Ocilla-- The search continues for a missing Ocilla high-school teacher. January 22nd will mark exactly three months since Tara Grinstead was last seen. There's been several searches launched to find her. Texas Equusearch has returned once again to help locate Tara and a new tip has them and the family hopeful.
At the Tara Command Center, candles still burn bright for missing Ocilla teacher Tara Grinstead. "There's always hope," says Tara's sister Anita Gattis. Hope is a strong word for family members and friends as each day passes since the 31-year-old was last seen.
"Last time she was seen was October 22nd," says Gattis. Decorations still remain from Halloween, and Happy Birthday signs still hang underneath her window. Yellow tape also still surrounds her home on Park Street. Ribbons around the house give the family members hope she'll return home soon.
"The family is very hopeful that she's alive," says Gattis.
Tips about Tara's whereabouts are helping family members and friends to continue pushing forward. "We are actually getting a lot of calls here at the Tara center and they are able to follow up on those immediately," says Gattis. One recent tip helped to launch another search into the area. "They are in Irwin County. Equusearch does not want it published right now because of a strong lead that they got," says Gattis.
"It was a tip that came in and it may mean something and it may not. We always have to follow up on tips," says George Alderz, Director of Training for Equusearch.
Volunteers have joined with Texas Equusearch to search more fields, water and swampy areas and say they won't give up. "We make a promise to every family. We never give up on a search," says Adlerz.
"We know that someone out there knows exactly what happened to Tara. You can remain anonymous. You can also collect 100,000 dollars if you have information that will put the person who hurt Tara back into law enforcement hands" says Gattis. Until she's found, the family will remain strong and pray that each search is the last one.
The search resumes Sunday morning at 8 a.m...Anyone with information regarding Tara should call the Tara Command Center at 229-468-0667 or the Irwin County Sheriff's Department.