Houston & Peach

Authorities capture Bo Dukes at Ocilla relative’s home

Bo Dukes
Bo Dukes

Authorities closed in Saturday on an accused rapist who’s linked to the Tara Grinstead killing in 2005.

Bo Dukes, 34, was apprehended at a relative’s house in Ocilla after an extensive manhunt led by the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force for the U.S. Marshal Service and assisted by multiple local law enforcement agencies.

Dukes was taken into custody about 5:30 p.m., said John Edgar, chief inspector for the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force.

“It was a group effort,” Edgar said. “We knew he was in the area.”

A heavy law enforcement presence that included a helicopter flying overhead was reported in Ocilla before Dukes’ arrest.

Authorities had information that he was heading through Fitzgerald toward Ocilla and had eyes on him as he pulled up the road to the house, Edgar said.

Dukes was wanted by Warner Robins police on charges of rape, aggravated sodomy, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in a 5:45 p.m. incident Tuesday at a home in the 300 block of Charlestown Way.

He’s accused of sexually assaulting two women New Year’s Day after he allegedly forced the women back to his home at gun-point. The weapon was a shotgun, according to a police incident report.

Dukes was also wanted by federal authorities after a voluntary-surrender order for a six-month stint in prison was rescinded after the warrants for rape and related charges were issued.

In the federal case, Dukes was ordered in November to serve six months in prison for failing to pay about $130,000 in restitution and for not doing 40 hours of community service related to a conviction for conspiracy to steal government property. His excuse for not paying restitution was needing the money to pay his attorney in the Grinstead criminal case, according to a court document.

Also, a Ben Hill County judge revoked Dukes’ $15,000 bond on the Grinstead case after Dukes failed to show up for a Thursday court hearing.

Grinstead, an Irwin County High School teacher and former beauty queen, vanished from her Ocilla home in 2005. Dukes is accused of helping accused killer Ryan Duke burn the body of Grinstead, their former history teacher, at Dukes’ uncle’s pecan orchard on the outskirts of Fitzgerald sometime between Oct. 23 and Oct. 28, 2005.

Along with U.S. marshals, law enforcement which helped close in on Dukes and take him into custody include the Wilcox County Sheriff’s Office, the Ben Hill County Sheriff’s Office, the Irwin County Sheriff’s Office, the Ocilla Police Department, the GBI and the Warner Robins Police Department.

Grand jurors in Irwin County on Thursday returned a six-count indictment in the Tara Grinstead slaying in Ocilla, Georgia. This video shows a bailiff handing the indictment to the county court clerk.

Becky Purser covers breaking and Houston County news. She previously covered crime and courts for Houston and Peach counties for The Telegraph. A graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in communications/news-editorial sequence, Becky also has covered city and county government for Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia newspapers.
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