Top Stories of 2017: Vanishing of Joanne Ringer haunts family, friends

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The Eagle presents the Top Stories of 2017, as selected by editors and reporters.



CLARKSBURG — Where is Jo Ringer?

That question has been plaguing friends and family of 39-year-old Joanne Ringer since her disappearance and likely homicide in March.

The Clarksburg woman was expected to be in Easthampton the evening of March 2 to begin her first shift working for a cab company. She never arrived for that shift.

Her disappearance wasn't reported to police until two days later, by her husband, Charles "Chad" Reidy.

The delay in reporting and inconsistent statements given by Reidy began to steer investigators toward him as their primary suspect in his wife's disappearance.

On March 6, Ringer's abandoned car was found in Easthampton, not far from where she was supposed to begin her job.

Investigators became so suspicious of Reidy, they received authority to place a GPS tracking device on his vehicle to monitor his movements. That surveillance did not lead police to Ringer's body.

The story took a macabre turn when Reidy took own life in the garage of the couple's Clarksburg home April 7.

One of Ringer's missing person posters was still hanging on the front door of the home when police arrived for a well-being check and found Reidy dead behind the wheel of his car from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Reidy left no suicide note and, according to court documents obtained by The Eagle, no clues leading to Ringer's whereabouts.

The story evolved again April 21, when prosecutors charged Reidy's ex-girlfriend, Laura Reilly of Easthampton, with three counts of misleading police during interviews connected to Ringer's disappearance.

It was at a news conference after that arraignment in Northern Berkshire District Court that Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless officially declared Ringer's case a homicide and Reidy as the lone suspect.

Reilly allegedly gave police conflicting and inconsistent statements from one interview to the next about the whereabouts of herself and Reidy in the days surrounding Ringer's disappearance.

Reilly was indicted by a Berkshire grand jury and arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court in June. Her attorney has insisted from the start of her case that Reilly has nothing to do with Ringer's disappearance.

In the meantime, friends and family of Ringer's enlisted the aid of private investigator Sarah Stein and are soliciting tips from the public in hopes of bringing some closure.

Reilly's case remains open, and a pretrial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 11.

Reach Bob Dunn at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.




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