With no hard evidence, authorities couldn't make an arrest. My deepest condolences to my church family, may God give you all the strength and peace during your time of sorrow. They argued Duke was not responsible for her death but solely helped Bo Dukes dispose of the body, alleging that Bo Dukes was the mastermind behind the crime. Bo confessed all of this to Brooke, who stuck with him. Brooke Sheridan: Ryan Woke him up and said, "I killed Tara Grinstead.". This is your truck, and this is your family's land," basically that was interpreted by Bo as a threat that we're partners now in this? "He said he killed Tara," Ryan Duke said. And then, an important discovery. He testified he could tell the body was a woman's, wearing a t-shirt and some type of jogging pants. The agent asks Bo his first reaction when he went to the orchard with Ryan. Maria Woods Harber: Tara really did want to get back with Marcus. Finally, he cracked. Tara Grinstead was a 30-year-old history teacher at the Irwin County High School in Ocilla, Georgia, when she was reported missing on October 24, 2005. April 26, 2018 Aiken, South Carolina Set a Reminder for the Anniversary of Ryan's Passing. GBI AGENT: So, you immediately see this and you're like "what in the hell did you do? AIKEN, SC - Vicki Heilig Dukes, 65, died Thursday, September 15, 2016 at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. Duke said he left the home in a panic but came back to remove the body. Brooke Sheridan: I said, "You need to confess. The defense said Bo Dukes' attorney indicated his client would invoke the 5th Amendment if called to testify. On Monday, the state rested its case, but not before calling GBI agents and a forensic specialist to the stand. I didn't know who he was. He was the owner operator of Dukes Tax Service and Taxxman Payroll Solutions. Duane Ray Dukes, age 70, of Bryan, Ohio, passed away on Sunday, December 27, 2020, in his home, surrounded by family, following a ten-month battle with cancer. Interment will follow in Southlawn Cemetery. McCullough, now a manager at a water company in Texas, had met Bo Dukes at Army boot camp in 2006. Defense appeals delayed Ryan Dukes trial since the original 2019 start date. Not a one. We know who did," defense attorney John Merchant said. For years, Marcus Harper lived under a cloud some might say a thunderstorm of suspicion. He eventually went to court in 2022, with the central defense being hed given a false confession in 2017, partially owing to the fact he was afraid of his former friend Bo. Speaking in court before Ryan Dukes' sentencing, Anita Gattis said her sister's disappearance threw her family into ''an out-of-control spiral'' that they've never escaped. Peter Van Sant: What would anyone's motive be to kill Tara Grinstead? According to Bo Dukes, the two men took Bo's pickup truck and drove out of town onto a highway and pulled off onto a dirt road leading to the pecan orchard that's owned by Bo Dukes' family. View The Guestbook For Ryan Dukes of Aiken, South Carolina. Peter Van Sant: Why do you think investigators ignored you? And everybody has to live with that," Superior Court Judge Bill Reinhardt said before giving out his sentence. He wasn't sure who said what. Dr. Fred W. Andrea III officiating. The defense argued the validity of the report and test. "Ryan Duke, the man in that chair, confessed to the murder of Tara Grinstead," prosecutor Brad Rigby said. There are reports of him being put under suicide watch a few times, yet nothing too serious came out of the incidents. The state went through photos and evidence, including a glove found at the home with the DNA of Grinstead and a man. It was told to me when I was in Georgia. Maria Woods Harber: So, when I came back out of the house, I saw right out from the front door, there was a latex glove. Bo Dukes is serving 25 years for concealing her death, hindering the apprehension of a criminal, and lying to investigators. Rothwell took the blame for the GBI assuming local law enforcement determined information indicating Ryan Duke and Bo Dukes as persons of interest were "unfounded." Bo says Ryan then repeated that a couple of days later. AIKEN, SC MICHAEL RYAN DUKES, 43, died April 26, 2018. Weeks later she called the GBI to turn in the boyfriend she loved. BRYAN DUKES OBITUARY. Find the obituary of Sandra Lee Dukes (1958 - 2021) from Clayton, DE. A native and lifelong resident of Aiken, Ryan was a son of the late Kenneth Michael Dukes and Vicki Heilig Dukes. To the Dukes family, please know I am praying for you. Jannis Paulk: It was Bo Dukes and Ryan Duke. Back then, hardly anyone thought this case would ever be solved. It may take up to 1 hour for your comment to appear on the website. Praying for your family have strength. Dana Wilder: Ocilla was Tara's life. Duke said he never took Grinstead's belongings to police when he tried to return them. He lived most his life in Aiken and worked as a procedures writer at the Savannah River Site. Send a Card. A native and lifelong resident of Aiken County, Cindy was a daughter of Vera Ballentine Dukes and the late Ernest Kenneth Dukes. Ray Dukes passed away on