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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 has worked for Monsters and Critics since it started back in 2003. He oversees the business and technical side of things. You can contact or follow him on Twitter.

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