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Massive Search Turns Up no Sign of Beauty Queen Turned Teacher
Aired January 12, 2006 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, live in Ocilla, Georgia, and the search for a beauty queen turned school teacher, Tara Grinstead, Tara last seen late October at a cookout. All the clues found in her home, her car, her habits only intensify the mystery. An intense and massive search has turned up no sign of now 31-year-old Tara. Tonight, live in Ocilla, Georgia, with exclusive coverage and never-before-seen video inside Tara`s home, where she was last believed to be, and inside the search. Tonight, help us.
Good evening everybody, I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. Tonight, live in location, Ocilla, Georgia, and the heartbreaking search for missing 31-year-old woman Tara Grinstead, beauty queen turned history teacher. Tara Grinstead went to a cookout October 22. She has not been seen since. Search dogs, volunteers, investigators on foot, on all-terrain vehicles, aerial searches, all have found nothing. Tonight, we take you into Tara`s home, to her school, to her family, her world, exclusive videos and interviews. Tara`s family, her friends and her self-proclaimed former boyfriend speak out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The most discouraging thing about this whole ordeal is that we still are basically clueless about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I miss her smile every day. She always was willing to give me a hug.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When she walked in the class, she talked until the bell rang. Excellent teacher.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ms. Grinstead and I just got close this summer. My house had burnt down and my family lost everything, and she helped us out. She was like a mother to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope she`s somewhere safe. I hope she left at her own will with a friend. I actually hope she`s on the island right now somewhere. But you know, that may not be what`s happened to her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Tonight, I am live here in Ocilla, Georgia. We are at the Tara Grinstead location center, the headquarters. It is the local senior citizens center, and outside this studio walls we`ve turned into a makeshift studio, there are students and teachers lined up. They`re not on camera, but they are here for support, reaching out to you for help to find their teacher, their friend, Tara Grinstead.
Students have been here in tears. They even went on searches through the local landfill, around her neighborhood, around her school, all over the area, all over Irwin County, her own students trying to find their teacher.
Joining us right now, Robert Preston with "The Douglas Daily News." Robert, what`s happening with the search for Tara?
ROBERT PRESTON, "DOUGLAS DAILY NEWS": This is a very, very baffling case. This is one of the most baffling things that I`ve seen in my years as a journalist here in the Coffee County. Tara was last seen on October 22. That was a Saturday night. Tara was a beauty queen. She was very, very involved in the pageant scene in her younger years. She`s 31 years old now. She`s remained active in the pageant scene since then. She would help sponsor girls in pageants. She would help prep girls and help them at the pageant, hair and make-up, things like that.
GRACE: Well, as a matter of fact, the day she went missing, Robert, she had been helping, volunteering to help young girls that were in some local pageant because pageant school scholarships had meant so much to her. In fact, she was still in school, going toward her Ph.D. when -- this is a shot taken just a couple hours ago, everybody. Her mother, Ms. Grinstead, and I went through the home. Right there, you`re seeing shots of a table, a cocktail table that was covered in luminol. There is -- fingerprint- dusting powder.
But all over her home, everything is related to history. In fact, her dog is even named Dolly Madison, as you know, the wife of James Madison, went into the burning White House when the Brits were burning down the White House to get a picture of George Washington and an original of the Declaration of Independence. She named her dog Dolly Madison. It`s all about history.
So that very day, she was helping young girls that were in a pageant, right?
DOUGLAS: That`s right. That was the last time she was seen. After the pageant, she went to eat with some friends, and she was last seen about 11:00 o`clock that night. They believe after they got through eating that she went back home, and that was the last time anyone saw her. She didn`t report to work on Monday the 24th. That`s when people began to get worried. It wasn`t like her to not show up at work without calling, without letting someone know. So obviously, they were very worried, and friends and family began looking for her, couldn`t find a trace, so they filed a missing persons report.
And since then, the searches and investigations have begun, and they`ve covered Irwin County completely. They`ve done -- immediately, they started doing some grid searches of the county. The Texas Equusearch team came in in the middle -- well, came in at the end of November and...
GRACE: Hey, Robert, hold on. I want to show the viewers something.
