GBI searching pecan orchard for remains of Tara Grinstead

GBI searches property for Tara Grinstead body

BEN HILL COUNTY, Ga. --  A body recovery team continued to search a rural property in Ben Hill County for evidence in the Tara Grinstead case.

GBI Special Agent in Charge J.T. Ricketson said a team of about 40 people were at a pecan orchard in Fitzgerald since 6 a.m. Tuesday. Agents from eight GBI offices and two anthropologists were included in that team.

Randy Hudson is the owner of that pecan farm. "We are cooperating with the local sheriffs agency and the Georgia Bureau of investigation in regards to this matter on our farm," he said on Wednesday.

Interviews over the last few days have led investigators to believe Grinstead's remains are on the property,  Ricketson said. He made it clear the owner of the property is in no way connected to her disappearance.

Last Thursday, authorities announced an arrest in Grinstead's murder -- more than 11 years after she disappeared.

RELATED | Warrants reveal possible motive in death of Tara Grinstead

Grinstead, a 30-year-old teacher at Irwin County High School, went missing on Oct. 22, 2005. Ryan Alexander Duke, 33, was arrested last week and charged with murder, burglary, aggravated assault and concealing death.

Authorities have said little about the murder, but warrants indicate that they believe Duke killed Grinstead during a burglary at her home.

Ricketson said on Monday they’ll continue to interview people with information, but did not want to speculate on future arrests.

When asked for more information about Tuesday's search, GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles told 11Alive that a judge issued a gag order, and "no further information will be disseminated."

Authorities plan to continue their search Wednesday morning.

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PHOTOS | Ryan Duke makes first appearance

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GEORGIA MYSTERY | Tara Grinstead disappearance

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