• Man who started Tara Grinstead podcast talks about case breakthrough

    By: Tony Thomas

    Updated:

    IRWIN COUNTY, Ga. - The man who reignited interest in the decade-old case of Tara Grinstead said he never heard the suspect's name until the GBI announced a major breakthrough Thursday.

    Ryan Alexander Duke was arrested and charged with murder of the 30-year-old Ocilla teacher and beauty queen.

    Channel 2’s Tony Thomas spoke with Payne Lindsey, who created “Up and Vanished” in 2016 about the disappearance.

    “We know more than we did yesterday,” Payne said. “They described him as a quiet kid, not very remarkable. Not very memorable."

    Investigators said Thursday that someone walked into the sheriff's office a few days ago with information that led to several new interviews and an arrest.

    [READ: Who is Tara Grinstead?]

    "Through these interviews, enough probable cause was discovered so we could swear out an arrest warrant charging Ryan Alexander Duke with the murder of Tara Grinstead," said GBI Special Agent in Charge J.T. Ricketson. "I can say that this gentleman never came up on our radar through the investigation."

    Duke is facing charges of burglary, aggravated assault, murder and concealing a death. He has not yet made a plea.

    Sources told Thomas that there is more to come in the case. 

    GBI agents zeroed in on a likely location for Grinstead's remains. 

    "Even to this day if we are riding on a dirt road or going down a dirt road, I always catch myself looking over into the woods, just wondering, wondering if she's out there," resident Lisa Hudson said. 

    Residents believe there will be more arrests.

    "I just hope that everybody involved gets the opportunity to come clean and repent," Andy Paulk said. 

    Most people in the small Georgia town are hoping for an official end to the mystery soon. 

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