Copied from Crime & Justice forum...does this help?
Marcus Harpers Activities Were Well Documented Before Tara Grinstead Vanished
by Seamus McGraw
May 25, 2006
OCILLA, Ga. (Crime Library) — In the days after school teacher and beauty Tara Grinstead mysteriously vanished, investigators methodically tracked down and interviewed many of the men who had played a key role in her life, among them, Marcus Harper, a former police officer, Iraqi war veteran, and Tara's former long-time boyfriend.
And while, among some in Ocilla, suspicion loomed large around Harper, authorities determined that Harper could easily account for his whereabouts and his activities during most of the critical hours between the time Tara was last seen and the time she was reported missing. And while authorities are not prepared to rule out any possible scenario in the still unsolved mystery they have acknowledged among other things that they don't know the precise moment when Tara actually disappeared — they have noted that Harper has been able to back up his account with official documents and witnesses.
According to his own account, and statements by others, Marcus Harper had been at a local tavern on the night that Tara vanished a friend of Tara's had even spotted him there, according to Dr. Maurice Godwin, a criminologist who has been working on the case at the behest of Tara's family, and she called Tara between 10:15 and 10:30 that night, presumably to tell her so.
Sometime after 1 a.m., Harper left the bar and drove to Ocilla looking for a friend of his, Sgt. Sean Fletcher, an Ocilla police officer. Fletcher, of course, had known both Harper and Tara. In fact, he had been one of the officers who responded to a call at Tara's house earlier in the year when another young man in Tara's life, Anthony Vickers, was arrested for disorderly conduct after allegedly banging on Tara's door and then cursing out the officers who tried to calm him. Some have even speculated that Tara may have had some hard feelings toward Fletcher, suspecting it has been said, that Fletcher had told Harper that there was another man, a police officer from a nearby community, in Tara's house at the time. Fletcher has denied that, noting that in a small town like Ocilla, details like that have a way of making themselves known.
At about 1:49 a.m., Fletcher was checking doors in downtown Ocilla when he received a call from the dispatcher telling him that Harper was looking for him, according to the account Fletcher has given to authorities. Fletcher contacted Harper, the two joined up, and they walked Fletcher's beat together. In the course of the next hour, Fletcher had at least one conversation with another police officer.
Fletcher and Harper searched for Bennie Merritt
Shortly after 2:45 a.m., Fletcher was summoned to a house on West 4th Street where a local man, Bennie Merritt, known for his erratic behavior, had allegedly walked inside and had refused to leave. Harper joined Fletcher on that call, as did two other police officers from the Irwin County Sheriff's Department. By the time they arrived, Merritt, who had already been the subject of a prior minor police call earlier that night, was gone. But according to Fletcher and the records investigators have reviewed, while there, Harper chatted with the residents.
A few minutes later, Fletcher and Harper left the residence and searched for Merritt, a neighbor of Tara's, who had allegedly frightened the couple on West 4th Street. Authorities reported that the man appeared intoxicated and was later apprehended by a sheriff's deputy, but not before he had allegedly frightened the night clerk at a local gas and convenience store about a mile outside of Ocilla.
According to records reviewed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, both Fletcher and Harper responded to the call at the all-night service station and market, and by the time they were done, it was 4:28 a.m.
A few minutes later, Harper headed home.
In the days following Tara's disappearance, investigators reviewed the details of Harper and Fletcher's activities, activities for which the pair were able to identify some nine witnesses, two of them police officers, one of them a dispatcher, and the rest citizens, including Merritt who had been the focus of so much of their attention that morning.
They also took a close look at Merritt, as well, authorities have said.
But so far, the investigators have turned up no evidence to suggest that any of them were involved in Tara's disappearance, which remains, now seven months, as she vanished, a missing person's case. Harper, along with several other men questioned during the probe, has denied involvement in the teacher's disappearance, and law enforcement officials have repeatedly said that they have no suspects in the case.
But that has done little to dampen suspicion in some quarters. Nor has the detailed and apparently well-documented account of Harper and Fletcher's travels that night.
Godwin, who has said that neither he nor the GBI have ruled Harper in or out as a potential person of interest in the case, put this way in an email exchange Wednesday with Crime Library: "Marcus's alibi is too perfect."