New investigator joins search for missing teacher - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New investigator joins search for missing teacher

March 11, 2006

Ocilla--  While the search for Van Streat Junior, has come to a tragic end, Tara Grinstead's family, continues to search for answers into her disappearance.

It's been nearly five months since Tara was last seen, and police still don't know what happened to the former beauty queen.

Now the family is taking the search into their own hands, by bringing in their own investigator.

"I've found what appeared to be two blood stains," says investigator Maurice Godwin.  Godwin is determined to find out what really happened to Tara Grinstead.

"That needs to be tested and lifted for presence for human blood. So I've marked that there. You can't over look anything," says Godwin.

He examines every inch of Tara's house, especially the bedroom where he believes Tara's struggle with her attacker began.

"A broken nail with a dot was found right there. I found it in the little crevice right there," says Godwin.

Underneath Tara's bed, Godwin discovers broken pieces from Tara's lamp . "That doesn't appear to be done with a hand or anything, that appears to have been thrown or picked or somebody hit and knocked it and broke it," says Godwin.

As Godwin lifts back parts of Tara's covers, he reveals more signs of a possible struggle.

"A foot has caught that somehow, enough to bend that whole metal piece there," says Godwin.

From the bedroom, Godwin believes her attacker then forced Tara from her house and into her own car.

"I believe her car was driven to a location, and I believe she was killed in that location and later on her car was brought back early Sunday morning," says Godwin.

A latex glove was found in front of Tara's house, Godwin believes belonging to her attacker.

"I think they have law enforcement background.  A lot of people commit a lot of crimes but they don't where latex gloves," says Godwin.

Godwin also examinesTara's carport for finger prints as well as well for more blood stains. "This is a reddish brown stain, that needs to be swabbed up, and test for human blood," says Godwin.

As the former police officer continues to question people in the area, and search for clues, he won't stop until he brings justice and closure to Tara's family.

"I'm staying on this case until I see the individual responsible for this crime sitting on death row," says Godwin.

Godwin is currently trying obtain cell phone records of certain people of interest in the case. Through a method called triangularization, he can pinpoint where a call was last made.

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