MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A former coast guard agent who witnessed a man accused of killing his ex-wife throwing two bags out of a boat testified Thursday.
Timothy Stellhorn, a former coast guard, said he saw Clifford Friend throw the bags from a boat on August 28, 1994 . He testified Thursday that he and his partner believed Friend, and Alan Gold who was on the boat, was throwing out drugs.
“They are throwing bales,” the former agent said. “We were thinking they were throwing narcotics from the boat.”
Stellhorn was critical in the initial phase of the investigation.
“As soon as the spot light comes on I see passenger move from the center of the boat right behind the operator and with both hands push a large bundle or bag off the starboard side and into the water,” the former agent said, recalling the night 20 years ago.
Days after stopping Friend and Gold, Stellhorn read an article about the missing woman. Stellhorn called Hallandale Police to inform them and, thanks to his efforts, they were able to at least connect Friend and Gold to the site where he had stopped them and saw that they had dumped the bag overboard.
On Wednesday, Gold, the man with Friend on the boat the night he allegedly threw his ex-wife Lynne Friend’s body overboard, took the stand.
“On August 28, 1994 while you were on the same boat did you assist Mr. Friend in throwing a bag overboard? asked Michael Von Zamft lead prosecutor to Gold and he said “I did.”
Gold said Clifford called him and asked him to go over his house. Gold said he was not feeling well but went anyways.
When he arrived to Friend’s house he saw a large equipment bag in the dinning room, said Gold. He said Friend told him Lynne had gone over and was upset he was not letting her take their 5-year old son to Tennessee.
“He basically said the next thing he knew it was over he knocked her down and chocked her,” said Gold.
Gold later said Friend asked him to help him dump Lynne’s car and he did. They arrived to an empty lot near Lynne’s home in North Miami Beach near county line road and Gold slashed one of her tires.
They then went back to Friend’s home, picked up the bag, drove to the boat at 5600 Collins Avenue. That’s where Gold lived.
Clifford loaded the body onto the boat and the took it out some 10 miles, according to Gold.
“He jumped back grabbed a hold of one side I grabbed the other and it went over the side” said Gold.
Minutes later they were stopped by customs agents who witnessed the pair dumping an object into the water. They were questioned but let go after finding no contraband on the boat.
Gold said he saw Friend a few times after that until 1999 and that was the last time he saw his friend until now.
Gold signed an immunity agreement in May of 2013. He was the only witness to take the stand on Wednesday.
Friend 56, is being tried before Judge Teresa Pooler, who has no choice but to sentence him to life without parole if he is convicted.
On Tuesday, Lynne Friend’s fiance Ed O’Dell took the stand and spoke about the last time he spoke to her the night she disappeared.
Lynne Friend’s body was never recovered.
Watch the report, click here.