Searchers wrap up for the night in Grinstead case

Searchers wrap up for the night in Grinstead case
Tara Grinstead disappeared in 2005 and GBI haven't had major breaks in the case. (Source: file)

BEN HILL CO., GA (WALB) - Investigators have wrapped up their search at a Ben Hill County pecan grove for day three of the search for Tara Grinstead's remains.

It's now been a week since an arrest was made in the case, information from that believed to have led agents to the location off Bowens Mill Highway, and residents have been anxious for answers in the 11-year-old case.

Residents said that last week's arrest of Ryan Duke brought an answer they weren't expecting.

On Thursday, residents said they were anxious to know more about what happened to Tara Grinstead the night she went missing, so rumors can be put to rest.

For the past two days, more than 40 GBI agents have been at the pecan grove searching for those answers. They've been combing the land for the remains of Grinstead.

The GBI said that they're continuing to interview people and told WALB on Tuesday that they're making good headway in the case, but it's unlikely residents will get any answers soon.

A judge issued a gag order to keep officials from releasing any more information to the public.

One resident said Grinstead's death and investigation has taken a toll on the community.

"It's depressing, it's really depressing that something could happen especially around here, stuff like that doesn't happen," said Jim Cannel.

Brenda Nichols has lived in Fitzgerald since the beauty queen went missing in 2005.

She said that she didn't know Tara Grinstead personally or her family, but her heart aches for them.

Nichols said it wasn't too long ago, the summer of 2015 to be exact, when the GBI searched the heavily wooded area near her house.

She said that they had helicopters flying around and GBI agents spent a few days combing through the area, and now she can't believe they are back, looking just a little further down the road.

"They still talk about it, but they say they don't think they'll ever find her, but something might occur that they are now," Nichols said. "(Do you believe they'll find her?) I believe they will. I really believe they will. This time I do."

The GBI said the owner of the pecan grove that is being searched is not related to her disappearance or murder.

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