Grinstead, 30, an Irwin County High School history teacher and a former beauty queen, was last seen alive at a party on Oct. 22, 2005. When she failed to to show up in her classroom two days later, a massive search was launched to find her, and it became a national news story. The reward for information grew, but no trace of Grinstead was found.
More than 11 years later, GBI investigators turned their attention to Duke. After questioning him for several hours — Duke was arrested.
Tara Grinstead’s accused killers confessed in 2005, court documents claim Ryan Alexander Duke and Bo Dukes confessed to killing Tara Grinstead, court documents claim In 2005, they reportedly told friends at a party they had killed Grinstead and burned her body It was reported to police, court documents state, but the case remained cold until early 2017 Both Dukes and Duke were arrested and charged in 2017 No trial date has been announced for the case yet
"I'm sorry for the pain I've caused," Duke told GBI investigators the day of his arrest. According to a transcript of that interview, Duke said, "I took her life, robbed her of a chance to get married and have children, growing old, and she didn't deserve that and there is nothing I can do to change it."
Several days later, a second man, Bo Dukes, was also charged in connection to the case. Dukes’ attorney could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.
In April 2017, a grand jury indicted Duke on six counts, including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary and concealing the death of another. In June 2017, Dukes was indicted on charges including concealing a death, tampering with evidence, and hindering apprehension of a criminal.
Both Duke and Dukes have entered “not guilty” pleas.
While Duke was in jail, a friend of Duke recorded a phone conversation between the two.
During the conversation, Duke claimed he was on drugs when he made the confession, and that he only repeated information he’d heard.
“I’m not going to sit here and say I did something I didn't do,” Duke said during the jailhouse phone conversation with his friend, obtained by Channel 2. “I never hurt no one. I never put my hands on a woman in my entire life man. I never will.”
A judge has set a trial date of April 1 for Duke. But his defense team is seeking to have the trial moved out of Irwin County.