Jury told DNA from blood in accused killer's truck belongs to missing woman

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - It was a shorter day in court Friday for the murder trial of James Bradley, but the jury left with plenty to consider heading into the weekend break.

A crime lab expert testified that DNA from a blood sample taken from Bradley's truck belongs to Elisha Tucker, a woman who had been missing since 2013.

Bradley is accused of the presumed death of Shannon Rippy Van Newkirk, who went missing April 5, 2014, a day before her 54th birthday.

Her body has not been found, but the remains of Elisha Tucker were found in the search for Newkirk. Bradley is also charged with the murder of Tucker.

The prosecution has been using several details surrounding the discovery of Tucker's body as testimony in this trial. The defense argues the evidence presented is irrelevant in this case.

Friday, the jury heard crime lab agents confirmed DNA found in Bradley's truck is a match with Tucker.

Analysts said they did not find Van Newkirk's DNA inside Bradley's apartment or truck, despite several stains. The analyst explained cleaning agents could prevent finding DNA.

Richard Novelli, an FBI forensics expert, seized a computer from Bradley's apartment. He testified to finding internet searches for words like "cellular tower" and a document detailing the merits of cell phone tracking on the computer.

Connor DelPrete is in the courtroom, tweeting live updates about the trial. Follow him @CDelPreteWECT.

Here's a look at what happened in court Thursday: http://bit.ly/2s3vsPK

Here's a recap of Van Newkirk's disappearance:

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