Jay Carsey, the Charles County Community College president who vanished last May leaving his job, his mansion and his wife of 14 years, telephoned an old friend twice in January and sent a note to another, giving clues that he may be living in a wealthy San Francisco suburb.
"He's obviously well, he obviously wants privacy and as far as I'm concerned he can have it," said John Sine, Carsey's friend, former colleague and former dean of the college. Sine took over the school presidency a month after Carsey, 47, disappeared and by his unexplained absence became a kind of community folk hero.
Meanwhile, Carsey's wife Nancy said that she has not had a word from her husband and that the "bills are piling up." She is looking for a job and has filed for what she called a "limited" divorce for the sake of straightening out the complicated financial tangle in which her husband left her.
"I have had no contact at all. I'm just deeply hurt. It's been very painful," she said in a telephone interview yesterday, adding that she knew that her husband had contacted others.
Nancy Carsey said that, despite some budget problems at the college and some physical ailments, she is still at a loss to explain her husband's mysterious departure from what she described as a life of success and social prominence.
Others said that no intrigue remains in "Exit the Rainmaker," as Carsey described his disappearance on the back of a farewell postcard, a reference to the fictional hero of a play who promised to bring rain to a dry town and who was admired for his goodness despite his faults. Carsey, they say, simply may have lost his identity in the social whirl and felt that his life had lost substance.
According to Sine, the only word he has received from Carsey came in early January--eight months after the exit--in a letter postmarked in San Rafael, Calif. It was written on plain paper and was untraceable, Sine said: "No watermark, no nothing."
"He just said, hello, he was doing well and if we had any money left over for him he would appreciate receiving it and that was it," Sine said yesterday.
Sine said that around the time the note arrived, Carsey also telephoned Dominic J. Monetta, a Washington consultant and longtime friend, late at night at home. After Monetta recognized who it was, the two had "just a normal conversation," Sine said.
Sine said Carsey, who called Monetta twice, asked that any money due him be turned over to Monetta. (The sum turned out to be $4,142, partly from an overdue expense account from his $45,000-a-year position.) Monetta, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, reportedly was to forward the money to Carsey at a post office box in Marin County, a chic San Francisco suburb and California's wealthiest county.
"I don't really know where he's living," said Sine, adding that he didn't think Monetta knew where Carsey was either.
"It would be a disservice to him to find him," Sine said.