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Vanished Without a Trace revisits disappearance of Tara Grinstead with suspect now arrested

Tara Grinstead smiling in family photo
Tara Grinstead went missing in 2005, Vanished Without a Trace investigates the case

This week Vanished Without a Trace investigates the case of 30-year-old teacher Tara Grinstead, who went missing after a day with helping out at a beauty pageant.

October 23 2005 in Ocilla, Georgia, and former-beauty queen Tara Grinstead attends a local pageant where she is coaching contestants and then heads to a barbecue.

The next day she fails to show up for work and her co-workers phone the police who head to her house. There they find her unlocked car outside but her purse and keys are missing.

Right away the cops get a bad feeling and get the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in on the case.

However, no sign of a struggle is found and the case soon goes pretty much cold.

The case was highlighted by a CBS News show in 2008 and the police they had found a latex glove with DNA near her home, but they were unable to match it.

In 2009 Grinstead’s disappearance was the subject of a hoax, with a prankster posting a video online claiming to have killed 16 women.

Finally in February 2017 a tip led to the police arresting Ryan Alexander Duke, a former student of Grinstead’s. Cops suspect that he was burgling her home when he was discovered and strangled her, before removing her body and burning it.

Vanished Without a Trace airs on Mondays at 8:00 PM on Investigation Discovery. 

James Wray

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