GRACE: I`ve been doing a little research of my own today and talking to a lot of potential witnesses here in Ocilla, Georgia. This is one thing I have seen. And this is from one of the local deputies. And this is one of the many files that Texas Equusearch did. And oh, how you wish you could see it. There are -- Texas Equusearch went aerial with their search and they took photos, aerial photos. And then the local sheriff would grid the photo with GPS, and they would have volunteers go through every square foot of the aerial photo and log that they had personally gone through the area looking for Tara. This is just one of multiple binders of search after search after search, hand in hand, looking for Tara.
You know, Robert. Interesting, you`re talking about the timeline. I got a couple of things I want to add into that time line. But first, take a listen to this.
GRACE: Have there been any tips where people say they saw something or heard something, thought they heard a scream, thought they saw a scuffle, anything?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not to us, there haven`t. Now, I don`t know what has been turned over...
GRACE: I`m sure they would call you guys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the ones we get has been concerned people. No one -- we had a citizen that lives out towards the Erwinville (ph) area. He called and wanted to make sure we had done checked his property, and we had told him we had. And he wanted it checked again, so we went back out and...
GRACE: Why? Why did he want his property checked?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just -- he was just concerned. He`s -- the people here, we`re such a tight-knit community, we`ve got a lot of people interested, you know, want to find her. They want the family to have some kind of closure.
GRACE: We went up and down every red dirt road in the area today. That was Sheriff Alan Morgan (ph) with Irwin County sheriff`s department, even though the case has been taken away from them by the GBI. There we are, looking down a well. There are multiple wells, hundreds, literally, of wells that don`t really belong to an inhabited home, out in fields, near forests, perfect places to hide a body or to hide evidence.
I want to go now to a very special guest joining me. Tara Grinstead`s sister is with us, Anita Gattis. Anita, let`s take a very cheerful look at that timeline Robert has given us. I`ve got a few things I think we can add in. Isn`t it true that Tara Grinstead`s long-time boyfriend of about six years had been back and forth to Iraq? He came home about three weeks before she went missing. Is that correct?
ANITA GATTIS, TARA GRINSTEAD`S SISTER: That`s correct. He actually came home earlier than was planned. Unexpectedly, I believe.
GRACE: He comes back home unexpectedly. And again, this boyfriend, Marcus Harper (ph), has not been named a suspect by the GBI or the police. In fact, they`ve all been tight-lipped. If there are any suspects, we don`t know about them. So he comes home three weeks before she goes missing. Now, that week, the week-and-a-half leading up to her disappearance, they have two verbal confrontations, correct?
GATTIS: That`s correct.
GRACE: One as late as Tuesday, correct?
GRACE: So the night she goes missing, is it true that this ex- boyfriend, Marcus Harper, is at a bar, drinking? His friend on the police department comes and picks him up, they get in the police car together to do a ride-around that night, correct?
GATTIS: That`s correct.
GRACE: Now, one last question. Is this the same police officer that Tara Grinstead tried to get fired?
GATTIS: I don`t know that she tried to get him fired, but she did file a formal complaint against him. Earlier, he...
GATTIS: He had been the arresting officer in the incident with the student who tried to break into Tara`s home. Marcus was in Iraq at that time, and when Marcus got back, Officer Fletcher (ph) released some confidential information to Marcus concerning this incident.
GRACE: Are you talking about Anthony Vickers (ph)?
GRACE: Now, everybody, Anthony Vickers had been -- he`s a young man. He had been a former student of Tara Grinstead`s. This is very important. Vickers believes that he has had a relationship with Tara. He had a big crush on her. He went to her house, started banging on the door. A neighbor called police. Now, it turns out that this friend on the police force tells the ex-boyfriend, Marcus Harper, about the incident. Do I have that straight, Anita? Correct me if I`m wrong.
GATTIS: You`ve got it.
GRACE: OK. And it just so happens that the night she goes missing, the ex-boyfriend and this cop are together doing a ride-along.
GATTIS: Right. That`s right.
GRACE: OK. Now, that`s an unusual set of circumstance. Here`s another shot from the ride-around we did today in the search for Tara Grinstead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ms. Grinstead and I just got close this summer. My house had burnt down and my family lost everything, and she helped us out. She got us a lot of the things we need. I didn`t have a place to stay for a little while and I got a chance to stay with her for about a week-and-a-half. So she basically took care of me this summer when our house burnt down. She was like a mother to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: If someone local did this, which I believe most likely they did, they would know every lean-to, every abandoned building, every well better than you would know them. I mean, they would know in their experience where to hide someone. I just keep getting the feeling that she is hiding in plain sight, that she`s right under our noses somewhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s just a matter of where.
