New legislation for missing adults needed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New legislation for missing adults needed

January 24, 2006

Ocilla -  Grinstead's family hopes that Representative Jack Kingston will introduce legislation to help find missing adults.

During his brief meeting with Anita Gattis, Tara's older sister, First District Congressman Jack Kingston of Brunswick not only asked what he could do to help find Tara, he took notes.

Gattis asked that he devote more resources to the search for Tara, and that the family be given more details as the investigation progressed.  She says, "It's a missing person, it's just a case to them, but she's part of your community and she's part of my family."

A family that has been ripped apart by Grinstead's disappearance. "I have a 13 year old son," says Gattis.  "I've gone as long as three weeks without seeing him, left my home, left my job...but it's worth it to me to find Tara and I know that if the shoes were on the other foot, that she would be doing this to try and find me."

Find Tara alive...Gattis has never given up hope of that.  She says, "I've never thought for one second that she's not alive. I've just never felt that. In my heart my soul and my gut, she is out there somewhere, she just cannot get to us."

According to Gattis, she certainly didn't leave on her own.   Reporter Karen Collier, "There are a lot of rumors about Tara, about her relationships and what she was doing. Is there any chance that she needed to get away and she ran away?"

Gattis says, "You know I would like nothing better than to think that's possible."

But Gattis says she would never have left her students, her friends, or her family. She says, "She would not have left my mother out in the cold like this, thinking her youngest child had vanished. She would not have done that to her."

So, now she's doing everything she can to bring her home, even seeking better legislation for missing persons.  Rep. Kingston says, "Anybody that's going through the hell that the family is going through, we need to listen to them and come up with some suggestions to make this sort of thing better."

Gattis says, "That's something that we've been concerned about, legislation in this country, that missing adults are not as important as missing children, but my sister is someone's missing child."

A child they want to come home. There are two separate $100,000 rewards in the Tara Grinstead case.

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