PA PA - Ray Gricar, 59, Bellefonte, 15 April 2005 - #15

Discussion in '2000's Missing' started by J. J. in Phila, Feb 29, 2016.

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  1. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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    Wonder why RFG did not pick Milton Park on 642. Much more clandestine and a lot more places to dump the laptop and drive? Two road bridge and two rail bridges.
     


  2. J. J. in Phila

    J. J. in Phila Verified Insider

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    Maybe because it less clandestine.

    Two possibilities:

    1. RFG wanted LE to look in Lewisburg, while he would be some place else.

    2. There was a clandestine meeting, but one of the parties wanted it to be in a public place, for safety reasons.

    As for bridges, here is a list of all the towns along the West Branch of the Susquehanna from Renovo, with two bridges relatively close to each other:

    Lock Haven
    Williamsport
    Muncy
    Milton
    Lewisburg
    Northumberland

    It is not that uncommon a feature.
     
  3. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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    So I am agreeing that the laptop took a jump off the bridge, but I don't think RFG did. The drive could have been tossed from either the bank or the bridge due to light weight. There is a reason RFG came to Lewisburg. My gut tells me it was not random. Just don't know why yet.
     
  4. J. J. in Phila

    J. J. in Phila Verified Insider

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    I doubt that the drive could have been tossed from the bride. The closest the bridge to the spot where the drive was found is about 200 feet. Maybe someone with a really good arm, standing, could, but not anyone doing through a car window, even as a passenger.

    My gut reaction is the same. RFG generated a map to Lewisburg and checked the weather online for both Raystown Lake and Lewisburg. This is not random action.
     
  5. SeekingJana

    SeekingJana Well-Known Member

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    This causes me to wonder:
    Did he stay married to Barbara longer than he wanted to because of the financial issue?
    IF the most impressive thing which can be said about his tenure as DA of Centre County is getting the job classified as a full time job, well, that's not a legacy, that's a job classification!

    So, was the consensus, after all the lip service is paid to the poor missing man, one of him not being a very pro-active DA against criminals in Centre County? Did he convene GJs with low " true bill" ratios in cases most DAs would pursue? ( A GJ is going to follow the lead of the DA in MOST cases presented to them- it's always been canon).
    Did he make Centre County better, or did he just get himself a full time career for 17 or so years and shuffle papers?

    I remember the video of him going into his office via the rear parking lot, and stopping to watch a red jeep drive by. I remember that at the time my initial reaction was " My son would have been enthralled by that around age 6".
    Were we seeing a man totally burned out in his career, finding a flicker of interest in a rather flashy Jeep for a second or two?

    I wish we had access to more random video of him doing ordinary things before he disappeared. In the area of anger or rage, remember, he was said to be slamming his door shut in the weeks prior to his disappearance.
    Anger? Fear? Totally fed up with thing? Making it clear " Do not disturb"? Totally wanting to be away from Patty?
    Multiple choice?
     
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  6. J. J. in Phila

    J. J. in Phila Verified Insider

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    Only snipped for brevity.

    True financial issues, no. Remember, when they moved to Centre County in 1979, RFG was going to be a stay-at-home dad. This should have been "extra" money.

    RFG actually did a number of things.

    He was possibly the first DA in the state to charge a John Doe based on his DNA profile; that is being inventive, and is rare for a prosecutor. Though I don't think it was the first one in the state, he established the victim-witness advocate position in Centre County. After a rocky first term, he really reached out to and engaged PSU students. The DA's Office did not have the personnel problem that emerged after he left. I think he was generally a good DA.


    Remember what everyone was saying about his conduct. "Distraught," staring out the window and mumbling answers at the 4/14/05 prison board meeting, and the "forceful" door closings. Something was making him preoccupied or bothering him. Not looking at the truck with the big tires are consistent with that.

    He was not afraid of being attacked, because he drove in sparsely populated areas that didn't have cell phone coverage on 4/14/05.
     
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  7. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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    Driving over to the far side of the river made some things very clear. RFG did not walk across the rail bridge and did not walk up the abandoned rail right of way. What is left of it is in peoples back yards. Anything along there would have been found by now. A large area along the river from the bridge down a ways has been cleared and what has not is very open right now. If RFG was along the river, I think he would have been seen. Any other wooded sections nearby are very open and visible right now. Doubt RFG walked that far and I think there is a high probability he would have been found. Walked the entire SOS. Now I know why. Place is an antique lovers Mecca. It goes on forever. Would take an entire day to see everything. Need to process this for a while as I have a whole new perspective.
     
  8. J. J. in Phila

    J. J. in Phila Verified Insider

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    Just for the record, they had a cadaver dog in the boat at some point during the week of 4/18/05.

    I will be interested in you observations and conclusions.
     
  9. SeekingJana

    SeekingJana Well-Known Member

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    This is the first, true, clear- cut description of the Street Of Shops as full of fascinating merchandise for an antique lover!!!
    I grew up in an antique loving family and have wanted so much to know if he was " just killing time" in a dusty tourist trap ( with an ice cream shoppe) OR if he maybe really did go there for his pleasure and buying fairly frequently.

    You've filled in a HUGE piece of the puzzle, I think. He went where he liked to go, a place full of shops he enjoyed visiting and drove 50 miles to get to peruse.

    I've asked this in a million ways and gotten almost no answers of substance since 2005.
    Thank you for all you do, Tracker, and thank you so much for walking his routes and seeing things with fresh eyes. :)

    Thanks also for the bridge area descriptions.

    I feel like I just got one of those brightly colored gifts all wrapped up pretty when you described the SOS as being an antique lovers' mecca. I've been to smallish towns like that ( Franklin, Tennessee; Berea, Kentucky; Goshen, Indiana, and a few other places...

