Andrew Michael Burke pleads not guilty to murdering Joan Ryther

Caity Stone

The trial has begun for the man accused of the brutal rape and murder of a pregnant Logan woman.

Joan Ryther's body was found outside a home three years ago after she was brutally assaulted, raped and strangled.

The horrific murder occurred as she was walking to work at a local McDonalds, merely ten minutes from where she lived in late May, 2013.

The man accused of murdering the 27-year-old, Andrew Michael Burke, pleaded not guilty to all three charges in Brisbane's Supreme Court on Monday.

Husband of murdered Logan Joan Ryther was the first witness taking the stand in trial against man accused of killing her. Source: 7 News.

The prosecution has told the court DNA will play a crucial role during the three-week trial.

The court was also told DNA evidence found on Ms Ryther's jumper was one billion times more likely to be from the accused than anyone else.

The victims DNA was found on shoes and a bandage belonging to Burke.

Crown Prosecutor Glen Cash told the court the 21-year-old denies any involvement in the murder however later he admitted in a police interview to trying to steal cars on Leichhardt Street around the time of Ms Ryther's murder.


The prosecution also gave graphic details of Ms Ryther's horrific final moments.

A packed courtroom heard she was "left to die alone, face down in the grass" and that her unborn child died with her in the front yard of the Leichhardt street residence.

Her husband, Cory Ryther also gave evidence holding up ultrasounds of the pair's unborn child.

Mr Ryther told reporters outside the court he has recurring nightmares where the pair run through a meadow towards him.

"The little girl's got piggy tails and she's about five or six years old and she keeps calling me but I can never catch them," he said.

He told the court he went to drop off their car to Ms Ryther at work so she didn’t have to walk home late at night.

However when he couldn’t locate his wife a frantic search for the missing woman began.

Her body wasn’t located until early the next morning by a neighbour.

The trial is expected to last for three weeks and with more than 60 witnesses expected to give evidence.

News break – July 24