Evidence shows deleted Facebook messages during Grunwald murder investigation
Evidence from Bradley Renfro’s social media accounts was shown to jurors on the fourth day of his trial for the murder of David Grunwald.
Renfro didn’t have a mobile device, like a phone or a tablet, during the time Grunwald was shot and killed in November 2016. However, he did have a Facebook account that was preserved as evidence for his trial.
Dustin Jorgensen was an Alaska State Trooper in the technical crimes unit during the investigation into Grunwald’s disappearance. He served warrants for information from several suspects’ Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram accounts, as well as warrants to search the devices.
Jorgensen testified he analyzed thousands of pages of social media records and narrowed down the ones related to Grunwald’s murder.
That includes Facebook conversations between Renfro and convicted killers Erick Almandinger and Dominic Johnson during the time Grunwald was still missing.
“On the same day, Nov. 30 at 6:40 in the evening, Renfro sent Almandinger a message; however, that was deleted from Renfro’s records,” Jorgensen said. “All of the rest of the messages from the 30th from 6:16 p.m. going through the 30th at 11:02 p.m. are deleted.”
Renfro’s attorney, Chris Provost, questioned whether the messages could be attributed to Renfro himself.
“You don’t know if it was Bradley Renfro or somebody else that was actually doing the messaging,” Provost asked Jorgensen.
“I cannot put anybody behind the phone or the keyboard that was typing those messages,” Jorgensen said.
Palmer District Attorney Roman Kalytiak said the messages, even though they’re deleted, show Renfro continued to have contact with the others charged in Grunwald’s death.
Troopers also found photos of Renfro on Almandinger’s Snapchat account. Kalytiak said the teens are wearing blue bandanas and showing the C-sign because of their affinity for the Crips gang culture.
There’s also a video of Renfro carrying Almandinger around a room. Almandinger appears to have wet himself.
“Is that piss Erick? Erick, is that piss,” someone laughs.
Investigators testified at Almandinger’s trial that video was taken less than 24 hours after Grunwald was killed.
Jurors also had a chance to get a first-hand look inside the trailer where Grunwald was beaten before he was killed.
A fingerprint analyst from the State Crime Lab testified the only place Renfro’s fingerprints were found in that trailer was on a cookie jar that contained marijuana.
Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.