Pennsylvania State Police announced Monday that it will take over as the lead agency in the investigation into the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar.
State police will now receive new tips, according to a release, and will oversee the task force formed in 2010 by Centre County
District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller.
Gricar's fate has been a subject of speculation since he disappeared in 2005 after taking a day off of work.
His car was found in Lewisburg the next day, and his computer was discovered in the Susquehanna River, missing its hard drive.
He was declared legally dead in 2011.
There has been renewed interest in the Gricar investigation since the child sexabuse case against Jerry Sandusky.
Gricar declined to prosecute Sandusky for sex abuse in 1998.
Trooper Jeff Petucci, of the Hollidaysburg-based Troop G, said the change has been in the works since November and came at the request of Bellefonte police. He said that Troop G investigators and the major case team will take a look at the status of the investigation before moving forward.
"Our team of investigators are going to look at the investigation as a whole and look into anything that needs to be investigated," he said.
Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver said his team will still be involved in the investigation, but his department only has "so many resources" to deal with the involved case.
"As time moves on, some of the tips get a little more far-fetched or bizarre, requiring more travel outside the area," Weaver said. "It makes all the sense in the world to let another agency put their eyes on it."
Weaver said borough police have a good working relationship with state police, who have been involved since the beginning of the investigation. He said the Gricar case "deserves more attention than [he's] able to give it."
He said there is "nothing earth-shattering going on in the case" and that Bellefonte police and state police will decide how to best divide pursuing tips as they come in.
"I think the more eyes that law enforcement can put on it the better," Weaver said. "Right now, we only have a certain amount of eyes in the department."
Anyone with information about Gricar's disappearance is asked to contact state police at its tip-line, 800-4PATIPS.
Mirror Staff Writer Paige Minemyer 946-7535.