What You Need to Know: Tara Grinstead Murder Case

Tara Grinstead suspect Bo Dukes in custody after 5 days on the run, police say

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“It was not the easiest fugitive investigation, but everyone worked around the clock until they got him,” John Edgar of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force for the U.S. Marshals Service told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Investigators received various tips and placed a relative’s home under surveillance cameras, Edgar said. Dukes was spotted in Ben Hill County driving toward Ocilla, according to investigators

>> On AJC.com: U.S. Marshals search for Grinstead suspect now wanted in rape case

Edgar said the various law enforcement agencies involved initially believed Dukes might surrender. When he did not, he was taken into custody at an Ocilla residence, Edgar said. 

The sheriff’s offices in Irwin, Ben Hill and Wilcox counties, Ocilla police, Warner Robins police and the GBI assisted Marshals with locating Dukes. 

“As long as he’s in custody, people should be able to sleep at night,” Edgar said. 

>> On AJC.com: Who was Tara Grinstead?

Dukes, 34, is one of two defendants in the Tara Grinstead murder case and was due to report to federal prison in a separate case. On New Year’s Day, he allegedly sexually assaulted two women at gunpoint in his Warner Robins home. Police charged Dukes with rape, aggravated sodomy and false imprisonment, but couldn’t locate him. 

On Thursday, the U.S. Marshals joined in the search for Dukes, and the manhunt stretched into late Saturday. 

Grinstead, 30, an Irwin County High School teacher, disappeared in October 2005 after attending a party. Despite a massive search, the former beauty queen was never found. No arrests were made in the case until February 2017, when the GBI announced Ryan Alexander Duke had been charged with Grinstead’s murder. 

>> On AJC.com: Tara Grinstead’s alleged killer confessed to GBI, case documents show

Days later, Dukes was arrested and released on $15,000 bond. He has been accused of helping Duke conceal Grinstead’s body. 

In a separate case, Dukes, who served in the U.S. Army, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in 2013 for a scheme to have Department of Defense property shipped to his home in Savannah. He was sentenced to federal prison and released in October 2015, but failed to pay $130,000 restitution and complete 40 hours of community service required for his supervised release, according to court filings. 

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In November, Dukes was ordered back to federal prison to serve six months, and was to report within 45 days. On Thursday, his pretrial release was revoked. 

Dukes was being held Saturday night at the Irwin County jail. It was not immediately known where he would make his first court appearance. 

“It’s going to be up to a judge to decide who gets him first,” Edgar said. 

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