On the 23rd of October 2005, Tara Grinstead, a 30-year-old history teacher (and beauty queen) was reported missing in Ocilla, Georgia. For 12 long years, investigators were unable to piece together enough evidence or a credible set of events that could assist the investigating team in locating Tara Grinstead.
At every turn, investigators hit wall after wall until now. On 23 February 2017, 12 years after the reported disappearance of Tara Grinstead, investigators acquired a tip that subsequently resulted in the arrest of Ryan Alexander Duke who has been charged with murder. Check out slide 9 and 10 for the shocking and grueling revelation of this heartbreaking case.
The Beginning Of A 12 Year Long Investigation
Unfortunately, No One Could Confirm The Location Of Miss Grinstead
That moment in time marked the beginning of a 12-year long investigation into the abduction and presumed murder of a beloved member, teacher, coach and beauty pageant participant in the Ocilla community. Concerned for their missing colleague, they proceeded to call and inform local police of the situation at hand. You’d be surprised by the details of the crime scene shared in the next slide.
Her Home Was Like A Ghost Town
Police arrived at Tara’s property and entered the premises. Upon inspection, they located her vehicle parked outside the house which was unlocked. Inside her home, police were able to find her cell phone but there was no sign of hey keys or purse. Something was clearly wrong at this scene. Scattered details pointed to signs of a scuffle inside the home, $100 was found in her vehicle and the driver’s seat was adjusted for a physically taller driver.
The Georgia Bureau Of Investigation And Possible Suspects
Aware of the enormity of this case, the local police deemed it necessary to involve the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who were better equipped to deal with missing person cases. Investigators learned of Tara’s recent breakup prior to her disappearance but little to no evidence pointed to the ex-boyfriend. A married policeman who was apparently involved with Tara was said to have visited her on the night of her disappearance. He had an alibi and maintained his innocence.
Three Years Later, A Possible Connection Was Established
On a CBS television show 48 Hours Mystery, attention was directed towards the similarity between the Tara Grinstead case and the disappearance of Jeniffer Kesse in Orlando, Florida on the 24th of January 2006. Soon after this televised report, investigators revealed that a latex glove with DNA was located on Miss Grinstead’s property.
Even With Evidence, Progress On The Case Was Dismal
An investigator from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Gary Rothwell, confirmed the existence of DNA found in the latex glove. After careful analysis against suspects, the investigating team confirmed the DNA belonged to a man but the identity could not be determined or matched against anyone, including her ex-boyfriend and the married policeman. You’re going to be blown away by the twisted event that unravels next.
The “Catch Me Killer” Makes His Appearance A Year Later
Just when things couldn’t get any weirder, in February of 2009, a man published a video online proclaiming to have been responsible for the murders of 16 women (one of them being Tara Grinstead). Investigators identified Andrew Hayley (27 years old) as the man in the videos but his claims of serial killing were nothing more than a twisted hoax. By 2010, Tara Grinstead was declared dead.
Finally, A Break In The Case!
12 years later, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation revealed that they received a tip-off which ultimately led to the arrest of Ryan Alexander Duke. As it turns out, Ryan had attended and graduated from Irwin County High School three years prior to the disappearance and murder of Tara Grinstead.
The Details Of The Case Are Still Under A Gag-Order
Little of the specifics relating to the crime have been officially released but multiple media reports claim that Ryan Duke attempted to break in and steal from Tara Grinstead’s home. Things spiraled out of control when Grinstead caught Ryan inside her home resulting in him strangling her to death. There’s more to this case than meets the eye. Slide on to find out who else was involved in this crime.
Ryan Duke Wasn’t The Only One Involved In This Vicious Crime
About a week after Ryan’s arrest, an accomplice, Bo Dukes (32 years old), was apprehended by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and charged with attempting to conceal Tara’s body, hindering the apprehension of her killer (Ryan Duke) and tampering with the evidence of a crime. From a burglary to an elaborately concealed murder, the Tara Grinstead case is nothing less than chilling.
They Were Both Classmates At Irwin Country High School
Both, Ryan and Bo, had schooled together but neither of them was ever considered by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to be involved in Tara’s disappearance. Ricketson, one of the leading investigators of the case reportedly said, “This gentleman (Ryan Duke) never came up on our radar through the investigation.”
Nobody Would Or Could Have Guessed
At it turns out, Tara’s sister, Anita Gattis, reportedly said that she was acquainted with Bo Duke’s family for a substantial amount of time but could have never guessed that he would be involved. “I can’t even put this into words. It’s unreal. It’s just unbelievable.”
For over four days straight, Georgia Bureau of Investigation had been searching for Tara Grinstead’s remains on the pecan farm in Ben Hill County. Head investigator Ricketson had the following to say, “This is a possible site where she may have been disposed of. We are finding some things and we are collecting some evidence.”
Because of the gag order in place, details of the court case are being kept under wraps but all we can truly hope for is justice for Tara Grinstead, her family, friends and everyone who cared for her. After catching up with the case, do you think it’s possible that Ryan Duke was romantically interested in Tara Grinstead and the burglary was nothing more than a distraction from his real motive, to abduct or kill her? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.