Customs Agent Says He Saw Bags Thrown Overboard in 1994 Murder Case

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 6's Claudia DoCampo has the details on what a customs agent told a jury he saw when he intercepted Clifford Friend and Alan Gold after they allegedly dumped a body. (Published Thursday, Jul 3, 2014)

    A day after Alan Gold, the alleged accomplice of accused murderer Clifford Friend testified against him; an undercover customs agent who intercepted the boat Friend and Gold were in after the death of Lynn Friend took the stand.

    “The driver is standing here, the driver turns around, reaches both hands down behind this seat, picks up a smaller bag and places it over the side,” CBP agent Tim Stellhorn told the jury of what he saw on the boat in 1994.

    Prosecutors believe Friend and Gold were in the middle of the ocean on August 28, 1994 to dump Lynn’s body in the water. Prosecutors said Clifford killed Lynn in 1994 over a custody dispute for their then 5-year-old son Christian.

    Lynn, 35-years-old at the time of her disappearance, was planning to relocate out of Florida with Christian, and Clifford Friend had fought the move and vowed to stop it, the State Attorney's Office said.

    Thursday, Agent Stellhorn said he and his partner were patrolling the area and testified that they thought Gold and Friend were actually smuggling drugs and getting rid of evidence.

    Stellhorn said the boat was, “heading due east and what’s due east of Miami is the Bahamas; so we assumed that they were leaving the country.”

    When agents detained Friend and Gold, they searched the boat and found cinder blocks, gloves, black clothing, and a small mushroom anchor. The small anchor, Stellhorn said, would not have anchored the boat.

    Friend and Gold were eventually released on that day in 1994. But just days later, Agent Stellhorn said he saw something in the media that piqued his interest.

    "I was home in my apt. and I read an article in the newspaper that I think it was Hallandale Beach Police Department was investigating a missing persons case and listed the person's name as Lynn Friend," Agent Stellhorn told the jury Thursday.

    Stellhorn’s hunch prompted a large search by Hallandale Beach Police in the area where the agents saw the bags go down in the sea. However, Lynn’s body was never found.

    When testimony resumes next week, Friend’s attorneys will present their case to the jury. If Friend is convicted of first-degree murder, he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

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