January 15, 2022 at the age of 37 in CHARLOTTE, North Carolina. Grief researchers say holding that missing funeral service, even a year or more later, can still help us heal. My truck was Luminoled photographs were taken. But if you're ready for this Bo had already been interviewed by the GBI a year earlier in 2016. The funeral will follow at 11 oclock in the chapel with The Rev. It was a year after Tara's disappearance. It would be illegal for me to accept a fee for preparing that application on your behalf. focused on the investigators who have worked the case over the years. Texas FD #3523, #5075, #3185, #3349, #3705 Sometime in the night, Bo and Ben left while he and Stephen were sleeping. Two months later, in February 2007, McCullough says he called three police departments in Georgia including Ocilla, where he left a voice message saying: John McCullough: "This is John McCullough. The last witness in the case was GBI Agent Mitchell Posey, who was brought in to prove Duke wasnt lying in his 2017 recorded confession, "The question was How did you identify Tara? The answer was The pictures on the wall," Posey said, "Ryan is the one talking about the G&G in front of it. However, when it came to corroborating, Stephen testified in Bo Dukes trial that he couldnt confirm any of it. the judge said. Funeral Home Services for Ray are being provided by Alexander Funeral Home, Inc. - Charlotte. Duke said he was on drugs at the time he broke into Grinstead's Ocilla home and doesnt remember how exactly he killed her. John McCullough says he is still haunted by painful memories of being ignored by investigators. Ryan William Drakes, age 40, of DeSoto passed away on Wednesday, August 4, 2021. JOHN MCCULLOUGH: The exact location, he didn't tell me, but had made the comment of, you know, we took her to the middle of the pecan orchard and burned her body. I don't remember everything clearly I was stealing from her purse. She would never leave her kids. Cind Mobile Register and Baldwin County Homepage. He went looking for her the night she disappeared and sparked the search for the woman when he alerted authorities the next day. GBI AGENT: Of all the people, why Tara, what's the connection? ", Duke's attorney's argued that he had been a "model prisoner" for five years while "waiting patiently for his day in court.". For some people, the best send-off is one that they would have loved to attendthemselves: a big party. He looked like a person who was ready to do the right thing, but his testimony on the witness stand only seemed coached, well-rehearsed and sought self-serving benefits. Jannis Paulk: We shared that tip with the local sheriff's department. Ryan Duke was sentenced to 10 years in prison for concealing the death of Tara Grinstead. May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. Prosecutors asked Rothwell why no one followed up on a tip naming Ryan Duke and Bo Dukes as suspects. Maria Woods Harber: She was absolutely elegant onstage. Born in Columbia, SC, Mike was a son of Vera Ballentine Dukes and the late Ernest Kenneth Dukes. Ryan Duke said he was afraid of Bo Dukes, who repeatedly told him not to talk about Tara Grinstead. Another video shown shows Duke leading investigators to where he says he dumped and burned her body. Obituary. "It was built out in the area where there just should not have been a fire," Hudson said. "As hes doing that he started getting emotional and said, She was so small, referring to the size of her in his arms,". Born in Columbia, SC, Mike was a son of Vera Ballentine Dukes and the late Ernest Kenneth Dukes. He said Bo Dukes admitted to killing her. Brooke Sheridan: He said, "You've heard of the Tara Grinstead case?" Tara's cell phone was charging inside the house. Ryan William Drakes Obituary. John McCullough: He was like, "yeah, do you remember that bulletin that you had asked me about with that girl on it?" And even when she no longer competed, Tara helped other women, like Dana, break into that world. The state argues in 2017 Duke was swabbed, and his DNA positively matched that found on the glove. The document claims that later, he used a payphone to see if shed pick up, and when she didnt, he was convinced that she was dead. A full skeleton. AIKEN, SC - Kenneth Michael Dukes, 66, died Thursday, March 30, 2017 at his residence. Wide open space so the woods wouldnt catch on fire," Duke said while trying to find the location. He said he lied to the GBI agent that interviewed him about breaking into Grinstead's house and fatal striking and choking her. Make a life-giving gesture. GBI Agent Shoudel testified Duke knew what he was doing, and that Duke told investigators he was mentally and physically cognitive. RYAN DUKE [GBI interview played at trial]: I can't lie. Witness Randy Hudson owned the pecan orchard where Grinstead's body was allegedly disposed. A unique and . Find an Obituary. Investigators chased down dozens of leads across the country, but tips emerged that led right back to the high school where Tara was a teacher and perhaps someone who had sat in her classroom. They think the community can heal, pointing the finger at Bo