A mysterious case from which the blood runs cold.
In small towns, almost all residents are familiar with each other – this feature is typical not only for Russia, but also for America. Neighbors are up to date with the latest news, and if something suspicious happens, they are always ready to sound the alarm. 30-year-old Tara Grinstead lived in the small town of Ocilla: its population barely exceeded 3.5 thousand people.
Tara’s closest neighbors even managed to remember her habit – as soon as she came home, the light always turned on in the bedroom. But one day it didn’t happen. No, Grinstead did not stay late at work and did not stay overnight with a friend – the light in her room went out forever.
A wonderful teacher, a good friend and just a beauty
Tara worked as a high school history teacher and boasted not only an attractive appearance, but also an ideal reputation. The girl won beauty contests, and invested cash prizes in education. Grinstead easily found a common language with people, adored her work, and the students were delighted with her teaching.
“She had an incredible smile. She was ready to say anything to make you feel better, ”her best friend described Tara.
On October 22, 2005, Tara had a busy day: she gathered students for a beauty contest, and then the girl had a picnic planned with her former classmates. Unfortunately, the date turned out to be fatal: on this day, the beautiful Grinstead disappeared without a trace.
On October 22 at 11 p.m., Tara got out of her car and crossed the threshold of the house: she usually returned earlier, but this was not the only deviation from the norm. Nobody turned on the light in the bedroom. The next morning, Grinstead’s mother was alarmed: her daughter was ignoring calls, although this usually did not happen.
Everyone knew that Tara was a real fan of her profession. When the teacher didn’t show up for work on Monday, everyone realized that something terrible might have happened. The missing person was reported to the police, and the officers went to the Grinstead house.
The girl’s car was in the parking lot near the house, but it was not locked. There was a $ 100 bill on the dashboard – it was suspicious, because the responsible Tara would hardly have left the money in a conspicuous place and forgot to close the car. However, the police did not find anything supernatural in the house. The crumpled bed, the folded Saturday attire, and the charging phone all indicated that the teacher had simply returned home. But Tara was not in the building.
However, it is unfair to say that the beautiful teacher disappeared without a trace.
The police still had two clues: a strange latex glove was lying near the house, and a torn chain of the girl was found on the floor of the bedroom. At first, experts assumed that Tara left the house herself, but the evidence haunted them.
“We could not explain where the latex glove came from. She gave us reason to believe that something terrible had happened, ”the agent Gary Rothwell is quoted as saying in CBS News.
The evidence was taken away for examination. During the research, not only Tara’s DNA was found on the glove, but also the DNA of an unknown man.
Circle of suspects
The disappearance of the girl alarmed the town. Police officers, Tara’s colleagues, students and all caring residents took part in the search. Unfortunately, Grinstead’s openness and sociability had a negative impact on the investigation – it took a long time to interview all the teachers’ acquaintances. But the police managed to form a circle of suspects.
Marcus Harper is Tara’s ex-lover who once worked in law enforcement. The couple broke up a year before the disappearance of the girl, but they managed to maintain a warm relationship. The police were alerted that Marcus appeared in the city three weeks before the incident, but he did not notify Grinstead of his arrival. Tara’s acquaintances said that Harper had a tough character and the girl was even afraid of him. But the crime was not committed by the ex-boyfriend, the police removed suspicions from him.
Then the attention of specialists was attracted by a former student of Tara, who six months ago tried to enter the teacher’s house and aggressively insisted on a meeting. The bully was calmed down by the police, who learned that his strange behavior was motivated by a long unrequited love for Grinstead. The guy turned out to be persistent: Tara openly said that he had no chance, but the persecution did not stop. It seemed that the police managed to find the criminal, but the suspicions had to be removed: the student had a reliable alibi.
Mysterious chosen one
The police also noticed the man’s business card, which was in the teacher’s house. It turned out to be a policeman from a neighboring town. The suspect had a wife, but that didn’t stop Tara from dating him. The audit confirmed that the mysterious chosen one was not responsible for the disappearance of Grinstead.
The list of suspects has come to an end. The search continued, but did not bear fruit.
Frightening false trail
After 4 years, a terrible video was discovered on the Internet: a man who hid his face announced the kidnapping of 16 girls. He listed the names of the victims. Tara was one of them. The offender said that there was no point in looking for the bodies, they were safely buried. The unknown wanted to play a game with the police: he planned to give clues that would help the officers find the missing.
The author of the video was quickly found. It turned out that he just found a list of missing girls and wanted to have fun. For a terrible trick and false testimony, the guy went to prison for two years.
Circle of suspects
Activities of those who are not indifferent
Years passed, the case did not move forward, and Tara was declared dead. All possible versions have been worked out. But in 2016, journalist Payne Lindsey organized his own investigation, with the help of friends and residents of a small town. Unfortunately, those who are not indifferent still failed to find Grinstead. It seemed that there was simply no chance of solving the case. However, a year later the situation changed dramatically.
The shocking truth
In early 2017, a stranger named Brooke Sheridan came to the police station. Her frank confession made the employees shudder in horror. According to Brooke, her boyfriend Beau Dukes said that he once helped a friend get rid of the teacher’s body. This happened on October 22, 2005. Sheridan could not keep the secret of her chosen one.
With the help of the girl and wiretapping, the police managed to get Bo’s confession and prove his involvement. Employees found out that the friend’s name was Ryan Duke. On the fateful day, the guy was under the influence of illegal substances, and in search of a new dose, he decided to rob. It was Tara’s house that was in Ryan’s path.
Grinstead woke up and wanted to confront the criminal, but Duke was stronger and strangled the girl during the struggle. Together with Bo, they took the body deep into the forest – there was a site that Ryan’s parents owned. For two days, the accomplices tried to get rid of Tara forever, fire helped them to hide the traces of a terrible crime.
During the trial, Bo and Ryan repented and begged for forgiveness from the relatives of the deceased with tears in their eyes. Dukes’ lawyers fought for a commutation of punishment, but their labors were in vain – the accomplice went to jail for 25 years. The murder trial is still ongoing. The defenders want to prove that Ryan gave false evidence, and the blame for the crime lies entirely with Bo.