State police are assuming a lead role in a decade-long search for a missing central Pennsylvania prosecutor who declined to prosecute former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar has not been seen since leaving work in 2005, seven years after he decided against charging Sandusky following a woman's complaint to State College police that Sandusky had showered with her son. Gricar was declared legally dead in 2011.
Cpl. Lucas Rankin with the state police's Rockview station said Tuesday that his agency was taking over all of the evidence and reports and determining which witnesses need to be re-interviewed.
"They just decided a fresh set of ideas would be a good idea," Rankin said. "It wasn't like a decision that something was going wrong with the case."
The county's current district attorney, Stacy Parks Miller, formed a task force in 2010 to investigate Gricar's disappearance.
Rankin said state troopers from Hollidaysburg, Rockview and Lewistown will be handling the investigation, taking over at the request of police in Bellefonte, where Gricar had worked as county prosecutor.
After the 59-year-old Gricar vanished in April 2005, his vehicle was recovered in Lewisburg and his computer was found in the Susquehanna River.
In September, the Altoona Mirror reported that the FBI and other investigators were looking into a claim that Gricar had been killed in retaliation for a case he prosecuted and that his body was dumped in a mine shaft.
Bellefonte police Chief Shawn Weaver later said the FBI took the tipster to a location where he claimed Gricar was buried and that nothing was found.