Ocilla, GA – On February 22, 2017, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) arrested Ryan Alexander Duke, age 33, for O.C.G.A. #16-5-1 Murder in connection with the disappearance of Tara Grinstead.

On Saturday, October 22, 2005, Tara Grinstead disappeared from her home in Ocilla, Georgia.  Immediately, foul play was suspected and a massive search was started by the Ocilla Police Department, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Irwin County Sheriff’s Office.  The search conducted at Grinstead’s home produced very little evidence making the search for her very difficult.  Many volunteers from the local community came out and assisted law enforcement with the search efforts.  Since the disappearance of Grinstead, several hundred interviews have been conducted, hundreds of leads have been investigated, and multiple search warrants have been executed.  All these efforts did not produce any credible information as to the whereabouts of Grinstead.

The GBI has a standing policy that requires all investigative case files, including the unsolved cases, to be reviewed several times each year.  Although the Grinstead investigation was over 11 years old, this case continued to be active.  Through the years, the GBI has received many leads that came in through the GBI TIPS line.  Each and every creditable tip was fully investigated and exhausted.  Recently, the GBI received a tip that led agents to conduct several interviews of subjects that had not been previously interviewed.  The information gained from these interviews led agents to develop enough probable cause to secure an arrest warrant for Duke, charging him with the murder of Tara Grinstead.

This investigation is still very active and the GBI expects to conduct several more interviews and investigative acts in the next few weeks.  The search for Grinstead’s remains continues.

Nelly Miles | Public Affairs Director | 404/270-8330

SAC J.T. Ricketson | GBI  - Perry | 478/987-4545