Tara Grinstead, a history teacher at Irwin County High School, was reported missing in October 2005. (File photo)

Former student indicted with murder in death of Tara Grinstead

An Irwin County grand jury has indicted the man accused of killing Tara Grinstead, a south Georgia teacher and former beauty pageant queen.

Ryan Alexander Duke, 33, was indicted on six counts, including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary and concealing the death of another, the indictment states.

Several media lawyers have objected and one legal expect says it could prevent the public from ever knowing what happened.
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Duke is accused of killing Grinstead inside her Ocilla home in October 2005. But there were no arrests in the case until February, when a tipster led the GBI to Duke.

“This gentleman never came up on our radar until the last few days,” GBI Special Agent in Charge J.T. Ricketson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after Duke’s arrest.

Duke was a 2002 graduate of Irwin County High School, where Grinstead taught history. But details about the relationship between the two have not been released.

Grinstead, 30, was last seen on Oct. 22, 2005, when she left a cookout and said she was going straight home. Two days later, she was reported missing when she didn’t show up at work.

Investigators now believe Duke killed her in her home and then moved her body to another location, possibly a farm in neighboring Ben Hill County.

A second man was later arrested and charged with concealing the death of south Georgia teacher Tara Grinstead, according to arrest warrants. Bo Dukes, 32, allegedly helped Duke “conceal and destroy” Grinstead’s body. Dukes is not related to Duke, but the two were high school classmates.

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