EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Anita Gattis
The latest in the Tara Grinstead investigation with Anita Gattis Larry Harriet -- Janurary 25th 2006 CourtNet Reporter, Larry Harriet recently did an exclusive interview with Anita Gattis, Tara Grinstead's sister. Below is a rush transcript.
1. What was Tara's personality like? What were her life's focus, interests, and favorite thing to do? Tara was a very outgoing person; friends that you would talk with would say that Tara was a friend for life. She had contact with her elementary, high school, and college friends. Once you were Tara's friend, you were always her friend. Tara was very busy in her time in that she taught high school, was also an assistant principle part time, and was going to school. Tara was also very active in beauty pageants.
2. What type of relationship did you have with Tara? Well, there is a 14 year age difference between us. I used to act as the caregiver, but our relationship grew as we developed similar interests. Sometimes it would be a month in between time that we would see each other, but we would always do a lot of e-mailing in between.
3. How has the support that you have gotten been? Well, the community support is just amazing, the support from Tara's workplace as well. Tara's students love her. In fact, Tara would give out her cell phone number to students because she felt that they might need her.
4. Are you concerned about any of Tara's relationships? Yes. 5. Do you feel that Marcus Harper had any involvement in the case? I am disturbed by that relationship. He was in the military before 911, so every time he would come back from his work with the military, his whole demeanor and personality would change. He would verbally abuse Tara quite frequently. When Tara was parked at a red light, he would scream verbally abusive comments to her. I am disturbed with the fact that he is an army ranger, and Tara was disappeared without a trace. In fact, I am disturbed with the fact that he has access to army bases. Also, in that he has knowledge to dispose of a body, I am just concerned.
6. What do you think about Anthony Vickers?
Yes I do have concerns about him. Some people have felt that he is not smart enough to have involvement in Tara's disappearance. I think he lives in a fantasy world when it comes to his relationship with Tara. I am sure that their relationship was nothing more than friendship. I do have concerns about him.
7. Do you hope that these 2 get re-questioned?
Absolutely. There are in addition to Marcus Harper and Anthony Vickers, some other key people including Sean Fletcher who works on the police force. I am also distraught about the fact that there was a latex glove found outside of Tara's home after she disappeared, and police cars have latex gloves.
8. How is your hope holding out that Tara is alive?
Well, I believe like my mother says in that we have nothing to prove that she is not alive. It is just a gut feeling, I feel that I would know if she were not alive. Tara is such a kind and sweet person; I just feel that if she were not alive, I would feel it.
9. How have the searches been and have you turned anything up at this point?
Well, we have found some things, in particular items of clothing, but I really can't disclose what more we have found that has been sent to the GBI.
10. What do you make of the car, in which Tara's seat was pushed back like a man was sitting in it, and was unlocked, which was unlike Tara?
Well, I think its suspicious, you know Tara always had her seat pushed up as far as she could and my husband would always tell her that she has to push her seat back because if she gets in a wreck, she could be hurt severely, and the seat looks like it had been pushed back, and then somebody tried to push it up again. Tara always locked her car, so yes, I am suspicious of that.
11. What's keeping you going right now?
I just have a gut feeling that Tara is alive. I know my mother has a gut feeling. She and I want to stay strong and stay focused. I know that if the situation were reversed, I would want her to stay as strong as I am being. I really don't know why God has put me in this position, I don't know if it means that I'm supposed to work with missing children, I just know that I am here and that I must go forward. Its hard; my husband is doing a lot of his own investigation. I just know that I have to stay strong and stay focused, and I do believe that Tara is alive.