GRACE: Does that bug you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uh-huh.
GRACE: To Anita Gattis. This is Tara Grinstead`s sister. What can you tell us about the searches?
GATTIS: The searches have been heart-warming to me that the community has come out, and also heart-breaking to me because we haven`t found Tara.
GRACE: Have they been extensive enough, to your mind?
GATTIS: Well, if they had been, my sister would be home, but they have been overwhelming. Texas Equusearch has been here, the community, local law enforcement, law enforcement from all over the state. The last search, we had people from as far as Ohio and South Dakota that came.
GRACE: Anita, what do you make of this young boy? Well, he`s not a boy anymore -- he`s 20 now, I guess -- who believes he had a relationship with Tara, who was banging on her door?
GATTIS: You know, I think he lives kind of in a fantasy world as far as Tara goes. There`s no question in my mind that she did not have any type of relationship other than friendship with him. Why he tried to break into her home, that I`m really not sure about. That`s kind of...
GRACE: I understand he was banging on the door.
GATTIS: He was, trying to get her to come out.
GRACE: How far before her disappearance was that?
GATTIS: Oh, that was maybe six months, I believe.
GRACE: OK. Take a listen to what Anthony Vickers had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY VICKERS, FORMER STUDENT OF TARA GRINSTEAD: Very few people knew about our relationship. There`s probably only three or four people that actually knew, and we knew that they would not talk at all. When we would see each other, I would usually go over to her house, would be the easiest thing to do. We -- she would pick me up and we would go over there and just hang out, you know, watch a movie or something. That`s kind of how we did it.
I would like to help, but you know, if you try to help, a lot of times, you just get scrutinized against.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Straight to Clark Goldband, our Internet blogger. Now, Tara Grinstead is just one of so many people missing in America, Clark. How common with stories like Tara`s?
CLARK GOLDBAND, NANCY GRACE INTERNET BLOGGER: Well, unfortunately, Nancy, they`re very common. Since the show has been on the air this evening, 16 people would have been reported missing.
GRACE: Sixteen since we`ve been on the air?
GOLDBAND: On average. That is correct. Now, we have some staggering stats that I was able to find on the Web this afternoon from the FBI. If we can take a look at that? The most recent information is from August of 2005. So this is from January of August. More than half a million people, 550,000, had been reported missing, 440,000 of that half a million were juveniles. And Nancy, where you are this evening, 14,000 people in Georgia had been reported missing.
GRACE: Whew! And how often are they found, Clark?
GOLDBAND: Well, Nancy, usually they`re found within a few hours. It could have been, you know, a child who has wandered away. Unfortunately, there are a tremendous amount that are still not found. If we take a look at this number, more than 50,000 cases are still considered to be active and not found.
GRACE: To Tim Miller joining us tonight from Texas Equusearch. Tim - - you may remember him -- has being integral for search in Natalee Holloway down in Aruba. Tim, I understand when you tell me what it is you do, but now that I`ve looked through multiple of these logs, where you go with the, I guess, robotic aerial photographer and take shots, and then you look at them, isolate locations -- I`m just -- it was amazing to me how advanced your technology.
Everybody, this is a shot, one of the many, many shots he took aerially, then they isolate it. They square it off with GPS and then send volunteers out there, and then they document how far into the forest they went, usually up to 30 to 50 feet. But there`s so much swamp here, Tim.
TIM MILLER, TEXAS EQUUSEARCH: Well, Nancy, you know what? We`re going back there next weekend. I think you`re aware of that. And we`re actually taking some people over there and we`re taking some boats, we`re bringing some divers, we`re bringing some of the special dogs. We`re going to be doing some things in the water. We`re going to be expanding out in the land.
