Timeline


The following timeline is my own interpretation of the events in this case, derived from various sources.

·     2004 - Gricar purchased a red Mini Cooper as a gift for his girlfriend Patty Fornicola and the vehicle is titled in her name.      A new desktop computer is also purchased for the home and reportedly Gricar’s  lap top is not being used and is kept in Fornicola's upstairs closet.  Fornicola has her own laptop at work and access to another.

·    January 2005 - Girlfriend Patty Fornicola changed from a Victim Advocate to Clerical position at the Centre County courthouse and moves into the same area where Gricar works.

·    March 9, 2005 - Gricar described as "not with it" by a colleague at a death penalty hearing as Gricar states he would not be present at the time of trial.  Family say he had a planned vacation for that time period.

·    March 31, 2005 - Gricar and Attorney General Tom Corbett announce a large heroin bust naming several individuals and key player “Taji Verbal Lee.”

·    April 2005 - Girlfriend Patty Fornicola states that Gricar was working hard and taking more naps during this period and that she had suggested he see a doctor.   (Police later get a warrant for Gricar’s medical records and find no history of depression or any medical issues.)

·    April 11, 2005 - Gricar described as "deeply distraught" during this week by a colleague.

·    April 14, 2005 - Gricar attends a Prison Board meeting at approx 8:30 am.  He is later described as acting normally at this meeting.

·    April 14, 2005 - Daughter Lara Gricar phones Gricar from Washington and says their conversation was normal.

·    April 14, 2005 - Gricar's office door is forcefully closed several times mid afternoon per a colleague. Gricar had a habit of forcefully closing his door per a colleague.

·    April 14, 2005 - Gricar and girlfriend Patty Fornicola are seen walking in Tallyrand Park by a Centre County Commissioner approx 5:30pm. Gricar is described as "depressed looking" as neither he nor his girlfriend respond to a compliment of being the perfect couple.  The Commissioner cannot recall what Gricar or Fornicola were wearing during this walk (office attire or casual clothing.)

·    April 14, 2005 - Gricar is seen in courthouse surveillance video entering the courthouse at approx 6:15 pm to do some work, and is seen leaving approx 9:15 pm.  He is wearing blue jeans, sneakers and a blue fleece jacket.  He is not carrying his laptop computer.  This is the same outfit he is reportedly wearing when missing.

·    April 15, 2005 - Girlfriend Patty Fornicola states that Gricar woke up and told her he was going to take 1/2 the day off from work and then he went back to sleep.  She left him a note instructing that if he went anywhere, to let her know so that she could make arrangements to let the dog out at noon.

·    April 15, 2005 - A call is placed to girlfriend Patty Fornicola at the Centre County courthouse at approx 11:30 am from Gricar's cell phone indicating that he is on Highway 192 (heading toward Lewisburg) and that he is taking the other 1/2 of the day off from work, and that he would not be home at noon to let the dog out.  Several other office employees were out of the office or not working that day.

·    April 15, 2005 - Girlfriend Patty Fornicola arrives home from work at approx 5:00pm and Gricar has not left her a note as she reportedly expected, and she heads to the gym. Normally she and Gricar would always go out to eat at the Gamble Mill Inn each Friday. It’s reported that Fornicola thought he had maybe stopped somewhere to eat when he wasn’t home at this time.

·    April 15, 2005 - Girlfriend Patty Fornicola does not phone Gricar's family or friends, but phones her brother Tom Fornicola at approx 8:30pm as she is worried because Gricar has still not arrived home.

·    April 15, 2005 - Girlfriend Patty Fornicola phones Bellefonte Police at approx 11:30pm to report Gricar as missing.  Policeman Holliday contacts chief of police Duane Dixon who advises to send a message to other area police departments.

·    April 16, 2005 - Bellefonte Policeman Darrel Zaccagni is assigned the case and begins working the case approx 11:30am with a BOLO, and initiates air & ground searches from Centre Hall to Madisonburg along Hwy 192, and girlfriend Patty Fornicola notifies Gricar's family members by phone that he did not come home the prior evening.  Clerical staff at the courthouse provides Gricar's computer password and police look at his office computer for any signs/clues.  It’s reported that Patty Fornicola is monitoring Gricar’s email accounts (as she knows the passwords.)

·    April 16, 2005 - A state trooper finds the red Mini Cooper parked across the street from the Street of Shops antiques/flea market in Lewisburg, PA, a familiar place to Gricar and girlfriend Patty Fornicola, at approx 6:30pm with Gricar's cell phone – turned off - inside.  The car is taken to the Milton State Police barracks for forensic processing. 

·    April 17, 2005 - The red Mini Cooper is returned to girlfriend Patty Fornicola.  Bellefonte Police Chief Duane Dixon says that no "strangers" prints were found in the car. A small amount of cigarette ash is found on the passenger floorboard. 

·    April 17, 2005 - Search dogs are brought to Lewisburg (after the car has been moved) and find no trail of Gricar from where his vehicle had been parked at the Street of Shops, even though witnesses claimed to have seen him in surrounding areas there. The dogs “circled” the area where the car had been parked. Dogs did not find Gricar’s scent at the Street of Shops where witnesses claim to have seen him, nor did they find his scent at the river (where the laptop and hard drive were later located.)

