NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The husband of missing Clarksburg woman Joanne Ringer is the "sole suspect" in her disappearance, say authorities.
Ringer went missing on March 2; her husband, Charles "Chad" Reidy, was found dead on April 7 in the couple's garage.
"From the beginning, we have suspected foul play and have approached this as a homicide investigation and we have considered Joanne's husband, Chad Reidy, as the sole suspect," Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless said a press conference in Northern Berkshire District Court on Thursday. "Reidy's apparent suicide on April 7 has not changed that view."
Laura J. Reilly, 42, of Berkeley Street, Easthampton, described as Reidy's former girlfriend, was arraigned in the court shortly before the briefing on three counts of misleading investigators, an obstruction of justice, in providing erroneous information during the investigation of Ringer's disappearance.
Capeless said she had been arrested Wednesday evening and arraigned on the three charges. He declined to speculate whether further charges would be forthcoming.
Instead, he asked for the public's assistance in ascertaining the whereabouts of Ringer, Reidy and Reilly between Thursday, March 2, when Ringer failed to arrive at her new job in Easthampton, and Friday, March 3.
Ringer, 39, was last seen at her home on Hall's Ground in Clarksburg on March 2, but never showed up at her new job driving a taxi in Easthampton. Her green 1999 Volkswagen Jetta was discovered on Exeter Street in Easthampton, less than a half-mile from Reilly's address, on Monday, March 6.
"We had kept hope that Joanne Ringer would be found alive. But seven weeks have passed since her disappearance and she has made no contact with family or friends, particularly with her 19-year-old daughter, Savanah, and animals that she loved were left without care at home," Capeless said.
He would not go into specifics other than to say information authorities had received pointed to Reidy.
"Obviously we don't rule out any possibility, but he has been the suspect from the start," Capeless said.
A number of Ringer's friends and relatives have said Reidy was abusive but Capeless declined to confirm that or whether Reidy had left a note. Reidy's death is so far considered a suicide although autopsy results are pending; the manner of his death has not been revealed.
Investigators have been searching around the couple's Clarksburg home, a rural wooded area on a dead-end road, and other areas of interest with the help of Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue. Capeless noted turkey hunting season begins on Monday is asking hunters to be observant.
"We are not asking the public to conduct searches," he said. "But to be aware during normal activities and report anything suspicious and leave the investigating to professionals."
Reilly had not-guilty pleas entered on her behalf and her case was continued to a pre-trial conference on May 22. She was released on $1,500 bail.
The investigation has also been assisted by the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force, the Berkshire County sheriff's office, Clarksburg Police Chief Michael Williams, North Adams Police Director Michael Cozzaglio, Easthampton Police Chief Robert J. Alberti, Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper, and their officers.
"Returning Joanne Ringer to her family is the most important thing we can do," Capeless said. "We have been focused on that from day one."
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