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Tara Grinstead

Second arrest in Tara Grinstead murder; family knew suspect

by Ellen Killoran

Grinstead’s sister said she stayed with his family while searching for Tara

A second man has been charged in connection to the murder of Georgia teacher and beauty queen Tara Grinstead.

Grinstead vanished in  October 2005, and the case perplexed investigators and the community of Ocilla, Georgia, for over a decade. But last week, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced that Ryan Alexander Duke had been arrested on suspicion of murdering the 30-year-old Grinstead and disposing her body.

READ also: Nancy Grace on Tara Grinstead murder arrest: ‘I don’t think the case is over’

As Crime Online‘s Nancy Grace pointed out in an appearance on Good Morning America last week, the shocking arrest coming so quickly after a tipster came forward suggested there might be more to the story.

“Somebody knew about this,” Nancy said on the show. “It’s not over yet.”

Indeed, it is not: Bo Dukes, 32, has been arrested on charges of concealing death, hindering apprehension or punishment of a criminal, and tampering with evidence, according to Atlanta-based news station 11 Alive.

Dukes’s uncle, Randy Hudson, reportedly owns a pecan farm where detective have been searching for Grinstead’s remains this week. Dukes is accused of hiding the body there from October 23 to October 28, 2005 before destroying it. It is unknown exactly what was done to the body.

READ also: More evidence in search for Tara Grinstead’s remains

The GBI has not revealed a specific cause of death, but said in the arrest announcement last week that Duke killed her with his hands.

Duke and Dukes, who are no relation, were classmates at Irwin County High School in Ocilla while Grinstead taught there.

Dukes, 32, was reportedly arrested on Thursday and posted $16,700 bail to be released on Friday afternoon.

Grinstead’s sister, Anita Gattis, told WSB-TV that she had known Dukes’ family for years, and never imagined he could have had anything to do with her sister’s disappearance.

“I can’t even put this into words. It’s unreal. It’s just unbelievable,” Gattis said, adding that she stayed with relatives of Dukes’ while the community searched for her sister in 2005.

“They were some of the most heartbroken people in the area over Tara’s disappearance,” she said.

 

Photo: Handout

Ellen is a seasoned journalist and former media & entertainment reporter with a taste for true crime. Formerly a senior editor at IBTimes, her work has appeared in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Maxim, NYMag, Indiewire, and more. She co-produced the HBO documentary "Youth Knows No Pain" and appeared in a documentary series that aired alongside the Lifetime movie "Manson's Lost Girls."