Tara Grinstead case: Suspect indicted in murder of long-missing Ga. beauty queen

OCILLA, Ga. -- A grand jury has indicted a Georgia man in the murder of a high school teacher who vanished from her home nearly 12 years ago.

Thirty-year-old Tara Grinstead went missing in October 2005. In February, authorities announced they had arrested 33-year-old Ryan Alexander Duke and charged him with her murder. Charging documents say he used his hands to kill Grinstead, a former beauty queen, in her Ocilla home. 

Duke’s high school classmate Bo Dukes was later charged with concealing a death, evidence tampering and hindering the apprehension of a criminal for allegedly helping Duke hide Grinstead’s body on a pecan farm.

CBS affiliate WMAZ reports Bo Dukes is the nephew of the owner of that farm, Hudson Pecan, where investigators have in recent months focused the search for Grinstead’s remains. Her body has not been found.

Wednesday, according to WMAZ, a grand jury returned indictments against Ryan Alexander Duke on six charges, including malice murder, two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary and concealing a death. The grand jury heard evidence against Duke for about three-and-a-half hours before handing up the indictment, the station reports.

Grinstead had reportedly taught at the high school both suspects attended. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has declined to give the cause of Grinstead’s death or a possible motive.  

Ryan Duke in an Ocilla, Ga. courtroom Feb. 23, 2017

Ryan Duke in an Ocilla, Ga. courtroom Feb. 23, 2017

WGCL

Bo Dukes is free on bail.

“48 Hours” was the first national broadcast to investigate the case in the episode “Stolen Beauty.” Last month, Grinstead’s family released a statement to “48 Hours” after a judge lifted a gag order in the case.

“We have waited a long time to get to this point. Our focus and our efforts have always been about getting justice for Tara. Our priority now is to protect the integrity of the investigation,” her family said in the statement.