Update: Arrest made in Tara Grinstead Case

OCILLA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – An arrest has been in the murder of Tara Grinstead. Grinstead went missing in 2005.

Thursday morning, 33-year-old Ryan Alexander Duke was arrested and charged for the murder of Tara Grinstead.

The GBI made the announcement in a news conference around 3:00 p.m.

According to the GBI, there is still investigation that needs to be done, but that “this gentleman never came up on their radar” as part of this investigation.

“Enough probable cause was discovered so we could swear out and arrest warrant charging Ryan Alexander Duke with the murder of Tara Grinstead. Duke was taken into custody yesterday afternoon and a warrant was issued this morning.”

It took more than 10 years for the case to get this far.

“Duke was taken into custody yetserday afternoon and a warrant was issued this morning.”

But the community finally has some closure.

“We have so many people that have been emotional for years,” said Irwin County Schools Superintendent Dr. Thad Clayton.

“We always believed in the GBI and the dedication to her case,” said Tara’s stepmother Connie Grinstead.

Tara Grinstead disappeared from her home in Ocilla on October 22nd, 2005.

Since then, the search has brought few clues as to what happened.

But now the man charged with her murder, Ryan Duke, is in custody.

The Irwin County Courthouse was packed for the announcement–a mystery to everyone up until the moment GBI Special Agent J.T. Ricketson said it.

“This community’s got a good heart,” said Clayton. “It’s not a surprise to see the way the word was getting out earlier today, that it was going to be a major announcement. It’s not a surprise to see a packed house. We’re a small town. We’re going to know family members of the person who was mentioned today and have equally as manystories about being  a part of the community with them. I don’t wish any ill will on the family. It’s going to be difficult for them just as it’s going to be difficult for a friend or for a classmate.”

Ricketson says it was that same community and the media that helped with the investigation.

“I wanted to thank y’all because you guys kept this story out there, and I think that kept this story on people’s minds,” said Ricketson. “And I think that was a pivotal point that encouraged that person to come forward.”

Duke is also charged with burglary, aggravated assault, and concealing a death.


Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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