A second former student at the high school where Tara Grinstead taught is now accused in connection with the disappearance of the former beauty queen.
Bo Dukes was named as the second suspect in the high-profile case of the missing teacher. Previously, his high school classmate Ryan Duke was accused in the homicide.
Grinstead was reported missing October 22, 2005 from her home in Ocilla, Gerogia. Foul play was long suspected, but the case remained unsolved for years, and Grinstead’s body was not found.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Another Former High School Student Was Previously Charged
Ryan Alexander Duke was previously accused in the murder of Georgia teacher and beauty queen Tara Grinstead, who disappeared in 2005. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation revealed during a press conference that Duke had been arrested and charged with her murder, over 11 years from when she went missing.
Read court documents on Scribd:
According to WXIA-TV, Bo Dukes was “arrested, charged and released on bond, for concealing death, hindering apprehension or punishment of a criminal, tampering with evidence.”
You can read more about Ryan Duke, the other suspect, here:
Ryan Alexander Duke was charged with murder in the 2005 disappearance of Tara Grinstead, a teacher and beauty queen from Georgia.Click here to read more
2. Authorities Cracked the Cold Case After Receiving a Tip & Are Searching a Pecan Farm Owned by Dukes’ Relative
Officials said previously that someone had come forward with information and through a series of interviews with subjects that had never been interviewed in connection with the case, investigators obtained enough information to arrest Duke. He was taken into custody February 22, and a warrant was issued the day after on February 23.
The arrest of the second suspect, Bo Dukes, came on March 3. According to WXIA-TV, authorities are searching a pecan farm owned by Dukes’ relative, looking for Grinstead’s remains.
Court documents say authorities believe Grinstead “was killed at a farm off Bowens Hill Highway 129 in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, between Oct. 23 and Oct. 28. 2005,” reported 13WMAZ. Other reports allege the teacher was killed in her home and then buried at the farm.
3. Both Suspects Once Attended the School Where Grinstead Taught
Grinstead taught at Irwin County High School in Ocilla beginning in 1998. She taught 11th-grade history after graduating from Middle Georgia College. She later earned her master’s degree in education from Valdosta State University.
GBI investigators said that Duke had graduated high school three years before her disappearance in 2002. Duke is 33, and Dukes is 32; the men are both pictured in the same high school yearbook.
Despite their similar names, the two men – who attended high school together – are not related, according to 13WMAZ.
4. For Years, Grinstead’s Disappearance Had Baffled Investigators
The night before she was reported missing, Grinstead visited a local beauty pageant and went to a barbecue later on — Grinstead is a former beauty queen and was an active coach of young beauty pageant participants.
The next day, Grinstead didn’t show up for work and co-workers from the school where she worked grew worried and called police.
When they went to her home, officers found her cell phone and her car in the driveway. The car was unlocked, but her keys and purse were gone. An investigation found no noticeable signs of forced entry or a struggle.
Authorities have not spelled out exactly how they think Grinstead was murdered. However, “arrest warrants accuse Duke of burglary and aggravated assault” and say the first suspected “used his hands in an offensive manner” to Grinstead, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The newspaper said no motive has been publicly given.
5. Dukes Has a Criminal Record & Once Stole From the Army
According to WXIA-TV, Dukes was accused of stealing $150,000 in goods from the Army with his wife in 2013.
He was “sentenced to 27 months in prison and was released in 2015, after serving just over two years in federal prison. He was required to attend AA meetings once a week for the first 12 months after his release,” the television station reported.