Investigators renew search for missing beauty queen

Published: Feb. 10, 2015 at 5:24 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2015 at 9:03 PM EST
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Investigators began searching a pond in a wooded area.
Investigators began searching a pond in a wooded area.

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) - Investigators used the help of an underwater vehicle as they reinstated a search of a pond in Ben Hill County for the remains of a teacher who mysteriously vanished nearly a decade ago.

They are searching for Tara Grinstead, who disappeared after attending a Georgia sweet potato pageant in October 2005. She was 31 years old at the time.

Officials including a Georgia State Patrol dive team were dispatched to a pond near Satilla Drive, near Fitzgerald.

They placed a submarine into the pond, which was able to detect evidence on the bottom of it.

Crews have been draining the pond since Monday night after obtaining a search warrant.

Over the years, the case of the missing Irwin County teacher and beauty queen has never been declared solved.

A probate judge officially declared Grinstead dead in December 2010.

Georgia law states that a person can be presumed dead if they are missing for four years. Her father Billy Grinstead petitioned for the presumption of her death in September 2010.

In March 2011, a dive team was dispatched to an Irwin County creek to search for Grinstead's remains. At the time, a neighbor claimed that two men were acting suspiciously near the water.

Investigators sent an eight person dive team into the creek for hours, but did not retrieve any evidence.

No one has ever been arrested in the Tara Grinstead case.

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