DNA evidence, charred bone fragments shown in fifth day of Ryan Duke trial

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Published: May. 13, 2022 at 9:10 AM EDT|Updated: May. 13, 2022 at 6:14 PM EDT
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OCILLA, Ga. (WALB) - The fifth day of the Ryan Duke trial has started in an Irwin County court Friday. Three witnesses are expected to take the stand to testify.

Duke was charged in connection to the 2005 death and disappearance of Tara Grinstead.

Catch up on this week’s trial:


GBI Forensic Biologist Ashley Hinckle testified and compared several pieces of DNA regarding Ryan Duke as a potential suspect. That included a latex glove found outside Grinstead’s home in 2005.

Hinckle, who inherited the case around 2010, went through how the DNA that was found on the glove was tested. Originally in 2005, the DNA found two DNA profiles on the glove — one belonged to Grinstead and the second belonged to an unknown man. Further testing years later would find a third unknown DNA profile on the glove.

She says she found Duke’s DNA on the glove found in Grinstead’s yard.

“The primary profile of the inner piece of the glove matched Ryan Alexander Duke, with a probability of it also matching one in 300 quadrillion individuals in the population,” she said.

On Thursday, the court was shown footage of Ryan Duke pointing to where he once said Grinstead’s body was burned.

Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Alice Gooding testified she confirmed 20 unidentified human bone fragments found in the same location.

“I could tell that they had been burned,” Gooding said.

Asked District Attorney Bad Rigby: “And how were you able to tell that those bones had been burned?”

“The coloring of them, the black coloring, the grayish coloring, those colorings. And then also the weight and texture of the bone itself,” she said.

Darin Meadows, a digital forensic analyst, testified that there was no communication with Ryan Duke or Bo Dukes on Grinstead’s phone or computers.

The defense has maintained Duke’s innocence throughout the week. The defense also questioned some errors that were later spotted in the DNA testing of the glove.

Defense Attorney Evan Gibbs asked if the reports of the DNA testing were peer-reviewed and if so, why the errors were still missed despite being peer-reviewed.

“We’re human,” Hinckle said.

Witnesses for the defense are expected to take the stand on Tuesday. The trial is expected to wrap up at the end of the week.

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