And you know that remote control airplane we took out there is an amazing new piece of equipment we have, and we`ve actually recovered remains of two people with that. So you know, we`re getting more and more resources every day to help out on these missing person cases. But next weekend, we`re back in Georgia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I miss her smile. Every day, she always was willing to give me a hug. She was a good friend because she always found things that were positive about you and she tried to help you develop those positive things. Even someone like me who is a few years older than her, she found out some way to teach you something about yourself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When she went missing, I saw her calendar on her desk and all the days were marked off all the way to when she went missing. I miss her smile every day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been hard on all of us since she`s been gone. She actually encouraged me to be in the pageant. I`m not the pageant type. I`m more of a tomboy. She said I had a pretty smile and I should (INAUDIBLE) a pageant (INAUDIBLE), and I did the pageant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: I wish you could be here with us tonight. We are in Ocilla, Georgia, live at the headquarters for the search for Tara Grinstead, obviously a beauty queen turned history teacher. Today, I went through her home with her mother. Everything is about history -- historic quotes, historic books, historic photos. I said earlier she even named her dog after Dolly Madison.
But another disturbing thing I saw in that home is this -- fingerprint dusting, luminol dusting, the works, trying to find Tara Grinstead.
To Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, forensic scientist. Based on the forensics, what do you think happened to Tara?
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Oh, Nancy, that`s a really tough question. Nothing can be more frustrating to law enforcement and forensic scientists than a case like this. We don`t even know...
GRACE: Well, wait a minute! Wait a minute! Let`s break it down. Explain to us what is luminol testing, and explain the fingerprint powder.
KOBILINSKY: Sure. Let me go to the fingerprints first. You see the powder on the door, and what you see there is dark powder, and you also see these square regions, rectangular regions, where the powder has been removed. Those are tape lifts. The powder, dark powder will be contrasting with the white backing on the tape lift. It`s like an adhesive, and you are pulling off possibly useful fingerprints.
Now, clearly, this is her home. They have to exclude people that would have every reason to be in her home and then determine if there`s any fingerprints that are foreign perhaps coming from some stranger. The luminol is a presumptive test for the presence of blood. And they`re looking for evidence of violence in the home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just (INAUDIBLE) she is alive. And that little bit of hope`s what keeps me going and what keeps me from breaking down every day. I mean, it keeps me strong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love my baby! I love her! If (INAUDIBLE) 2:00 o`clock in that car, she would have called! She would have called!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Did she do all this decorating herself?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, she did. She did all the decorating.
GRACE: She`s very -- and I can see her curtains, her little designer curtains.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The TV cabinet is a special sentimental value. This was in her playhouse when she was a little girl.
GRACE: You`re kidding? And she...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Anita also used it when she was a little girl to store her games in. So when she moved in this house, my daughter, Anita, and her (INAUDIBLE)
GRACE: That was video footage we took just a few minutes ago, before the show started, with Tara`s mom, inside Tara`s home, where police have searched high and low, conducted every test possible to find clues, Where is Tara? Welcome back, everybody. We are live in Ocilla in the search for Tara Grinstead.
Straight to Brad Dennis, search director with Klaas Kids Foundation. Are we at a dead-end? And what can we do to generate leads for Tara Grinstead?
BRAD DENNIS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, I think as long as Tara`s missing, we`re not at a dead-end. You know, there are still questions that are unanswered. There`s leads that need to be pursued and places that still need to be searched. You have mentioned a number of places already, the swamps, a lot of open terrain out there. And initially, a lot of the search efforts that were conducted were hasty search techniques, meaning, Get in there, get in fast, look for clues and evidence that may be out there. And now, as Tim Miller has mentioned, we may need to now go back in there more thoroughly and search it.
GRACE: What`s amazing to me, Brad Dennis, is when I was talking to Sheriff Morgan today, Alan Morgan -- we were out re-searching the search area -- he told me they even follow up on searches where people say, I had a dream, I think you should go search here. Or I know you`ve searched this terrain before, but I think you should go here. Even clothing found in wooded areas or on the side of the road, people are handing in to the GBI.
DENNIS: At this point, you can`t -- you can`t overlook anything. We have to follow up on every possible lead, whether that`s people with funny feelings, whether that`s strange smells in different areas, or someone that may have seen something. I really believe that there`s someone in that area right now that knows something and may think that what they know is not that important. We need those people to come forward and tell us.