    Thanks, my friend.
     
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  10. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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    Jana, there are at least three floors of small dealer areas. A few were staffed. There are three staffers who can ring up purchases. On the entry floor there is an old postal window that is staffed. There are glass cases and fabricated "shops" that have all manner of modern and older Americana. The other floors are more small divided areas with shelves and cases. There is a second sales counter on the floor below and a basement below that. All items are tagged with the dealers initials and price so that the staff can identify who gets the money. Posted signs say that the SOS is secure and locked up at night. You can be a dealer and not have to put in any time, just set up our shelves and items they will handle everything for you. There are 200 dealers on one floor alone. The SOS is much larger than it appears from Google Street View or Google Earth. There is a restaurant in the center of the main floor that is just a step above the ones found in farmers markets. The building was originally a woolen mill. They claim 375 "shops", but I don't think this counts the small dealer spots as there were at least 75-100 spots in the basement alone.
     
  11. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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    On Thursday I walked the entire park area, sat on "the bench" and took in the ambiance of the spot. Veterans Memorial in the center, some benches placed about, trees and lawn. There is a sharp drop off and a lower flat near the rivers edge. The entrance to the rail bridge is cleared with some orange plastic fencing around the stone entrance to keep people from climbing on it due to it's deteriorated condition. The bridge is missing a lot of it's wooden deck making it impossible for all but the agile to cross. There is a large aluminum section of fence bolted across the entrance and warning signs to keep off. The two islands were mostly underwater, much like the day RFG was there. There were a couple of boats near the bridge fishing. Very obvious that if there were remains around either bridge or the islands, they would have been found long ago. It is a peaceful spot to sit and contemplate. The Packwood House and other homes along the far side of the street from the park are all very old with a narrow stone sidewalk. You could easily imagine yourself being in the 1800's were it not for the traffic. I could easily see RFG sitting on the bench removing the drive from the laptop. If he tossed the drive from the embankment, it may have not gone out far enough for this liking and changed his plans for the disposal of the laptop to dropping it off the bridge. The far side of the bridge is an intersection, not a place to easily turn around and come back over. Probably turned around somewhere in the area and came back across when there was no sign of traffic, stopped and tossed it out the passenger window, or had a passenger do it about mid span. There is almost a constant flow of traffic, so it was done with care and a watchful eye for witnesses. My gut feeling is that RFG went to Lewisburg, and the park in particular to disassemble and toss the laptop. The SOS was a bonus and perhaps helped to nail down Lewisburg as both a quiet spot away from people who could identify RFG on sight and to spend some time in the SOS with the antiques that he loved. I think the drive was tossed early on. Then some time in the SOS and a drive across the bridge and back to toss the laptop. The car then went back into the parking spot and possibly another trip into the SOS. The mystery lady could have been anyone. Town is full of tourists and college students, even on an overcast and cold day.
     
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  12. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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    SOS1PNG.jpg SOS2.jpg

    A couple of views of the SOS.
     
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  13. SeekingJana

    SeekingJana Well-Known Member

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    Tracker, in this part of the country, that's called an " Antique Mall". The South has many abandoned textile mills, so I can envision a woolen mill quite easily as an antique repository.
    I'm very familiar with the dealer's signs, or tagged codes or colored dots, or other info about who the seller is, and there being MANY consignees, I guess you'd say, who lease space to sell.
    One of the downsides of this, sometimes, is the inability to talk the specific merchant into a lower price. :)
    Or to ask if an unbranded item is an early example of a certain brand of item or just made in the style of that company's items.

    I've found that the more basic the exterior, the better the goods are inside. A fancy " Shoppe" usually is for the tourists, and is disappointing for a true antiques collector. The fact that the SOS is basically some warehouse type buildings and a huge old mill ( usually they had enormously high ceilings) grouped together is a positive, not a negative.

    I wonder what Patty did with Ray's antiques?
    People have said he collected antique toys but I've never known if they meant " Early Americana" metal banks and so forth, or Lionel trains and early Matchbox cars from his childhood era, or vintage Steiff bears, or just what.
     
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  14. SeekingJana

    SeekingJana Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to nominate this post for the most poignant travelogue- type narrative through trained and objective eyes of what Ray likely did for part of the missing time in all our time on this case.
    This, along with the photos Tracker and J.J, have posted make it all so sharper focused, yet oddly calming.. As if this was NOT a place of violence or harm, or panic or desperation at all.
    Ray was smart enough to try to allay fears in non-verbal ways if he could not speak of his plans. What I am reading and seeing adds to the feeling that he was happy, that it was a peaceful and enjoyable day, perhaps the last place he really wanted to visit " on his way out of town for good" to a future of his choosing.
     
  15. JaimeSommers

    JaimeSommers Active Member

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    If you're still in the area, I recommend you eat at Gram's.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  16. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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    Rail Bridge1.PNG Rail Bridge2.PNG Rail Bridge3.jpg
    Some views of the rail bridge

    The same bridge design appears along other sections of this track, notably in Northumberland.

    Looking at Lewisburg on Google Earth and in person on Cherry Street and other spots, you can tell there was a lot more rail running through town that has since been torn out. Probably for coal which was necessary for heating and steam powered industry.
     
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  17. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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    Packwood House.jpg
    The Packwood House from the park
     
  18. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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    Embankment.jpg Islands.jpg
    The embankment and the islands
     
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  19. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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    Park1.jpg
    View of the Park
     
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  20. Trackergd

    Trackergd Verified SAR Manager and Tracker - Retired

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    Bridge Supports1.jpg
    Bridge Pilings
     
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