·    April 17, 2005 - Girlfriend Patty Fornicola determines for Bellefonte Police that Gricar's county issued laptop is missing from the upstairs closet at the home.  The case and peripherals are still in the closet.  Police do not fingerprint the case.

·    April 18, 2005 - Police learn that the vehicle had "secret compartments" that were not checked at the Milton barracks.  They check them after the car has already been returned to Patty Fornicola but find nothing.

·    April 18, 2005 - FBI is asked to assist in the case.  They find no credit card or banking activity by Gricar. They review hundreds of hours of surveillance tapes from surrounding businesses but don't find any photos of Gricar.

·    April 18, 2005 - A Milton State Police profiler meets with girlfriend Patty Fornicola, Stephen Sloane and others, and concludes that Gricar committed suicide.

·    April 20, 2005 - A massive search of the river at Lewisburg is conducted with police, divers, boats and cadaver dogs but they find no trace of Gricar.

·    July 13, 2005 - It is announced that girlfriend Patty Fornicola will be taking a polygraph.

·    July 15, 2005 - It is announced that girlfriend Patty Fornicola had nothing to do with the disappearance per polygraph questioning. It is reported that Bellefonte Police sent the polygraph results for overview and are awaiting “official results.”

·    July 30, 2005 - Two fishermen find Gricar's laptop lodged against a bridge support under the bridge over the Susquehanna River at Lewisburg.  The hard drive had been removed.

·    September 15, 2005 - It is announced that daughter Lara Gricar also had nothing to do with the disappearance per polygraph questioning.

·    October 1, 2005 - The hard drive is found *upstream* from where the laptop was found, near a park and abandoned railroad bridge. 

·    January 17, 2006 - Police say that they are leaning more toward foul play as opposed to walkaway or suicide.  

·    January 2007 - Numerous sightings of Gricar cannot be corroborated with any other evidence.  Darrel Zaccagni comments that as more time passes that it looks more like a possible homicide.  He is then "removed" from the case.

·    Feb 2008 - it's reported that there were in fact *no* identifiable fingerprints actually found in the Mini Cooper by Matt Rickard, who now handles the investigation.  It's never been reported if any prints were found on Gricar's cellphone.

·    July 2008 - Officials in surrounding counties criticize the Gricar investigation (or lack thereof.)  Friend and DA Bob Buehner believes that Gricar was murdered. Bob Buehner suggests that the hard drive be sent to Kroll Ontrak to see if any data can be recovered.  It is determined to be too damaged.

·    October 2008 -  It was reported that Gricar had inquired in the past about how to erase a hard drive in preparation for retirement and returning his county owned laptop back to the county, and girlfriend Patty Fornicola had told police that Gricar had a software box for hard drive erasing software at one time in their home but the software and/or the box were never located. Michael Madeira said there was no evidence it was ever purchased, ever there or ever used.

·    April 2009 - Matt Rickard said it is still very much an *active* investigation. 

·    April 14, 2009 - Law enforcement release info that Gricar had done various searches on his home computer on ways to destroy a hard drive, about a month before he vanished..  However, they have no way of proving who actually used the computer.   Law enforcement discovered these computer searches in approx October 2006 during a PSP review of the case.  They also claim that the hard drive erasing software had indeed been purchased (which conflicts with other accounts.)

·       November 2009 – Stacy Parks Miller is elected as the new District Attorney of Centre County and vows to “tear thru” the case file on Gricar’s disappearance. It was previously reported that there is only a “banker’s box of evidence” on the case. She fires Gricar’s best friend and assistant DA Stephen Sloane.  Girlfriend Patty Fornicola transfers to a position with the DUI court.     

·       March 2010 – Nothing new has been reported yet on the status of Stacy Parks Miller’s review.  Bob Buehner comments to the Daily Times that intentional walkaway theories are nonsense, and that common sense and evidence point to Gricar having committed suicide or being a victim of homicide. He’s previously stated several times that he believes Gricar was murdered.

  • March 31, 2010 - It's announced that new District Atty Stacy Parks Miller has assembled a task force - comprised of former and new investigators to work the case.  She states that after reviewing the case file & evidence that she was surprised to learn that there was much more to the past investigation than what the public was privy to - that what had been reported was only "the tip of the iceberg."  She states that her personal opinion is that homicide is the least likely scenario but that "nothing is off the table."  The fact that none of the reported witness sightings of Gricar were ever confirmed is repeated.
  • February 15, 2011 - Investigation Discovery Disappeared series to feature Gricar's case February 28, 2011 http://investigation.discovery.com/tv-schedules/series.html?paid=141.15373.132227.40769.35&start=40
  • Investigation Discovery Disappeared show in 4 segments
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLMEUEUtKK0&feature=related
  • April 15, 2011 - 6 year anniversary of Gricar's disappearance passes by quietly.  His local newspaper doesn't even do an article.
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