GRACE: You`re right, Brad. This is 45 miles off the interstate. You don`t get to it easily.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: I just don`t think that she would ever have left her car door unlocked with cash in the car or -- yes? You know, I`ve been thinking about this a lot, this shoe situation, the way she had those lizard skin shoes that she wore that night, that she always put away in a box...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes.
GRACE: ... and I see how she has everything perfectly done.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the shoes -- the lizard skin ones she kept in her room.
GRACE: Yes, but she changed clothes and left those clothes out. That`s not like her, is it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know. It`s just all very strange.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back. I`m Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us.
We are live on location, Ocilla, Georgia. In fact, we`re at the Irwin County Senior Citizen`s Center. Why? It`s been converted into the Find Tara Headquarters.
Tara Grinstead, beauty queen-turned-history teacher, now missing since this fall. She had been to a cookout that evening. She made it home. She made it into her home and then has never been seen since. Won`t you help us find Tara Grinstead?
To her sister, Anita Gattis, explain to the viewers what was amiss in your mind at her apartment?
GATTIS: Her home, her car was left unlocked, totally unlike Tara, $100 cash in plain view. Inside the home, it was locked.
GRACE: She always locked her car?
GATTIS: Always locked her car.
GRACE: In fact, her best friend told me today, even when she would come over to visit for a short while, she`d lock her car.
GATTIS: She`d lock the car in Hawkinsville, Georgia, where she was from. Always, always locked the car.
GRACE: And there was $100 cash in the car.
GATTIS: Right, in plain sight, yes. In her room, this lamp that always was turned on to let her neighbors know she was home was broken.
GRACE: I saw that.
GATTIS: Right. It did not get broken while the girls were there getting ready for the pageant. It got broken sometime after...
GRACE: You`re sure?
GRACE: How do you know that?
GATTIS: I`ve asked them. They said no incident happened. The light was on Friday night, the neighbors told us that. There was a clock under the bed.
GRACE: Right, the bedside clock. I looked at that. Her little digital clock...
GRACE: ... that she had right beside her bed...
GRACE: ... on the bedside table was found under the bed.
GATTIS: Under the bed.
GRACE: And the lamp broken?
GATTIS: Lamp broken. The clothes that she...
GRACE: Oh, oh, another question I asked today and I didn`t get a definitive answer, regarding her bed clothes. She had a bed like it was out of a magazine, you know, beautiful bed trimmings...
GRACE: ... and the pillow show and the whole thing. And were her bed covers turned back that night?
GATTIS: GBI told me that it looked like she had quickly made her bed. I`m thinking she may have just thrown the comforter over it when the girls came for her to start doing makeup. They said it was not neatly made.
GRACE: It`s neatly made now.
GRACE: Who made it?
GATTIS: I did.
GRACE: You made it. OK. So it was in some disarray.
GATTIS: Right. It was.
GRACE: And what about her shoes?
GATTIS: She had a very expensive pair of shoes she wore that night. She always bought stuff. Those were thrown in the middle of the floor. Also, a necklace that she had just made the night before. She used beads that she had and beads that were my grandmother`s necklace. She restrung, made her own necklace. That was thrown on the floor. Tara did not take care of her belongings like that.
GRACE: I was wondering something also. I went and looked at her computer area. Did not look to me as if it had been dusted for fingerprints. But I noticed that her trash can, a little-bitty waste can, had a little papers in it. And the area was covered in papers and notes. I saw some ticket stubs to a movie. I`m just wondering, do you know whether police went through all that?
GATTIS: I`m assuming that the GBI did, but I know my husband did. He sat there and diligently looked at every single piece of paper.
GRACE: And missing: her cell phone, her car keys and her pocketbook?
GRACE: But her car was there, unlocked?
GATTIS: Car was there.
GRACE: And another thing about the car. The car seat was pushed back. She was a little taller than me. She was 5`3", correct?
GRACE: And the car seat was pushed -- I mean, the driver`s seat was pushed back like a man had been driving. OK, that doesn`t make sense.
GRACE: Did they Luminol the car?
GATTIS: I asked for that. It was not done in the beginning. It was fingerprinted inside and out. A week later, I called Gary Rothwell with the GBI and asked them would they please Luminol the inside of the car, and it did not get done.
GRACE: And you did what?
GATTIS: It`s now being privately done.
GRACE: Privately Luminoled.
