Witness: Bo Dukes confessed to hiding Tara Grinstead's remains

Image 1 of 3

Emotions spilled over during testimony in the Bo Dukes trial Tuesday afternoon.

John McCullough, a buddy from Army basic training, told the Wilcox County jury Dukes opened up to him about what happened to Tara Grinstead, wiping away tears on the stand.

The alleged confession, he says, happening after a night of drinking and drugs back in 2006. Grinstead disappeared from her Ocilla home in 2005.

"He seemed like something was bothering him," McCullough told the jury. "It started to come out. He said, 'You're my battle buddy, right?' He was like, 'Man, I need to tell you something.'"

MORE: Jury selected in Tara Grinstead murder case

In court, prosecutors played an interview recorded by the GBI special agent assigned to the case. 

"I want to make sure I'm doing my part ... I want it to be fixed, man," McCullough said. 

McCullough testified that Dukes told him his friend, Ryan Duke, had accidentally killed Grinstead and needed his truck, a white Ford F-150, to transfer her body.  Dukes, according to the military friend, agreed to help, bringing Grinstead  to the family's pecan orchard to hide the crime.

"It takes 1200 degrees to burn human bones," McCullough told the GBI, quoting Dukes.

McCullough says he finally reached out to state investigators after calls to local law enforcement went unreturned. 

Family members telling the court Dukes had bragged about helping to dispose of human remains, but because he had a reputation for lying, that boast was not believed. 

"How do you know Bo Dukes?," prosecutors asked Wes Conner.

 "Unfortunately, he's my cousin," he answered with disgust.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.