Fay's county airport manager
    Why did Bud lie to police for 1 year in
    missing woman's case?

    Married couples going through a bitter divorce sometimes play foolish cat and mouse
    games with jointly owned vehicles -- i.e., hiding the vehicles from the other until one
    spouse buys the other out or till divorce court rulings more civilly divide assets. Bud's
    former boss and the former boss' wife were not the first to be at odds over marital

    It's one thing to pretend not to know something, to mislead -- say, for instance -- a
    woman, asking about her missing, jointly-owned vehicle, when it's her husband, your
    boss or pal, who's trying to hide the jointly owned vehicle. Friends sometimes do
    really stupid things to try to help their friends. John "Bud" Neckerauer wasn't the first
    and won't be the last in that stupid friend category, but he took stupid to a whole new
    level, though, by not talking honestly to police from the start. After a few initial weeks,
    the missing person case had been reclassified as a murder investigation.

    That said, one has to especially wonder why Bud continued to keep the police in the
    dark about the RV as more and more months progressed and nobody heard from the
    missing woman.

    During that time, it became well known that the missing woman never received or
    banked a $20,000 check she was to receive from her husband the day she vanished.
    She didn't make it to visit her mother as scheduled. It was commonly known that
    protection from abuse orders had been imposed in Pennsylvania and Maryland
    against his former boss in the past with the missing woman. The whole matter was
    much, much bigger than just a missing 12-year-old RV. That should have been very
    obvious to Bud and it was not. Why not?


    While years ago, it was known that Bud supposedly took and supposedly passed a
    polygraph supporting his statement to police that he knew nothing about his boss'
    wife's disappearance, one still has to wonder why on earth it took Bud almost 1 long
    year to come clean with police on the RV before taking the polygraph.  

    Over 100 witnesses were interviewed by state troopers in the 7 months following the
    woman's disappearance before Bud and his former live-in girlfriend were first
    interviewed in person. Some of those 100 were quoted on television news and
    newspaper articles. This was no hush-hush, behind the scenes investigation, by any
    means, but one kept going in the media as well.

    One has to wonder why a friend would take and continue over 7 months to hide a
    vehicle for a friend and disrespect the fact that state troopers, traveling over 1,000
    miles to Florida to ask the questions in person, had genuine concern that the missing
    woman might have met foul play.

    Not telling police, who traveled to Florida only to interview him 7 months after the
    woman's disappearance, that he had the missing woman's missing RV was a horrible
    mistake. Had he been asked by anyone but police shortly after he received the RV
    and denied knowing its whereabouts, one could cut Bud some slack for wanting to
    protect a friend and his assets.

    It's not as though Bud and his former girlfriend had no family or friends in
    Pennsylvania who never mentioned by long-distance calls or letters that his former
    boss' wife was suddenly missing and many thought she was murdered. He spoke by
    phone with police shortly after the woman disappeared, so he knew first-hand that
    the police didn't necessarily share his enthusiasm that the missing woman left behind
    a large sum of money, forgot about her children and mother and ran off to join an
    Arizona cult.

    It shouldn't have taken one year and sheer panic because police were about to learn
    the whereabouts of the RV for Bud to have come to his senses and called police to
    admit that he had the RV and had had it since 2 days before his former boss' wife

    Why didn't Bud realize that the police and mostly everyone except the missing
    woman's husband believed that the missing woman was harmed or killed? Friendship
    is one thing and a 12-year-old RV another.

    Why didn't Bud do the right thing from the start? He had to know that police would
    not be searching for a jointly-owned 12-year-old vehicle in a bitter divorce unless
    they had good reason to believe that the woman driving it was murdered and about
    to never be heard from again. He had to sense that the missing woman's children,
    mother and friends had to be devastated and that he crossed the line of right and
    wrong by lying to police that he knew nothing about the missing RV.  

    One has to wonder how long it took, or if Bud ever did come to believe that his
    former boss had murdered his wife and used Bud to hide the RV to cover her
    disappearance and absence from the lives of her children and mother. One also has
    to wonder if a one-year delay on Bud's part in turning the RV over to police stopped
    police in any way from getting a confession from a killer. Not that police thought that
    the woman was killed in the RV. Police believed the woman was killed in the family-
    owned bus terminal.

    Imagine the possible powerful edge, however, that any seasoned cop interrogating
    the husband in his wife's mysterious disappearance could have had, to squeeze a
    possible killer, only if the cop could have said, "Hey, cut the crap! Bud said you gave
    him the RV to hide. The gig is up!"

    The prosecution of Bud for interference and obstructing justice ended in March of
    1993, when Fayette County Judge William Franks ruled that Fayette County
    Common Pleas Court lacked jurisdiction in the case. Franks said that the RV was
    taken from Westmoreland County and nothing in the case referred to Fayette.
    Westmoreland had said the same thing earlier, however.  

