Georgia Man Charged With 1988 Murder of Alice Ryan

Chief Ken Miller briefing the press on the Alice Ryan cold case.
Greenville Police Department

At a recent press conference, Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller identified the person responsible for the October 8, 1988 murder of Alice Haynesworth Ryan, 80, at her home located at 16 Woodland Way. The arrest and charges are the culmination of nearly 31 years of investigation.

51-year-old Brian Keith Munns of Americus, Georgia has been arrested and charged with: murder, possession of a weapon during violent crime, armed robbery, and burglary.

In March of 2017, the GPD formed its Cold Case Unit, which began an extensive review of the Ryan murder case file. In August of 2017, detectives collaborated with State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agents reviewing physical evidence collected from inside the house and Mrs. Ryan’s car, a 1967 Ford Galaxy, which was recovered soon after the murder a short distance from the home.

Upon re-analyzing an item recovered from the interior of the car, SLED analysts were able to extract a full DNA profile capable of being uploaded to the South Carolina State DNA Database and the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System; more commonly known as “CODIS”.

In November 2017, GPD investigators were notified of a “CODIS Hit” to a matching DNA profile. The DNA profile belonged to Munns, who was also a registered sex offender.

In December 2017, investigators traveled to Georgia to speak with the man believed to be the source of the DNA profile retrieved from crime-scene evidence. For the next several months, the Cold Case team tirelessly continued their work; conducting interviews, evaluating evidence, and seeking more information about the man identified by DNA.

In February 2019, investigators moved forward with criminal charges against Munns. Since the time of his arrest, over 30 additional interviews have been conducted by Cold Case detectives. One of these interviews provided the breakthrough investigators needed.

An acquaintance of the suspect revealed detailed information that Munns provided about the murder of Alice Ryan to include: a) Method of entry, b) Injuries inflicted, c) Area of the encounter, d) Location of evidence, and e) Timeline of events. This information was knowledge that only a person who was at the scene of Alice Ryan’s murder would have known.

Munns is being held without bond in the Greenville County Detention Center.

Prepared by the City of Greenville.