Grand jury indicts: Laura Reilly to be arraigned on charges of misleading police in Ringer case
PITTSFIELD — An Easthampton woman accused of misleading authorities in the nearly three-month investigation of a missing Clarksburg woman has been indicted by a Berkshire grand jury and her case is now heading to Superior Court.
Laura J. Reilly, 42, allegedly gave inconsistent information regarding her whereabouts to police investigating the disappearance and likely homicide of Joanne Ringer, 39. Those police interviews occurred between March 6 and April 13.
Ringer was last seen on March 2. She was scheduled to begin her first shift at an Easthampton-based taxi company but never arrived.
Her late husband, Charles "Chad" Reidy, reported her missing on March 4. Her abandoned vehicle was found in Easthampton on March 6. Her body has not been found.
Reidy, 42, who the Berkshire District Attorney's office named as its sole suspect during a press conference following Reilly's April 21 arraignment, apparently took his own life at the couple's Clarksburg home on April 7.
Reilly's name was provided to investigators as someone who might have information connected to Ringer's disappearance.
Investigators believe Reilly purposefully misled investigators "in an attempt to hide actions by herself and/or Reidy as they directly relate to the disappearance of Joanne Ringer," according to court files.
Reilly told investigators multiple times she could not remember many answers to questions posed to her, and she blamed that lack of recall on prior drug use, according to police.
"However, investigators also noted there were numerous occasions where Reilly remembered many innocuous details from those same time periods," police said.
Reilly gave four interviews to police; March 6 and 7, April 5 and April 13, and made inconsistent statements from one interview to the next.
During the investigation, police determined that Reilly used her car to take Reidy from Northampton back to his Clarksburg home.
According to court documents, investigators believe Reidy disposed of Ringer's car in Easthampton in an effort to misdirect authorities.
In an April 13, interview, six days after Reidy's suicide, Reilly told police she picked up Reidy in Northampton and drove him to Clarksburg in her car — not that they traveled in two separate cars as she had first said.
Reilly told police Reidy had asked her to lie to them and say she had not given him a ride to Clarksburg.
She also told police she did not see Reidy on March 3, the day after Ringer failed to show up for her shift. Witness statements and surveillance video contradict that claim and show the pair together on that day in Chicopee.
In her April 5 interview, after being confronted with the evidence, Reilly admitted she and Reidy were together in Chicopee, but could not remember whether it was Friday or Saturday.
Police said Reilly's information hindered the investigation into Ringer's disappearance.
"From the beginning, we suspected foul play, and we have considered Joanne Ringer's husband, Chad Reidy, as the sole suspect," Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless said following Reilly's district court arraignment on April 21.
At that press conference, Joanne Ringer's daughter, Savanah, said she was hopeful Reilly would be cooperative with authorities and be able to provide some information about her mother's whereabouts.
"If (Reilly) knows anything, I hope she will say it and not hide it," she said. "How would she feel if this was her child, wondering where she was?"
Reilly was arrested on April 20, and she pleaded not guilty in Northern District Court to three counts of misleading a police officer in Northern Berkshire District Court on April 21. She is scheduled to be arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on June 12.
She remains free on $1,500 bail. She has hired Northampton attorney Jesse Adams to represent her.
Adams was not immediately available for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Reach staff writer Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249 or @BobDunn413 on Twitter.
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