Dukes for the murder. we have made an arrest.". Jannis Paulk: So, I sat down with an agent and we just went through everything. "Over the course of the last three weeks reliving this heinous act that Ryan Alexander Duke committed ripped open the wounds," Gattis told the court before calling Duke "evil," "sneaky dangerous," and a "vile human. I cant live with myself Im so sick of this," Duke said in a recorded video. Hudson said at the time he thought the burn site was an innocent bonfire. More than a decade later, the GBI charged Duke -- her former student -- with killing her and hiding her body in a pecan orchard. And Bo spent more than two years in federal prison. For twelve years, the cops and private investigators tried to uncover the truth and bring the case to its deserved conclusion, but nothing came of it. When the court denied this request, they took it to the Georgia Supreme Court, which said that they did not have jurisdiction over it, and the matter was sent back to Judge Reinhardt, who had originally presided over the case. In 2017, Brooke Sheridan came forward to the GBI saying that her boyfriend, Bo Dukes, told her that he had helped his friend, Ryan Duke, cover up Tara Grinstead's murder. Ryan Duke said he didn't know what he was talking about or believe him at first. Prosecutors called two witnesses before dismissing the jury a lunchtime to debate how much of the Duke's confession could be shown. No. John McCullough: He had told me that his friend accidentally strangled her and he needed help getting rid of the body so that way there was nothing to find. 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Maria says Tara was determined to live her dreams from a young age, competing in beauty pageants to help earn scholarship money for college. Then, more than 11 years after Tara disappeared, Brooke Sheridan came out of nowhere with her account about not only Bo Dukes but his friend Ryan Duke. She wasn't wearing shoes. The state focused on Ryan Duke's 2017 recorded confession to GBI agents. Maria Woods Harber: And the next morning I got a call saying that I need to get to Ocilla. Duke is to be sentenced Monday. A DNA sample from Ryan Duke was a perfect match. But after he broke down to Brooke, she told Bo it was time to tell the truth. Somebody has abducted her and holding her somewhere hostage. The defense argued the prosecution has no evidence tying Duke to the house that night and Duke's confession was made under the influence of medication. Vicki Heilig Dukes. . I thought he was out of his mind. He was there with his brother, Stephen, and their friends, Bo Dukes and Ben McMahan. Ryan was born April 23, 1981. DEFENSE: We know the State hasn't brought a single witness to tell you it was on the ground before Monday morning. Ocilla Police Chief Billy Hancock called theGeorgia Bureau of Investigationto help. I built a message board because I thought that there was a good chance that whoever knew what had happened to her would potentially come and say something. Brooke Sheridan: It was something very dark and I I chalked it up to, you know, serving his time in the military. On Friday, two key witnesses took the stand: the forensic biologist who tested the glove found at Tara Grinstead's home and the forensic anthropologist brought in who helped find Grinstead's buried remains. I know who killed Tara Grinstead or had a part of it. It was very hard to grasp. Food has always been a go-to for people in mourning. I was high. And that was corroborated. Yet hes still facing outstanding concealment charges in a neighboring Georgia county where Taras body had been burned. Marcus Harper: It was like a calling. This event is not sponsored by, or affiliated with, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the California Department of Veterans Affairs, or any other congressionally chartered or recognized organization of honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces of the United States, or any of their auxiliaries. Receive a notification when services are updated. But when questioned about her disappearance, he had an alibi and was never charged. Ryan Duke said he drove toward a pecan orchard, owned by a relative of Bo Dukes. OBITUARY Ryan William Drakes April 23, 1981 - August 4, 2021. John McCullough: I can't explain it [emotional]. In April 1952, flicka was the 500th baby born at Paso Robles. I mean, she had the biggest smile. ", Brooke Sheridan: He says, "I just want her family to know. He could have at least told us that, but he didn't. Your family's land." Marcus Harper: I received a phone call And the voice on the other end of the phone said, you know, "Brother, your 12 years of hell is over. The defense called a psychologist, Dr. Christopher Tillitski, who evaluated Ryan Duke in 2019. A native and lifelong resident of Aiken, Ryan was a son of the late Kenneth Michael Dukes and Vicki Heilig Dukes. I definitely didn't wanna settle down in small town America. And the reason he knew she wasn't coming back, is because he had put load after load of wood on her body and burned her. We'll help you find the right words to comfort your family member or