David Grunwald’s girlfriend, mother testify in court

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Jurors spent the day listening to testimony from the State’s witnesses in the murder trial of Bradley Renfro. Renfro is accused of participating in the brutal beating and murder of 16-year-old David Grunwald, in 2016.

The State called five witnesses to the stand including Victoria Mokelke, David’s girlfriend and his mother Edie Grunwald. Mokelke cried as she read the jurors her texts to David’s acquaintances trying to find him.

In hours and days following David’s disappearance, Mokelke messaged David Evans and Erick Almandinger to try and find out if they knew anything about the crime. They both said they did not.

David Grunwald had given David Evans a ride to Erick Almandinger’s house before dropping his girlfriend off on the night he was murdered. According to the prosecution. Evans went home shortly after being dropped off by David Grunwald. Almandinger, who also denied knowing anything about David’s whereabouts, was convicted of first degree murder for his participation in the crime.

Mokelke broke down as she read jurors her messages to Almandinger. On November 16, 3 days after David went missing she messaged Almandinger at 4 in the morning.

“I said, ‘Hey man, if you have any details on the night David went missing, please, please just tell the cops. I haven’t slept in days. I’ve had to take sleeping pills every night but obviously they don’t work too well. I’m completely heartbroken and lost. I just want to know my baby is safe.’”

Jurors also heard from one of the Troopers who investigated the case and first found the burned Ford Bronco. The cab driver who picked up the three teens, including Bradley Renfro, accused of setting the Bronco on fire also, testified for the prosecution. One of the fire marshals testified that he investigated the Bronco fire and determined it to be arson.

The last witness of the day was Edie Grunwald, David’s mother. She confirmed Mokelke’s statements regarding the efforts to find David after he went missing. Edie Grunwald also testified about hiring a private investigator to help find David and offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to him being found. The family also established a private tip line.

The defense asked few cross examination questions. Most of the questioning related to whether the witness’s knew or had any contact with Renfro before or during the initial investigation.

Tomorrow the state will call more witnesses as they continue to build their case.

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