Local district attorney missing

Bellefonte Police Chief Duane Dixon holds up photos of missing District Attorney Ray Gricar's car at a press conference.


Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar has been reported missing since Friday, and on Saturday, Pennsylvania State Police at Milton found his red 2004 Mini Cooper parked near an antique shop in Lewisburg, Bellefonte Police said.

Gricar, 59, has not been heard from since he called his girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Bellefonte Police Chief Duane Dixon said.

"He told his girlfriend that he was taking off of work and just going for a drive in his Mini Cooper," Dixon said.

Gricar's car was found Saturday at about 6:30 p.m. in a dirt parking lot in the outskirts of Lewisburg, across from the Street of Shops, 100 N. Water St., police said.

The antique shop is near a wooded area adjacent to the Susquehanna River.

"The car was parked out here [Saturday]," said Brad Alvey, who owns Remember When Café, located in the Street of Shops. "Nobody that I'm aware of saw him."

During a press conference Saturday, Bellefonte Police said they were able to trace a cell phone call that Gricar made to Fornicola Friday morning while he was driving along state Route 192 in Penns Valley.

State police said they have examined the car for evidence, but Dixon said there is no indication of foul play.

Dixon also said police do not know of any cases that Gricar is currently prosecuting that could be connected to his disappearance.

"We can't see any case that stands out for Mr. Gricar now," Dixon said.

Gricar had not reported receiving any threats, Dixon said at the press conference. He added that Gricar's cell phone appears to be shut off, and police are checking his ATM and credit card records.

Bellefonte Police notified surrounding police departments of the missing-person report.

Police also notified departments in six surrounding states before they located his car within Pennsylvania.

"We notified them in case he crossed the border into those states," Dixon said.

Dixon said Gricar has no known history of mental health or other medical problems.

"He has told his friends and family he's been feeling a little tired lately," Dixon said.

Search teams looked for Gricar's vehicle by foot and with a helicopter before finding it on Saturday.

In addition to Bellefonte Police, Pennsylvania State Police, the Centre County Sheriffs Office and the Lewisburg Police Department are involved in the search for Gricar.

Milton State Police Cpl. Greg Watson said police are continuing to search the surrounding area where the car was found.

Dixon said it was not uncommon for Gricar to take long drives to relieve stress. He added that a few years ago Gricar left work early to go to a Cleveland Indians baseball game and did not tell anyone where he was going. However, a missing-person report was not filed at that time.

Centre County Senior Deputy Attorney General Michael Medeira said he is concerned for Gricar's friends and family and hopes that his disappearance is only the result of miscommunication.

Bellefonte Police said Gricar, who has been Centre County's district attorney since 1985, was last seen wearing a blue fleece jacket, jeans and sneakers.

As of 7:45 p.m. yesterday, the Bellefonte Police Department said they would not release any new information.

A press conference will be held at the Bellefonte Municipal Building at noon today to discuss updates on the case.