might be found.

In July, 2005, Gricar’s work laptop was found washed-up out of the Susquehana River and under a bridge, near the parking lot where his car had been discovered months before. The hard drive had been deliberately removed. A few months later, the hard drive was also located in the same area. Efforts to recover data from the computer and its hard drive were unsuccessful. Authorities ultimately sent the hard drive to a specialist in data recovery. This specialist had previously been successful in recovering data from the Colombia space shuttle after its disaster. Unfortunately, even the expert was unable to retrieve data from the hard drive. The corrosive salt water had destroyed everything.

To confound matters, authorities later learned that Gricar had purchased a program to clean the contents from the laptop’s hard drive before he disappeared and someone had researched “how to wreck a hard drive” on Gricar’s home computer before he disappeared. Many people believe this person to be Gricar himself.


There are several conflicting theories of what happened to Ray Gricar on April 15 2005.

The main theories follow:

  1. Suicide: The basis of this theory is that there is a history of suicide in Gricar’s family. In fact Gricar’s brother had died several years before and his death had been ruled a suicide. The similarities between the location where Gricar’s brother had died and the location of Gricar’s car when he disappeared were so strong that Gricar’s nephew assumed Gricar had committed suicide when he first arrived at the scene of Gricar’s parked car. However, those who knew Gricar didn’t believe Gricar would have taken his own life and in fact also claimed Gricar had always believed the suicide ruling in his brother’s death had been erroneous.
  1. Walk away: With all the subsequent “sightings” of Gricar, and the many clues that someone really wanted to destroy information that had once been on his work laptop computer, many people have clung to the belief that he may have walked away from his life, perhaps to live a freer, easier lifestyle or as an operative, or even with a new identity. There are some who even believe Gricar was part of an operation and left the country. He was certainly was smart enough to plan any of the schemes hypothesized. However, for every clue that suggests Gricar may have walked away, there is an argument against it. Gricar had planned to retire in a matter of months and was due to collect a healthy pension from his full career as prosecutor and District Attorney. He did have a live-in relationship but he had moved into his girlfriend’s home, not vice versa and therefore it would have been easy for him to have left if he had wanted his freedom. His only real attachment was his daughter but she was was an adult and she was living independently on the other side of the continent.
  1. Foul Play: Definitely possible but nobody he knew personally had any reason to harm him. He had few emotional ties but those he did were all questioned. Gricar’s girlfriend and daughter passed polygraph tests. Certainly, there were plenty of people who would want revenge on the acting district attorney. There were hundreds, if not thousands of people he had prosecuted over the years and as a result were put in prison. However, this is true with every district attorney across the country and, while it may be an issue on television or in the movies, in real life, criminals don’t generally seek revenge against the cops who arrested them or the district attorneys who put them in prison.

Several years after Gricar disappeared, an informant claimed that he had abducted, killed and disposed of Gricar on behalf of a Hells Angels member who was angry at Gricar for being given a long sentence. This unnamed source said he had shot Gricar and “spun” his knees before disposing him. This source even agreed to lead authorities to Gricar’s location but later backed out, apparently claiming he was afraid of reprisal. Some people believe this story. Others believe it was complete fabrication. There is no evidence to support that any gang had Gricar killed. Additionally, it has been said that it is unlikely a member of any gang uncluding the Hells Angels, would order a hit on Gricar and not take credit for it.

Just to confuse matters and to make Gricar’s disappearance even more bizarre, several years before Gricar disappeared, back in 1998, a young boy told his mother that his football coach had made him feel uncomfortable in the shower. The coach was Jerry Sandusky and the year was 1998. A criminal complaint was made and, for reasons we will never know, the District Attorney decided not to prosecute Sandusky. That District Attorney was Ray Gricar. Some people believe Gricar may have killed himself in 2005 for failing to take action against Sandusky in 1998. Some people believe Gricar may have been killed to silence him. Some people believe the two events are not related.

Let’s take a look at the case.

That’s it.


~TBM Researcher~

8 comments on “Ray Gricar – Intro

  • I don’t think it was salt water – the laptop and hard drive were found in the river. Thanks for looking into this case!

  • Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but
    I’m having a difficult time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design seems different
    then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to
    ask! http://Www.Yahoo.net/

  • To: Centre County Pa. RG was with a beautiful blonde female in the morning which was Friday around 9:30 am heading down Rt 45 I would think someone in Bellefonte Pa would know who this beautiful blonde female is and maybe why they were both together and yes both made it to Lewisburg Pa

  • Someone should really look close at all the women that were around RG before 2005 and up until he went missing also I know who BP is I would watch her on TV when she worked at WTAJ TV 10 ACTION NEWS

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