Jury selection begins for man accused of killing beauty queen, teacher

Credit: http://www.findtara.com

Credit: http://www.findtara.com

Ryan Duke is accused of killing Tara Grinstead in 2005 in south Georgia

It’s been nearly 17 years since Tara Grinstead was last seen alive. This week, the trial begins for the man accused of killing the Georgia high school teacher and former beauty queen.

Ryan Alexander Duke is accused of killing 30-year-old Grinstead in October 2005, according to investigators. Jury selection began Monday morning in the case, which is expected to last several weeks. Some 400 potential jurors have been summoned in the case, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Grinstead was reported missing when she failed to show up to teach her Irwin County High School history classes. A massive search was launched to find Grinstead, whose face appeared on billboards as her disappearance became a national news story. The reward for information grew, but no trace of her was found.

ExploreTara Grinstead’s accused killers confessed in 2005, court documents claim

Then in February 2017, the GBI announced an arrest in the cold case. After questioning him for several hours, Duke was arrested. He confessed, according to the GBI investigators. But later, he changed his story and said he didn’t kill Grinstead, but was involved in covering up her death.

Bo Dukes, who isn’t related to Duke, was also charged in the case. In March 2019, Dukes was sentenced to 25 years in prison for concealing Grinstead’s death. Dukes initially claimed he didn’t know anything about the disappearance and death of Grinstead. Months later, Dukes confessed. He didn’t kill Grinstead but helped dispose of the body, according to evidence at his trial.

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