UPDATE Tara Grinstead DNA evidence/finger print found on glove




TV show, DNA search put focus back on missing Ocilla woman
PERRY --
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation wants to know whose DNA and fingerprint
are on a glove found near the home of an Ocilla woman missing for nearly
three years.

The GBI released new evidence Tuesday in the Tara Grinstead case, hoping it
could lead to an answer of where the young teacher has been since her
disappearance sometime after 11 p.m. Oct. 22, 2005.

The new evidence was aired Tuesday night on CBS's "48 Hours" news magazine
TV show.

Although it has previously been reported that police found the glove outside
Grinstead's house, Gary Rothwell, special agent at the GBI's Perry office,
said investigators withheld information about the DNA for investigative
purposes. But when the GBI was contacted by "48 Hours" about producing a TV
segment concerning Grinstead's disappearance, agents saw an opportunity to
generate phone calls from people with new information about the case.

At the time of her disappearance, the 30-year-old former beauty queen, a
Hawkinsville native, had moved to Ocilla as a student teacher. After falling
in love with the town, Grinstead accepted a full-time job teaching high
school history.

When she didn't show up for work on a Monday morning in October 2005,
co-workers called police. They found her cell phone inside the house where
she lived alone. Her car was outside, unlocked. Her purse and keys were
gone.

Police officers found the latex glove in Grinstead's yard, just a stone's
throw from her front stoop, Rothwell said.

But Grinstead never was found.

Rothwell did not identify as a suspect the person whose DNA was found in the
glove, but he said that person could help lead to a break in the case.

"We believe it is a critical element to solving the case," Rothwell said.

Rothwell said the DNA has been analyzed and agents know it's a man's DNA.
But they haven't identified the man.

During the course of the investigation, he said, agents have compared the
DNA to dozens of men who knew Grinstead or who were associated with her.

"None of them matched," Rothwell said.

The DNA also has been entered into Georgia and national databases, but still
no match has been found.

Agents also recovered a fingerprint from the glove, but Rothwell said it
isn't of sufficient quality to enter into a database for comparison.

"It is one of the most extensive investigations undertaken by the GBI,"
Rothwell said during an interview for the TV program.

The "48 Hours" show also examined the similar disappearance of an Orlando,
Fla., woman three months after Grinstead vanished.

Like Grinstead, Jennifer Kesse disappeared with no sign of forced entry into
her home or a struggle. Only Kesse's keys and purse were missing.

Orlando investigators have uncovered grainy surveillance footage showing an
unidentified person exiting Kesse's car. Authorities say that person could
be Kesse's abductor.

Rothwell said early in the investigation GBI agents spoke with Orlando
officers and shared information, but there's no obvious connection between
the two cases.

"There's nothing concrete," he said. "But it was worth looking at."

Even though it's been nearly three years since Grinstead disappeared,
Rothwell said the case is being actively investigated on a daily basis as
agents reinterview witnesses and reassess evidence in hopes of finding a
breakthrough.

"If there's somebody with information, we want that information," Rothwell
said. "We don't want them to assume we know something. We might not know."


http://www.macon.com/198/story/393808.html


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