The key witness in the nearly 20-year-old murder of Lynn Friend took the witness stand Monday and talked candidly about helping Clifford Friend, Lynn’s ex-husband, get rid of the body.
“I decided to help him,” Alan Gold said. “I didn’t want to see the kid, there were two sets of old parents. I basically didn’t want to see the kid fatherless and I figured it was the lesser of the evil.”
Clifford Friend was indicted for his ex-wife’s murder in 2012, roughly 18 years after she went missing. Prosecutors said the murder stemmed from a custody dispute of their then 5-year-old son Christian.
Lynn Friend, 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.
“He basically said that the next thing he knew it was over, he had lost it, he knocked her down and choked her out,” Gold said Clifford Friend told him.
When asked by prosecutors what he thought Friend mean, Gold answered, “It means that she was in the bag and she wasn’t coming back and that was the end of Lynne.” Gold said at that point both knew they had to get rid of the body; so he helped Friend put the body in his boat.
Gold said he and Clifford went to Government Cut to open water to dump the body. He said they were surprised by customs agents who thought the two were smuggling drugs. Gold said Monday that he’s been given immunity for his testimony against Clifford and that he broke the commitment he made to him 20 years ago.
“You broke it,” prosecutor Michael Von Zamft said.
“Only because you put me in a box and I don’t have any choice,” Gold retorted.
Testimony is expected to continue Thursday when the customs agents who stopped the boat after Friend and Gold allegedly dumped the boy are expected to testify.