Grand jury to weigh indictment of woman charged in connection with disappearance of Joanne Ringer
NORTH ADAMS — A woman charged in connection with the disappearance of a Clarksburg woman is facing possible grand jury indictment.
Laura J. Reilly, of Easthampton, appeared briefly in Northern Berkshire District Court on Monday for a pretrial hearing on three counts of misleading a police officer in the case.
She was given a further pretrial hearing date of June 30, according to her attorney, Jesse Adams, of Northampton.
Joanne Ringer, 39, has not been seen or heard from since March 2. The Berkshire District Attorney's office said on April 2 it was considering the matter a homicide and named Ringer's husband, Charles "Chad" Reidy as its prime suspect.
Reidy took his own life on April 7.
Adams said it was his understanding that the Berkshire DA's office intended to submit Reilly's case to a grand jury for consideration to be transferred to Berkshire Superior Court in the next couple of weeks, though no firm date had yet been set by Monday evening.
If the grand jury testimony leads to an indictment, then the June 30 date in district court will be nullified and the case will be the exclusive purview of the Superior Court, Adams said.
Reilly, whom the DA's office described as Reidy's ex-girlfriend, has been accused of purposefully misleading investigators regarding her and Reidy's whereabouts during the period when Ringer went missing.
Ringer was expected to arrive in Easthampton on March 2 to start a new job for a taxi company in Easthampton. She never arrived for that shift.
Her abandoned Volkswagen Jetta was found March 6 on Exeter Street in Easthampton, about a half-mile from Reilly's Berkeley Street home.
Ringer's body has yet to be found.
Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless said while Reidy is the sole suspect, investigators are still looking to see if he was aided in any way either before or after Ringer's disappearance.
Capeless urged the public to report any suspicious sightings, but to not conduct their own searches nor independent investigations.
"Let us do our job," Capeless said during a news conference before Reilly's arraignment last month.
The investigation is being conducted by Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, the Massachusetts State Police crime scene services section, and the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office with the assistance of the Clarksburg, North Adams, Northampton and Easthampton Police departments.
Reach staff writer Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249 or @BobDunn413 on Twitter.
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