Georgia

Tip leads to arrest in Georgia teacher's 2005 disappearance

  • FILE-The Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2006, file photo of missing teacher Tara Grinstead is prominently displayed on a billboard in Ocilla, Ga. Grinstead's disappearance on Oct. 22, 2005, was marked by a ceremony in Ocilla. Authorities in rural south Georgia say they plan to update the public, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, on their 11-year search for a missing teacher. A former beauty queen who taught at Irwin County High School, Grinstead was 30 years old when she vanished in October 2005 from her home. (AP Photo/Elliott Minor, File)

    FILE-The Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2006, file photo of missing teacher Tara Grinstead is prominently displayed on a billboard in Ocilla, Ga. Grinstead's disappearance on Oct. 22, 2005, was marked by a ceremony in Ocilla. Authorities in rural south Georgia say they plan to update the public, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, on their 11-year search for a missing teacher. A former beauty queen who taught at Irwin County High School, Grinstead was 30 years old when she vanished in October 2005 from her home. (AP Photo/Elliott Minor, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • This Feb 22, 2017 photo released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation shows Ryan Alexander Duke, in Georgia. Duke was arrested by authorities on murder charges in the disappearance of a high school teacher in rural south Georgia more than 11 years ago.   (Georgia Bureau of Investigation via AP)

    This Feb 22, 2017 photo released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation shows Ryan Alexander Duke, in Georgia. Duke was arrested by authorities on murder charges in the disappearance of a high school teacher in rural south Georgia more than 11 years ago. (Georgia Bureau of Investigation via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Residents of a rural community in south Georgia are beginning to get some answers nearly 12 years after teacher and former beauty queen Tara Grinstead vanished from her home.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Thursday that 33-year-old Ryan Duke, a student at Irwin County High School when Grinstead taught, has been charged with her murder.

It wasn't immediately known if Duke had an attorney.

Wendy McFarland, a fellow teacher and friend of Grinstead's, said she wept tears of anger and relief upon hearing the news so long after Grinstead disappeared in October 2005.

McFarland also remembered Duke as a bright, polite student — someone she never would have suspected.