Ben Hill Co. residents react to Grinstead investigation -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Ben Hill Co. residents react to Grinstead investigation

The investigation continued Tuesday (Source:WALB) The investigation continued Tuesday (Source:WALB)
Property owners are not considered connected to the crime (Source:WALB) Property owners are not considered connected to the crime (Source:WALB)
J.T. Ricketson, GBI agent (Source:WALB) J.T. Ricketson, GBI agent (Source:WALB)
James Wilcox, resident (Source:WALB) James Wilcox, resident (Source:WALB)

Ben Hill County residents are voicing their support of investigators as the search for Tara Grinstead's remains moves into their Neighborhood.  

James Wilcox, 85, said he's reached out to Tara's family because he's excited to see the progress being made.

"I just hope that they find her," Wilcox said.

Just down the road from his home, 41 GBI agents, police officers and deputies are searching for the body of Grinstead.

 "When somebody goes missing like that, you want to try to help and do whatever you can to try to help find them," Wilcox said. 

In 2005, he said he was part of the search team looking for Tara after she went missing. 

Now, the investigation has ended up in his neighborhood. Wilcox lives on the Bowens Mill Highway. He says a decade ago he searched about five miles away. 

Tuesday, GBI agents said they are making headway in their investigation, narrowing their search on a property they first investigated last week.

"I can say we are finding evidence that we are collecting that will be analyzed by the anthropologists and by our crime lab," GBI Special Agent in Charge J.T. Ricketson said.  

The group, including members of the Ocilla Police Department and Ben Hill County Sheriffs Office, has been searching in a Pecan field since six this morning.

"Agents stood shoulder to shoulder and walked over some area," Ricketson said. "They then went to their hands and knees and crawled that same area." 

Agents said more evidence has come to light tying Ryan Duke to the murder since his arrest.

"This really needs to come to a close for her family and all the people who have been worried about it all these years," Wilcox said.

As the sun sets, agents say, if needed, they'll be searching again Wednesday in hopes of finding Tara's remains.

Agents add the landowner of the property searched Tuesday is not connected to the murder of Grinstead. 

The search ended just before seven o'clock Tuesday evening.

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