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Tara Greinstead

Cold Case: Tara Grinstead ‘Up & Vanished’ 11 years ago, but podcaster digs for new clues

by Alan Duke, Reporter & 'Crime Stories With Nancy Grace' Co-host


When Tara Grinstead disappeared in October 2005, she left cell phone in its charger and her unlocked car parked outside her Ocilla, Georgia, home. There were no signs of a struggle inside, but an unexplained rubber glove was found in her yard. 


The disappearance of Grinstead, a former beauty queen and a popular school teacher, resulted in the largest criminal casenfile in the history of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, according to podcaster Payne Lindsey. Despite all of the evidence gathered, the case has grown cold and the huge file is off limits to Lindsey. But the young filmmaker is hoping to revive it by documenting his personal investigation with a podcast titled, Up & Vanished.


It’s not been an easy trail for Lindsey as many people in the rural south Georgia community are reluctant to talk about the mystery. But his persistence is paying off by uncovering previously unknown clues and renewing public interest in Grinstead’s strange disappearance. 


Lindsey takes listeners with him as he learns about Grinstead’s personal life and the people in it. He investigates the alibi of her ex-boyfriend, who had moved away, but was in town for a three-week visit. The GBI appears to be following Lindsey’s path, digging for evidence under a house just days after Lindsey acted on a tip and searched the crawl space. 


Nancy Grace has closely followed Grinstead’s case since soon after the 30-year-old school teacher was reported missing. Grace visited the Ocilla, Georgia, home where the former beauty queen lived. Grace is featured on the upcoming episode 12 of the popular podcast.  And she talked with Lindsey about what he’s uncovered for her podcast, Crime Stories with Nancy Grace.

[Feature Photo: AP//Elliott Minor]

Alan’s journalism career began as a way to pay for his plan to become a lawyer, but he soon realized being a courtroom reporter was a lot more fun than sitting at a defense table. Duke covered many of the nation’s most sensational crime stories over his 26 years at CNN. Duke’s closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat, much of his time was spent talking to cops, coroners and lawyers. His reporting on the investigation that followed Michael Jackson’s death — and two subsequent trials — included many revelations about the singer’s life and death.   Since leaving CNN in 2014, Duke has contributed to the Reelz Channel “Copycat Killers” documentary series. He is a co-founder and editor-in-chief for