Authorities: Suspect arrested in case of missing teacher

A suspect has been arrested and charged with the 2005 murder of Tara Grinstead, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Thursday.

Tara Grinstead was last seen the night of October 22, 2005 when she attended a beauty pageant and barbecue in Fitzgerald, Georgia. Although the Grinstead investigation was more than 11 years old, the case was still considered active. Police found her cell phone and vehicle at her home, but her keys and purse were missing, according to AP.

Police immediately went to her home.

Grinstead's body was never found, and her case inspired a podcast called "Up and Vanished" that debuted in 2016.

The GBI said it received many leads through the GBI tip line over the years, and each credible tip was fully investigated.

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According to GBI spokesman J.T. Ricketson, he is Ryan Alexander Duke, 33.

Grinstead's stepmother, Connie Grinstead, said in Thursday's press conference that Duke's arrest is "another chapter in a long and painful journey", WSB reported.

Investigators did talk with Grinstead's family members Wednesday, he said.

The GBI spokesman also declined to comment on other aspects of the case, such as Duke's motive, how Grinstead died and whether others were involved.

In an interview in 2016, Channel 2 Action News interviewed a man who started a podcast about the case.

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