When authorities made a second arrest last week, one of Tara Grinstead's best friends found out that the murder investigation had touched her own family.
Wendy McFarland taught at Irwin County High School with Grinstead before she went missing in 2005, and over the last decade she has been a huge part of the search effort.
On Friday, she learned that her own cousin, Bo Dukes, was charged in the case.
"There are no words that can encompass and express my reaction," says McFarland on when she heard the news that Dukes had been arrested. "Betrayed. That might be the best word for my reaction."
32-year-old Dukes was a student at Irwin County High School a few years before Grinstead went missing. McFarland says she remembers Dukes as an intelligent, social young man who even ran for class president when he was in high school, but over the last few years, McFarland hasn't had much interaction with Dukes.
"Every year, we have a big family reunion. I really can't remember the last time that I saw Bo at a family reunion. I am very close with that branch of the family," says McFarland.
McFarland stressed that although Dukes is a family member, she thinks justice still needs to be served.
"Make no mistake, I love my family, but I do not condone some of the decisions that have been made concerning this case, and if it means that someone that I love and someone that is in my family has to be punished in order for Tara's family to have peace and justice, then I'm OK with that," says McFarland.
Nearly 11 years after Grinstead's disappearance, McFarland is still walking the halls of Irwin County High School, constantly reminded of the angel she now knows she has above.
"When I think about all the kids who looked for her and wrote messages, I like to believe she was in Heaven looking down and she saw all of that," says McFarland.
As WMAZ reported earlier, Bo Dukes spent time in the US Army, but then went to federal prison after he admitted stealing more than $150,000 in goods from the military.
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