One of the questions surrounding the sex-abuse case against Jerry Sandusky is why a former district attorney chose not to prosecute the then-Penn State assistant coach in 1998 after reports surfaced that he had inappropriate interactions with a boy.
The answer is unknowable because of an unsolved mystery: What happened to Ray Gricar, the Centre County, Pa., district attorney?
Gricar went missing in April 2005. The murky circumstances surrounding his disappearance — an abandoned car, a laptop recovered months later in a river without a hard drive, his body was never found….
On April 15, 2005, Gricar, then 59, took the day off. At about 11:30 a.m., he called his girlfriend, Patricia Fornicola, to say he was taking a drive on Route 192. About 12 hours later, she reported him missing.
The next day, Gricar’s Mini Cooper was found in a parking lot in Lewisburg, about 50 miles from his home in Bellefonte. Gricar’s cellphone was in the car, but not his laptop, wallet or keys, which were never recovered.
Months later, the laptop was found in the Susquehanna River without its hard drive, which was discovered later. It was too damaged to yield any information.
On the fourth anniversary of his disappearance, investigators revealed that a search of his home computer yielded a history of Internet searches for phrases like “how to wreck a hard drive,” according to a report at the time in The Centre Daily Times.
When Gricar disappeared helicopters, dive teams and patrol cars were deployed, and the F.B.I. was brought in. Reports of Gricar turning up in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland and other states proved to be dead ends.
So what happened?