Arrest made in death of Georgia teacher Tara Grinstead

Arrest made in death of Georgia teacher Tara Grinstead

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Teacher Tara Grinstead disappeared Oct. 22, 2005. Authorities in rural south Georgia say they plan to update the public, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, on their 11-year search for a missing teacher. A former beauty queen who taught at Irwin County High School, Grinstead was 30 years old when she vanished in October 2005 from her home. (AP Photo/Elliott Minor, File, Oct. 4, 2006)

More than 11 years after she was last seen alive, an arrest as been made in the death of Georgia teacher Tara Grinstead, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Thursday afternoon.

Ryan Alexander Duke has been charged with murder, the GBI said. Duke was a graduate of Irwin County High School, where Grinstead taught history.

The GBI declined to say how Grinstead died or whether her remains had been found.

Grinstead, a former beauty pageant queen, was last seen on Oct. 22, 2005. Two days later, she was reported missing when she didn’t show up to teach history at the county high school.

Tara Grinstead, a teacher and former beauty queen, disappeared from her home in October 2005.

Despite extensive searches in the area — and national attention from several television show hosts — Grinstead was never found.

In a February 2006 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Anita Gattis said her sister would not have left on her own.

Gattis believed her sister left with someone she knew on the night she disappeared. Her house was locked but her car, a pearl white Mitsubishi 3000 GT, was unlocked and in the carport, with $100 in the console and clay on the tires.

“Tara never left her car unlocked, and never drove on dirt roads,” Gattis said.

“There was no struggle in the house. Tara was a singer; that was her talent in pageants, ” Gattis said of her sister, thrice crowned Miss Tifton and a contestant in several Miss Georgia pageants. “If someone was removing her, she’d project her voice. And she took self-defense. She’d go out kicking and screaming and fighting.”

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