Published: Fri, February 24, 2017
National | By Traci Kelley

Man arrested in connection with 2005 disappearance of Georgia high school teacher


Ryan Alexander Duke, 33, is charged with murder in connection with the disappearance of Tara Grinstead.

She was 30 years old when she vanished in October 2005 from her home in the farm town of Ocilla, in south Georgia. Grinstead's cellphone was found inside her home and her auto was in the driveway, with $100 in the console and clay on the tires.

Witnesses last saw Grinstead at a beauty pageant, then at a co-worker's barbecue before she went home. Police immediately suspected foul play in Grinstead's case, the GBI said in a press release.

'Tara never left her auto unlocked, and never drove on dirt roads, ' Gattis said. Though they have received many tips over the years, none led to credible information.

He said Duke was arrested Wednesday and is now in the Irwin County jail.

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Without that individual coming forward, investigators said Duke may have never been on their radar.

He said they're still interviewing people in the case.

GBI said the investigation is ongoing and would not give details on motive or if Duke acted alone.

However, the case remained open and the GBI recently received a tip that led authorities to interview subjects they had never interviewed before, which led them to gather enough probably cause to charge Duke with Grinstead's murder.

Grinstead's remains have never been found, and the search continues.

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