Tara Grinstead's best friend says her disappearance has haunted her for years.
“I’m baffled I just can’t believe it,” Maria Woods Harber said. “I feel like I’m going to wake up tomorrow, and this is going to be a dream just like the day she went missing.”
Harber is Tara Grinstead’s best friend and can’t believe police have named Ryan Duke the suspect in her murder, more than 11 years later.
“I've heard the name and another connected but it was never red flags,” Harber said.
She's says Grinstead knew Duke since she was a teacher at Irwin County High, but is sure she never taught him.
“Why didn’t you come forward sooner,” Harber said. “Why have you done this because he’s taken away a lot of my life. He’s taken away her family’s life.”
Even after Thursday’s announcement, she still has questions that have gone unanswered.
“I want to know why,” Harber said. “I want know when, was she targeted was she stalked, was she hurt. I pray that she didn’t feel any pain.”
As the case continues to unfold, she says she'll continue to think about Grinstead the way she remembers her.
“We Had lots of fun together,” Harber said. “She was great, she was an easy person to talk to. She didn’t judge you, just very open she was just a good friend.”
A friend she will continue to fight for until she gets justice.