OK, Renee Rockwell, you know, that`s a sorry story when the family has to pay a private scientist to Luminol the car.
GRACE: That`s one can of worms to deal with. Yes, that`s one can of worms. But then at trial, if this ever gets to trial, who took or who killed, one or the other, Tara Grinstead, then you don`t have a police chain of custody on the car. Explain.
RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely. Absolutely. And a defense attorney is going to object to any evidence that`s tried -- that anybody will try to introduce, if it`s passed through different hands. You`ll have to have every person that had any connection with that evidence come into court and say what I did, where I got it, who I passed it on to. It`s a lot of contamination.
GRACE: Here is more of what Tara`s mother told me today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tara was very busy. She lived a very quiet lifestyle. And her time was taken up with teaching school. She was also an assistant principal part-time. And then, when she was going to graduate school herself a couple of nights a week, so her time was filled.
She loved her friends, and her family, and her dog, because you can see by all the pictures she has of the family and her friends and her dog and cat all over the house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Another thing, defense attorney Joe Lawless, when the family has to pay privately to have private investigators or private scientific testing, that also -- for the state, anyway -- makes the cops, the GBI, look bad to a jury. They look over at the GBI and think, "Why didn`t you do this? What else did you fail to do?" And the defense will hone in on that like a heat-seeking missile.
JOE LAWLESS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely, Nancy. And I`m looking at this more with my prosecutor`s hat on. You have a number of agencies that were involved in this. I read somewhere over 30 agencies in the state of Georgia.
And at this point, I think somebody down there has to take charge of it, coordinate it, put it all in one big room, and start going over it again and again.
LAWLESS: Someone said earlier this is in plain sight. If something unfortunate happened to Tara, I`m guessing it happened by someone -- it was effectuated by someone they already have interviewed. And I think what they`ve got to do is go out and start bringing people in, re-interviewing them, looking at the people who they think, whether they`re calling them suspects or not might be suspects, and start to put the heat on people.
If something bad happened to this young woman, there`s a killer walking around Georgia. And he`s got to know that people are looking for him and looking for him hard.
GRACE: Here is more of my ride-along today. Sheriff`s Deputy Alan Morgan (ph) retraced some of the search along with me.
GRACE: This is scary. She could be right here, and we wouldn`t know it. What is that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the old cotton gin. It`s no longer in operation.
GRACE: Has it been searched?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ma`am.
GRACE: You`re sure?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ma`am. It`s been searched, I know, twice, from two different groups.
GRACE: Why do people they think they should search that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was just right here close to town.
GRACE: How many searches have you all done?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve done two.
GRACE: Now to Eleanor Dixon, a veteran prosecutor that has prosecuted homicides, missing people, child molestations, you name it, Eleanor, another fact I learned from Anita Gattis and from the reporter here is that, in Tara`s front yard -- and, Elizabeth, if you could show the video of her front yard, not the back, where the dog, Dolly Madison, is, the front -- right in the front yard, Eleanor, the next day, amazingly, a latex glove. Now, you know, every cop car has latex gloves in it, right?
ELEANOR DIXON, PROSECUTOR: Yes, they do. They wouldn`t leave home without it, so to speak. And I think that`s interesting, because perhaps the authorities could look at somebody who would carry latex gloves. I don`t think that just got there by accident.
I`m sure they`ve checked Tara`s home to see if she kept them for cleaning purposes, but that could be a very important clue in this case.
GRACE: You know, Eleanor, good point. Anita Gattis here, her sister, shaking her head, "No, no, no." And I`ve got to tell you, Eleanor, I looked through everything I could there in the home today. I did not see a box of latex gloves.
Also, did you hear that time line? The ex-boyfriend, six-year-long affair, sweetheart relationship. He goes back and forth to Iraq. He comes home. Three weeks later, she`s gone. The night she goes missing, he`s at a bar drinking and ends up doing a ride-along with the officer she filed a complaint on.
GRACE: The next morning, all that`s left of her is her car. Of course, he`s not been named as a suspect. Let`s make that clear.
DIXON: Well, exactly. But, in any case, you look at a victim`s closest friends and associates. And certainly I think the GBI would look very closely at her former boyfriend, especially in light of the altercations that they had prior to her disappearance.