loved one during this difficult time. Combined services will be held at Antioch M.B.C., 2033 W. Congress Ave. on Saturday March. Oregan Residents: Please note that in the State of Oregon, Funeral Board Rule 830-040-0000(3) requires our trade name include the identification of our funeral activity or function. On Sunday, Tara's mom called her several times, but Tara didn't answer. John McCullough: And it had this very, you know, attractive woman on it. It turned out that he had completed his education from the Irwin County High School, which is where Tara used to work, three years before she went missing, and they might have come in contact there. Vicki Heilig Dukes AIKEN, SC - Vicki Heilig Dukes, 65, died Thursday, September 15, 2016 at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. GARLAN LOTT: The statement that I recall was, 'We killed and burned her body.". Duke says he didnt know Grinstead other than the fact that she was a teacher at the high school. Stephen S. Dukes, 61, of York Haven died Sunday, November 21, 2021 at Select Specialty Hospital, Camp Hill. Had to tell my alibi, you know, or where was I at, who I was around. Authorities couldn't explain either, and collected them as evidence the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, known as the GBI, was called in. He was a graduate of A But the prosecution said they hard evidence: audio and video of Ryan confessing to killing Tara, when he spoke to the GBI back in 2017. Searching obituaries is a great place to start your family tree research. She brought great things to Irwin County High School And I would hope that eventually the word Tara Grinstead will be a bright spot because she did bring a lot of good things to Ocilla. But back in 2005, authorities either missed or ignored a tip that may have solved the case. ", BO DUKES: Yeah. But there is no question that in her short and impactful life, Tara Grinstead touched people in rare ways even those who never met her, like John McCullough. They laid out the evidence collected at Grinsteads property just following her disappearance. Ryan then allegedly went back to her house to move her remains to the orchard using Bos truck. Ryan Duke testified he went to help Bo Dukes load wood into his truck and move Grinstead's body. Brooke says she kept encouraging Bo to open up to talk about this dark subject that was destroying him. I can't imagine the loss of a child. Years passed, and the GBI said Tara Grinsteads case never "turned cold." But who would want to harm this vibrant 30-year-old woman? They found him guilty of one charge: concealing Grinstead's death. Ryan admitted he was asked by Bo to help dispose of Tara's body in the orchard and moved her to the burn pile. Jurors also heard from a latent fingerprint examiner who came in 2017 to try to identify and confirm the prints found on a glove in Grinstead's yard. 1449 N Claiborne Ave New Orleans, LA KARLIN DUKES OBITUARY Karlin C. Dukes Sr., age 83, peacefully passed away surrounded by family on Monday, November 7, 2016. Then, in 2017, a woman came forward with a remarkable story about her boyfriend but could it be trusted? His lawyers demanded the case be thrown out as the statute of limitations had already passed before asking for the trial to be moved to another venue in Irwin County. Bo got in big trouble while in the Army. There was a 34-hour gap between when someone last saw her and when officers performed that welfare check on Monday morning. AIKEN, SC - MICHAEL RYAN DUKES, 43, died April 26, 2018. Her colleagues at the school where she worked called the Ocilla Police Department to check on the 11th-grade teachers home. Soon after his arrest, Ryan Duke was indicted on the charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary, and concealing the death of another, to all of which he pleaded not guilty. "I asked them what they thought happened to Tara, and they said they killed her and burned her," Latt said. Bo Dukes told investigators his friend, Ryan Duke, confessed he had accidentally killed Grinstead and needed his truck to transfer her body. TROY - Penny A. Ryan, 64 . It took a jury less than an hour to convict Bo Dukes on all charges. John K. Dukes, Jr. Mar. Your entry has exceeded the maximum character limit. Following his wishes, there will be no. Ryan Duke took the stand Tuesday and immediately denied murdering Grinstead, claiming he didn't know how she died. His former roommate and close friend was Ryan Duke. Pallbearers will be Ryan Dukes, Jeffery Dukes, Evan Darr, Zac Buckner, Chris McGee, Chad Polatty and James Whittle. This program is not financed by or connected in any manner with any governmental agency or veteran's or other organization. Roland & Karol Kay Hoffman. Investigators said Grinsteads car was in the driveway when police arrived at the home. Dana Wilder: As little girls, we looked up to her she was famous. For those who loved Tara Grinstead, Bo Dukes' 25-year sentence for covering up her death was only partial justice. Went to Elementary to high School with John sending Condolences to the Family in my Prayers. 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