Was Tara Grinstead, a beauty queen-turned-teacher, murdered by a former student from her school?

To at the present time, the disappearance of 30-year-old Tara Grinstead mystifies the small neighborhood of Ocilla Georgia, recognized for its pleasant small-town America values and huge pecan orchards.

And for greater than a decade, pecan orchards held the key of what occurred to the one-time magnificence pageant contestant, who was having fun with a profitable profession as a trainer.

“48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant investigates the younger girl’s disappearance and the search for solutions within the case he is lined for 12 years in “The Tara Grinstead Thriller.”

On the afternoon of Saturday, October 22, 2005, Tara had helped youthful contestants put together for an area magnificence pageant.  Afterwards she went to a barbecue. Someday round 11 p.m. she returned to the small home the place she lived alone.

When she failed to point out as much as educate her historical past class on Monday morning at Irwin County Excessive College, her buddies knew one thing was unsuitable. “She would by no means do this, she would by no means depart her youngsters,” stated her finest buddy Maria Woods Harber.

Maria went to Tara’s dwelling and observed her automotive within the driveway. She adopted police inside. Tara’s purse and keys have been lacking, her alarm clock was below the mattress and a bedside lamp was damaged — however there was no different overt signal of a battle.

Investigators obtained lots of of ideas, however nothing panned out. However in 2017, a lady named Brooke Sheridan got here ahead with a exceptional story.  She stated her boyfriend, Bo Dukes, appeared to have been holding a secret from her.  She prodded him to admit what had been consuming away at him.  Lastly, she says, he instructed her his secret: that years earlier his roommate Ryan Duke [similar name, no relation], woke him up one morning and instructed him he had “unintentionally” killed Tara after making an attempt to rob her in her dwelling. The 2 males had attended Irwin County Excessive College. In reality, Bo had been a scholar in considered one of Tara’s lessons.

Bo stated that Ryan instructed him he had used Bo’s truck to move her physique to a pecan orchard owned by Bo’s household. Later, Ryan confirmed Bo the precise location the place he had dumped Tara’s physique. Bo instructed Brooke he helped Ryan burn Tara’s physique in a fireplace pit, which took two days.

After Bo instructed his story to authorities, Ryan Duke was arrested and charged with homicide. Bo Dukes was additionally arrested and charged  — not with homicide —  however on expenses associated to serving to to cowl up against the law. He was convicted and sentenced to 25 years.

Ryan has pleaded not responsible and is now awaiting his day in courtroom. However it doesn’t matter what the end result of that trial, many individuals, together with Maria Woods Harber, have questions on Bo Dukes’ model of occasions: that Ryan alone killed Tara and Bo had solely helped burn her physique.

“I imagine that Ryan and Bo Duke have been each on this collectively. I’ve needed to come to a conclusion that I am simply gonna need to dwell the remainder of my life not figuring out.

“What occurred on this orchard was mindless…” says Woods Harber. “Two males who had no regard for a wonderful, loving individual took her life.”

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