So it`s something to look at. You look at the closest people and then broaden your circle from that victim and broaden it outwards. So it`s just a wise thing to do when you`re law enforcement.
GRACE: And, of course, Eleanor is being very modest. She has quite the felony win record.
To Caryn Stark, psychologist, why is it that when a lady, a woman, goes missing, you start looking at husband, boyfriend, lover, ex? Why is that?
CARYN STARK, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Because those are the people that would most probably be responsible, Nancy. When you take a look at the statistics and you take a look at these cases, it`s the people that they know and the people that they know the most would be the boyfriend, the husband. Also, you wonder about some kind of an angry breakup, just as we`re talking about.
GRACE: Right. And to Anita Gattis, is it true -- my sources have told me that this ex-boyfriend would actually yell at her, "You f-ing whore," at a red light.
GATTIS: At a red light when she was in the car with another gentleman, yes.
GRACE: OK, problems. But that does not a killer make. We are live in Ocilla at the search headquarters for Tara Grinstead. Won`t you help us?
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I took a lie-detector test and passed. There haven`t really been any more questions about the missing person`s case. They haven`t told me any details or anything like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every well that we could find, myself and Sergeant Dukes (ph) that works at the sheriff`s office with us, we took a GPS unit and went about five-mile radius outside of the city limits, actually from in front of Tara`s house.
GRACE: A GPS unit. What is that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we road the county and GPS`d every abandoned house, and barn, and well we could find, so that when we`d done our second search, we could say, "Go to these places and definitely check." Where we have abandoned houses is most time there`s an abandoned well.
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GRACE: We are live in Ocilla, Georgia, Irwin County, tonight in the search for missing beauty queen-turned-history teacher, Tara Grinstead.
And I just want to tell you that lined up outside this room that we`ve converted into a studio, I just wish you could see it. There are students, there are parents, there are teachers that taught school with Tara Grinstead. They`re not here to be on TV. They`re here to support the search for Tara Grinstead. The senior citizen`s center has been turned into the headquarters for Find Tara Grinstead.
To Tim Miller with EquuSearch. He is the founder of EquuSearch. And I`m sure you remember him from his search in Aruba for Natalee Holloway.
Tim, again, I am so knocked out. There are volumes and volumes of search documents that you voluntarily have come and done. I couldn`t understand until I saw it myself -- Elizabeth, if you could roll that footage of the wells -- there are literally hundreds of wells. Now, I understand that my family had a well in the backyard that my grandfather dug, but I did not understand the extent and the number of these wells and their degree of dangerousness, Tim.
MILLER: You know, I don`t even know that we`ve really covered all of the wells yet. I mean, we brought the special equipment in to cover them. You know, that area, as you know, Nancy, is so huge out there, so many old dirt roads and stuff.
I mean, I kind of agree that I think that Tara`s closer than we think that she is. And it`s far too early to call this search off. We`re going back. We`re taking some special items, some special people back. And I`ve just got confidence that we are going to find Tara Grinstead.
I think she`s meant to be found. The community wants her found. And everybody is so close-knit in that community that, you know, we`ve got to continue that effort. And I`m looking forward to next weekend being right back there in Ocilla, Georgia, and working with that community, working with law enforcement there...
MILLER: ... and working with Alan and trying to see if we can bring this thing to a close and try to bring her home.
GRACE: On behalf of everyone here -- I`m sure they`ve told you, Tim - - thank you, and on behalf of all crime victims.
To Joe Lawless, the reward has now doubled. Do you think that will help in getting tips?
LAWLESS: I think it will, Nancy. I also think that the kind of publicity your show is bringing to this is going to do it. There could be people out there who have seen something that they don`t even know is connected with this. This may ring a bell. I think you have to have reward money out there.
But, again, I want to emphasize I think what they have to do is go out and get some of these people who they think may have been involved, bring them in, and put the heat on them.
GRACE: You know, there`s a certain logic to that, Eleanor Dixon, of re-interviewing people you`ve already interviewed, in light of newly discovered evidence.
DIXON: Well, it`s really important, too, to see what their story is, what their statements will be, whether or not they`ve change their statements, and how well they do, because it`s hard sometimes to keep a lie straight all the time if you`re telling a lie. The truth never changes. And you can tell the truth, whether it`s the middle of the story, the beginning of the story, or the end of it, so it`s important to re-interview people, you know, as much as you can.
