Police Search For Missing Pa. Prosecutor

With helicopters and road patrols, police searched across central Pennsylvania (search) on Saturday for a prosecutor who was reported missing after he failed to return home from a drive the day before.

Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar (search), 59, had taken Friday off from work and said during a cell phone call at about 11:30 a.m. that he was heading toward Lewisburg on Route 192 in Union County, police said.

He did not return home that night and has not called his home or office since then, authorities said Saturday. There has been no activity on his cell phone or credit cards.

State police found Gricar's red-and-white Mini Cooper on Saturday evening in a dirt parking lot on the outskirts of Lewisburg (search), but found no sign of the missing man, Bellefonte Police Chief Duane Dixon said. The owner of an antiques store across the street said Gricar may have been in his shop earlier in the day, Dixon said.

Dixon said there were no signs of foul play but state police were processing the car for evidence.

"Right now we can't find any certain case that stands out that we believe would cause any problem," Dixon said earlier Saturday.

Authorities said they did not know if Gricar had any medical issues, although he had been working hard lately and had told others that he felt tired.

Police said Gricar was last seen wearing a blue fleece-type jacket, jeans and sneakers.

Pennsylvania authorities issued a bulletin to six neighboring states and used a state police helicopter Saturday to search the area northeast of State College.

Gricar, the county's district attorney for 20 years, recently decided not to seek a sixth term and said he planned to retire in December at age 60. He inherited a part-time office when first elected in 1985 but campaigned successfully to make the job full-time.

Among the more high-profile cases Gricar handled was the prosecution of a 21-year-old woman who opened fire with a hunting rifle on Penn State's campus in 1996, killing one person and wounding a second.