December 14, 2010
01/31/10: Bryce Tarter, 19, Savannah, GA
The Search for Bryce Tarter
After Bryce's disappearance, a pair of helicopters performed an aerial survey while relatives organized a ground search. Posters have been distributed throughout the campus, and a website and Facebook page, have been created to aid in the search. Donations to the family of Bryce Tarter can be made through Pay Pal on their website at: http://www.bringbrycehome.com/donate.html
Bryce Tarter Found
An autopsy was completed the same afternoon (4/28/10). Micah Ward, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Special Agent in Charge, said the body was positively identified through dental records as being Bryce Tarter (Foster's.com, 4/28/10). The comparison was made by a forensic dentist, according to one report. Tarter's family was notified and also told that foul play did not appear to be involved (SavannahNow.com, 4/28/10). The cause of death has not been reported, but the family has been told that it was probably just a freak accident.
According to Ward, the doors and windows of the truck were shut. The truck, which was filled with water and mud, is at the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah; the contents will be examined once it sufficiently dries out.
The Tarter family expressed mixed emotions at the discovery. Blake Tarter, Bryce's father, said, "For the last 24 hours, I've been unable to deal with the guilt of knowing where Bryce is and being relieved. For three months, we've been searching, but it feels wrong to feel relieved now that we know what happened." (Boston Herald, 4/28/10.) Michaella Tarter, Bryce's mother said, "We found him. It’s a step. It may not be in the direction we wanted, but it’s a step.” (Boston Herald, 4/28/10).
On 12/13/10, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has released its investigative findings. Investigators say the missing student drowned in his submerged pickup truck, possibly after running off the road. According to WTOC.com, "The Georgia State Patrol accident reconstruction team estimates Bryce's truck was traveling between 25 and 45 miles per hour down the road leading to Bell's Landing. The report speculates Bryce may not have noticed that the road ended, and plunged right into the water....A toxicology report was inconclusive, saying the body was too badly decomposed to test for drugs or alcohol."
According to reports, the case file was complete and the case would be closed as soon as Tarter's belongings were returned to his family.
About Bryce Tarter
Bryce Tarter grew up in Georgia and later moved to Kittery, Maine where he was a 2008 graduate of Traip Academy high school. He was a star baseball player at Traip, played football, and graduated with honors. The family lived in Kittery for nearly two years. At the time of his disappearance, the Tarter family lived in Rhode Island. Bryce Tarter was living with his uncle in Guyton, Georgia while attending school. His father, Blake, a Navy submariner was stationed in Georgia.
At the time Bryce Tarter's body was recovered, Bryce's mother, Michaella, and sister, Chaella, were in the process of relocating to Georgia to join Blake Tarter, who had been assigned to shore in Georgia. Michaella Tarter told the Boston Herald, "The furniture was delivered Monday and we heard about the truck on Tuesday,” she said. “Someone said to me, ‘Bryce was always home and he was just waiting for you to come home.’ The information didn’t come out until we were in the area and we were all together.”
Name/age: Bryce Tarter, 19
College: Armstrong Atlantic State University, GA
Last seen: 1/31/10, Savannah, GA
Recovered: 4/28/10, Hoover Creek, Savannah, GA
Hometown: Rhode Island
Residence: Guyton, GA
Last seen wearing: Dark brown jacket, white collared/ button up shirt, a blue tie, and an ATL Braves hat.
Last seen driving: His vehicle was described as a white 2000 Nissan Frontier with Maine plates. It is registered with Maine plates, but people are being asked to consider all trucks of this make, model and year, because it would be quite simple to switch a license plate.
Physical Description: white male, 6 feet tall, 140-155 pounds with short, sandy brown hair and blue eyes.
Published: 3/6/10, Revised: 4/28/10, 8/4/10, 12/14/10.
at 4:12 PM