GRACE: To Clark Goldband, our Internet blogger. How has the Internet changed searches for missing people, Clark?
GOLDBAND: Well, it`s changed it immensely, Nancy. And I can report that it`s changed for the better, because what you have now on the Web is a very limited passage of time until that information gets out there and is thrown out there.
You can put it on the Amber Alert sign on a highway with the press of a button. And I have a very important Web site that I`d like the folks at home to take a look at. It`s TheyAreMissed.org.
And you can see right here, as soon as you log on the home page, there`s rotating missing person profiles. And right now, as we can see, because there are more than 50,000 people that are trying to be found in the U.S. For example, Sophie May Rivera, last seen this year, Nancy. And Sophia was seen at her home in the vicinity of the 800 block in Newport News, Virginia, 31st street, 105...
GRACE: What`s the name of that site again? What`s the site, Clark?
GOLDBAND: It`s TheyAreMissed.org. If you happen to see Sophie...
GRACE: TheyAreMissed.org. And we`ve got that picture of Sophia up.
GOLDBAND: And a phone number.
GRACE: To Anita Gattis -- oh, yes, go ahead with the number.
GOLDBAND: I`m sorry, Nancy. I was just going to say 757-926-8266, if you`ve seen Sophie May Rivera.
GRACE: You know, that number you named, 50,000, is daunting. But tonight, we are looking for one girl. We are live here, our crew, our cameras, all of our resources to find Tara Grinstead.
Anita Gattis, tell me about the reward in the upcoming pageant.
GATTIS: We have two rewards. We have $100,000 for safe return. We have $100,000 for information leading to arrest and conviction, because we feel, if there`s someone out there that cannot put Tara in a car and bring her to us, they know what happened to her. They know who was involved. They need to pick up the phone and make a phone call.
There`s also an upcoming pageant. Two former students of Tara`s that, in the spirit of Tara, March 3rd, will raise reward money.
GRACE: All of this to raise reward money to find Tara Grinstead.
Please stay with us tonight as we pause to remember Specialist Jacob Eugene Melson, just 22, an American hero.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I cannot even stress how my family and our friends (INAUDIBLE)
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GRACE: The tip line: 912-386-2564. FindTara.com, reward $200,000.
Here at the Irwin County Senior Citizen`s Center, now the Tara Grinstead headquarters, calls are pouring in. Please help us find Tara Grinstead.
Renee Rockwell, I was in the home myself today with Tara`s mother. Just because family members have gone in that does not a contamination make.
ROCKWELL: Not necessarily, Nancy. But here`s the problem I have. My understanding is the house was searched once. It was re-searched, and on the second search, a necklace was found. Remember, we still haven`t found the earrings, so says that she had on that night.
GRACE: Well, you know what? That really doesn`t take a rocket scientist. They were the earrings she was wearing that night. You defense attorneys better not try to make hay of that.
Anita, don`t you believe she was wearing those when she left the house?
GATTIS: She might have been. They were long chandelier earrings. I think, if she changed the clothes, she probably took the big earrings off. So where are the earrings?
GRACE: ... Renee, you got me over a barrel on that one. Enjoy.
To you, Robert Preston, quickly, what are cops telling you?
PRESTON: Well, the GBI is the lead agency in this investigation. We`ve also been speaking with the Irwin County Sheriff`s Department and the Ocilla Police Department. We haven`t gotten a lot information out of them. I was on the phone with the GBI today. I was asking them about possible suspects, if they`ve identified anyone.
We`ve heard Mr. Harper`s name. We`ve heard Mr. Vickers` (ph) name. They would not confirm any suspects. All they said was that we have leads, we are following those leads. We don`t know where those leads are going to taking us, but we are actively pursuing this case.
GRACE: Anita, final thought?
GATTIS: I`m really concerned about some key people that I don`t feel that the GBI has talked to.
GRACE: I think you`ve made that very clear. Tonight everyone, the tip up to $200,000. From here in Ocilla, Georgia, I want to thank all of our guests tonight, especially Tara`s family.
But my biggest thank you is to you for bringing us and our search for Tara Grinstead into your homes. Coming up, headlines from all around the world. I`m Nancy Grace signing off, live from Ocilla. Hope to see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.