Tara Grinstead's family not giving up - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tara Grinstead's family not giving up

June 15, 2006

Ocilla - - It's been nearly 9 months since Ocilla school teacher Tara Grinstead disappeared. But her friends and family are still desperately searching for her. Today, representatives of a North Caolina based missing persons center visited Ocilla. 

Tara Grinstead's name has made national headlines. Police have been investigating for months. Still no word on what happened or how Tara went missing. Her family is praying for answers before there's any closure.

They're faces of hope. Many smile, as their family members mourn. Tara Grinstead's smile stands out from the rest.

"She missed all the holidays with her family. She missed her birthday, she missed the funeral of one of her favorite uncles who passed away. Things that she would be doing in our normal life and I'm just angry that she's not here to be a part of that with us," says Tara's sister Anita Gattis.

She tries to smile but can't come to grips that her only sister is still missing. Today, representatives from the Center for Missing Persons in North Carolina visited the family. They're bringing awareness all over the country about people like Tara who haven't been found.

 "I realize Tara has had a lot of media attention, but people need to know that she still is missing. People need to know that she is still missing. When people fade from the headlines, the community automatically assume that they've been located or something has transpired in their case and that's simply not the truth here," says Monica Caison from the center.

Family and friends are also doing their part. Their using a new building for support, it's called the Tara Center. Someone is on hand everyday to answer calls and take tips.

"Toward whoever would've done this to Tara becasue we know she didn't just leave on her own and someone is responsible for her not being here. That's where my anger has been," Gattis says.

The anger is tamed by a flame. One that burns in the hearts of those who knew Tara and knew her smile that sparkled to everyone she encountered.

"That's been my light at the end of the tunnel...just to get her back," Gattis says.

Though the pain is still hard to quench. 

The family also created a new website in Tara's honor, it's www.missingtara.com. They're offering up to a $200,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

The Center for Missing Persons is traveling across the country this week to visit with other families. They're headed to Naples, Florida now.

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