Investigators believe Dukes brought two women to his home by threatening them with physical violence and a gun.

U.S. Marshals search for Grinstead suspect now wanted in rape case

Police said a man out on bond from charges related to the death of South Georgia teacher Tara Grinstead remained a fugitive Thursday amid new accusations of rape and false imprisonment after he allegedly assaulted two women on New Year’s Day.

Bo Dukes, 34, fled his home in Warner Robins in a white 2013 Kia Sorento on Tuesday and has since been the subject of a massive manhunt by law enforcement from various agencies, including the U.S. Marshals, authorities said.

A neighbor said the women escaped through a window while Dukes was distracted and ran to the neighbor for help, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Warner Robins police said Dukes had made suicidal threats and is known to abuse alcohol and cocaine. The women knew Dukes before he brought them into the home under the threat of violence and victimized them with a gun in hand, city police said, declining to say how the three were acquainted.


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Dukes is one of two men accused in Grinstead’s disappearance and death, and investigators believe he helped a former classmate, Ryan Alexander Duke, remove Grinstead’s body from her Ocilla home in October 2005. Dukes was arrested days after Duke and later released on $15,000 bond. Duke, charged with murder in the Grinstead case, remains in jail without bond. Dukes and Duke are not related.

Duke’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, said she hopes the new allegations against Dukes will cause investigators to rethink the Grinstead case. Merchant has long accused Dukes of lying to detectives about Duke’s involvement and downplaying his own role.

Dukes has indeed been charged with lying to agents about the Grinstead case, but he still has not been charged with taking part in her homicide directly. Merchant’s client confessed to killing Grinstead, but the attorney maintains it was a false confession, which he gave in part because he was afraid of Dukes.

Dukes’ attorney, John Fox, declined to comment on the new case or Merchant’s statements.

In this Oct. 4, 2006 file photo, teacher Tara Grinstead is displayed on a billboard in Ocilla, Ga. (AP Photo/Elliott Minor, File)             
Photo: Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Dukes is one of two men accused in Grinstead’s disappearance and death, and investigators believe he helped a former classmate, Ryan Alexander Duke, remove Grinstead’s body from her Ocilla home in October 2005. Dukes was arrested days after Duke and later released on $15,000 bond. Duke, charged with Grinstead’s murder, remains in jail without bond. 

Dukes comes from a prominent family in Ocilla. His late grandfather, William “Newt” Hudson, was a well-known pecan farmer, a World War II veteran, and a state representative who served for 20 years.

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. He was released in October 2015, but failed to pay $130,000 restitution and complete 40 hours of community service — both required for his supervised release, according to court filings.

In November, a judge ruled that Dukes must return to federal prison within 45 days to serve six months. Late Thursday, his pretrial release was revoked, the U.S. attorney’s office in Macon said.

John Edgar of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force for the U.S. Marshals Service said agents were researching Dukes and also searching for him on the ground.

“We’re doing everything we can to try to find him,” Edgar said, declining to reveal what area the search is covering, for fear of tipping off Dukes. “There’s a lot of law enforcement looking for him right now.”

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 1-877-68CRIME. 


» RELATED: Duke claims he didn’t kill Grinstead, but was involved in cover-up

» ALSO: Tara Grinstead’s alleged killer confessed to GBI, case documents show


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