Tara Grinstead presumed dead - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tara Grinstead presumed dead

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

OCILLA, GA (WALB) –The mysterious disappearance of Tara Grinstead made headlines in south Georgia and around the country five years ago. The case of the missing teacher and beauty queen has never been solved, but there is a development to report tonight. A probate judge officially declared Grinstead dead. Now, her father is in charge of her possessions.

Tara Grinstead mysteriously vanished more than five years ago but to this day there are still no solid answers as to what really happened to the Irwin County teacher. "What really happened, no one really knows and that will always be there," said Irwin Co. Probate Judge Ronnie McCurdy.

For years, investigators and family members have held out hope that the case would come to a close, but unfortunately no major developments have occurred throughout the years.

From the time she went missing to present day, several of her belongings have stayed frozen in time. "Her car was sitting there and hasn't been moved since she went missing, her stuff had been stored in storage and it had been sitting there since she went missing, the value of it went down to nothing, so he is trying to move some stuff and save a little," said McCurdy.

Georgia law states that a person can be presumed dead if they are missing for four years. Her Father, Billy Grinsted petitioned for the presumption of her death in September, more than five years after his daughter went missing."He was upset, he is still hurt but that is natural anyone would be," said McCurdy.

A hearing was held December 16th, where Grinstead swore before judge Ronnie Mccurdy that he believes his daughter is dead. "Her father was the only one at the hearing and there was no objection to the petition and at that point we appointed him administrator of her estate so he could do away with it, and he said he would never do away with some of the sentimental things...Mr. Grinstead was still really tore up about it," said McCurdy.

Tara disappeared after attending the Georgia sweet potato pageant in 2005. She was 31 when she went missing in October 2005.

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