The second suspect in the Tara Grinstead murder investigation is accused of burning the teacher’s body, according to an indictment signed Monday.
A Ben Hill County grand jury indicted Bo Dukes, who is charged with concealing a death, tampering with evidence, and hindering apprehension of a criminal in Grinstead’s death. Investigators believe Dukes helped a former classmate, Ryan Alexander Duke, remove Grinstead’s body from her Ocilla home.
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Dukes “did unlawfully and knowingly destroy physical evidence by burning the body of Tara Faye Grinstead, a human being, at a location off Bowen’s Mill Highway,” in Fitzgerald, the indictment states. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation previously searched woods behind a pecan farm in the area but have not publicly said what was found.
Grinstead, 30, an Irwin County High School teacher and former beauty queen, 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 to teach history.
A massive search was launched to find Grinstead, who was the subject of several television shows, and a hefty reward was offered for information on her whereabouts. But the case remained cold for more than 11 years.
In February, the GBI announced an arrest in the case after a tipster reported new details. Duke, 33, was the first suspect arrested.
“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 at the time of the arrest.
A week later, Dukes was arrested. Dukes is not related to Duke, but the two were classmates, pictured side by side in the Irwin County yearbook. Hours after his arrest, Dukes was released from jail after posting $15,000 bond. Duke remained in jail Monday and was being held without bond. No details on a possible motive have been released.
In April, Duke was indicted by an Irwin County grand jury on six counts, including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary and concealing the death of another.
No trial date has been set.
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