    These days, Bud, in his recent media interviews, gives some anonymous bloggers
    only a few more days to admit that they posted false statements about him and to
    apologize to him for doing so. Otherwise, he told media that he will continue to
    proceed to have computer/device Internet Protocol (IP) addresses pulled by
    investigators for the anonymous bloggers to pay him civil damages.

    Make no mistake by mistaking this piece for a confession or an apology, as none are
    warranted here. Given that an anonymous blogger on that one specific site also gave
    readers an advance tip off notice of a large FBI drug raid last year and nobody
    seemed to care to find that insider to talk to him or her, in comparison, Bud's quest to
    out the anonymous bloggers lying about him online seems quite trivial.

    That Bud, in his recent media interviews announcing that he filed a lawsuit, offered
    no regrets whatsoever for withholding the information from police about the RV's
    whereabouts for one long year is remarkable, unfortunate and sad. One has to
    wonder, too, why did Bud, months ago, not answer citizens who stated their names
    and inquired in very public and documented meetings about his brush with the law, in
    a still open case? Why did the media sit through it and not report that citizens had
    such concerns in public meetings, but spared no ink printing the grandstanding
    lawsuit announcements?

    Integrity and honesty, after all, are key character qualities needed for decent human
    beings and public-funded employees, right?

    Nobody, not even a public employee who once hid a vehicle and the vehicle's
    whereabouts from state troopers for 1 year, deserves to be lied about on social
    media. Since he claims that he is not running drugs out of the airport and not the
    social menace that some anonymous bloggers have labeled him to be, we wish him
    well in his quest to unearth the truth.

    Perhaps, some other good will also come from Bud's lawsuit. Perhaps his lawsuit will
    draw attention to the tragically cold case of a woman missing and presumed dead 28
    years ago by essentially everyone but 2 men who said that she ran off to join a cult.

    Copyright Protected

    Quotes from Bud's former lawyer

    "Bud Neckerauer was a bus driver for the Groomes Bus Company. He was
    questioned by the State Police as to his knowledge of the whereabouts of the motor
    home. According to the police he denied knowing anything concerning the location
    of that vehicle. However, the truth was that Bud had been asked by Mr. Groomes to
    hide the motor home so as to keep it away from Mrs. Groomes. Bud did this rather
    successfully, first in Virginia and later in Florida.

    Approximately a year later, the motor home was discovered in Tampa, Fla., and the
    person discovering it implicated Bud in the transfer of the motor home to Florida.
    When he became aware that the State Police were about to know of the location of
    the motor home, Neckerauer immediately called them to say that he had been in
    possession of the motor home and had been given it by Mr. Groomes two days
    before the disappearance of Mrs. Groomes. He also told the police that he had
    been aware of the location of the motor home since that time. Neckerauer was
    immediately arrested on charges of volunteering false information to the police and
    concealing evidence to impede an investigation.

    When he contacted me to represent him, I insisted that he take a lie detector test by
    an examiner of my choosing at his own expense. He complied with this request and
    passed the lie detector test with flying colors. He absolutely knew nothing about the
    disappearance or possible murder of Mrs. Groomes."

    Judge Irving L. Bloom, as written in his 2003 publication, "Lying is legal," from
    "Sidebar," a Westmoreland Bar Association newsletter

  • Oct 1988 - Ada Groomes disappears from Scottdale, PA. Over 100 witnesses are

  • Nov 1988 - Police first talk to Bud by phone .

  • May 1989 - Bud and (his girlfriend) were interviewed in Florida; both, as per State
    Superior Court records, "denied any knowledge of the disappearance of either Mrs.
    Groomes or the motorhome, although both indicated they had learned from Mrs.
    Groomes husband that she had joined some type of cult in Arizona where she was
    presumably in possession of the motorhome."

  • Oct.1989 - A Florida man tells police that Bud had the RV stored on the man's
    property in Florida since late 1988. Bud learns the owner of the property where the
    RV was stored told the police of the RV's whereabouts. Bud calls police then to
    repeat the information, says he had the missing RV since 2 days before the woman
    disappeared. He was charged with violations of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 903 (Criminal
    Conspiracy), § 5101 (Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental
    Function), § 4910 (Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence) and § 5105
    (Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution).

  • March 1993 - Judge William Franks ruled Fayette County Common Pleas Court
    lacked jurisdiction in the case since the RV was taken from Westmoreland County
    and nothing in the case referred to Fayette. Bud never was tried.  

  • March 1993 - A Grand Jury in Harrisburg investigated the woman's disappearance.

  • June 3, 2016 - Bud files suit in Westmoreland County against John and Jane Does
    blogging on faywest.com about his past brush with the law and lies about his

Superior Court Record, Commonwealth v Neckerauer
Superior Court Record
Pittsburgh Press
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Charley Project