Missing Centre County DA declared dead legally

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More than six years after he disappeared, Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar has been declared dead legally.

Amos Goodall, an attorney for the Gricar family based in State College, said Centre County President Judge David E. Grine approved a June 30 petition to declare Mr. Gricar dead at a hearing today.

Mr. Goodall said he expects law enforcement officials to continue their probe, and the Gricar family will continue to cooperate with investigators.

"As far as I'm aware, this is the end of the family's involvement in the investigation of [Mr. Gricar's] disappearance," Mr. Goodall said. "I'm sure that the investigation will continue, and hopefully something will happen. But as far as the family's concerned, it's now over."

Mr. Gricar went missing April 15, 2005, during a day off from work. He told his partner, Patricia Fornicola, that he intended to go for a drive and has not been heard from since.

His car, laptop and laptop hard drive were eventually recovered, but investigators have been unable to find Mr. Gricar.

Based on the type of investigation law enforcement launched into the disappearance, the publicity surrounding that probe and "the type of person Mr. Gricar was," Mr. Goodall said he argued that Mr. Gricar must be deceased.

Investigator Matthew Rickard testified at the hearing, as well as Ms. Fornicola. Mr. Gricar's daughter, Lara Gricar, gave her testimony via phone. No testimony was entered to challenge the family's petition, Mr. Goodall said.

The petition to declare Mr. Gricar dead was filed June 30 at the request of Lara Gricar "to provide the family some relief," Mr. Goodall said.

Lauren Rosenthal: lrosenthal@post-gazette.com .


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