If you're obsessed with true crime like I am, you've probably listened to, or are at least thinking about checking out, Season 1 of Up & Vanished, a podcast that covered Tara Grinstead's disappearance and murder. Now there's an Oxygen series of the same name, which follows podcaster Payne Lindsey as he examines the arrests of Ryan Duke and Bo Dukes, the men charged with Grinstead's murder. And if you're wondering whether Ryan Duke is still in prison, here's what's going on with the case as of today.
Duke, 33, was a student at Irwin County High School in Georgia where Grinstead worked as a teacher before her disappearance and murder, according to The Atlanta Constitution-Journal. Although it's not clear if Duke knew Grinstead personally or professionally prior to the incident, police claim he burglarized her home on the night of Oct. 21, 2005, and at some point during the robbery, Grinstead surprised him. Duke allegedly then "used his hands” to kill Grinstead, before disposing her body with the supposed help of his classmate, Bo Dukes, according to CBS News. Sadly, Grinstead's body hasn't been recovered yet.
It took 12 years before authorities — along with the help of Payne's Up and Vanished series — arrested Duke and Dukes (the similar last names are confusing, I know) in connection with Grinstead's murder.
Duke has pled not guilty to two counts of felony murder and one count each of malice murder, aggravated assault, burglary, and concealing the death of another, while Dukes has entered a not guilty plea to concealing a death, tampering with evidence, and hindering the apprehension or punishment of a criminal, according to the New York Post.
Both men are in prison and awaiting trial as of November, with numerous court motions (about two dozen) delaying the judicial process. Duke's defense argued that the charges against their client should be thrown out, as the statute of limitations in the case have supposedly expired. Additionally, his lawyers requested a change of venue for the trial, according to WALB News 10.
Once the motions are heard by the presiding judge (hearings are set for Nov. 19 and Nov. 20, 2018), a trial date will be set.
If the case goes to trial and Duke is convicted of the charges against him, he'll likely go to prison for a long time. But followers of the case probably won't have answers for the foreseeable future, as trials —especially high-profile ones — typically are drawn out over the course of years.
Of course, the most important thing here is getting justice for Grinstead and honoring her legacy.
“We have waited a long time to get to this point," Grinstead's family said in a statement to the media about recent developments in the case, according to CBS News. "Our focus and our efforts have always been about getting justice for Tara. Our priority now is to protect the integrity of the investigation."
If you want to keep updated about Duke's hearings, Lindsey and Oxygen's Twitter feeds do a great job of relaying the most relevant and timely information about the case. Stay tuned.