Within the summer time of 1994, Lynne Friend, a 35-year-old divorced hospital administrator, involved to attempt a brand new start. She and her 5-year-old boy, Christian, were moving from southeastern Florida to Tennessee, where she and her fiancé, Ed O’Dell, planned to marry.
Individuals plans never came into existence.
In the finish of August 1994, just days before she was set to leave Hallandale Beach, about 15 miles from Miami, Lynne disappeared with no trace. More and more desperate phone messages from loved ones including O’Dell and Esther Sanchez, the bridesmaid at Lynne’s wedding in 1988 to ex-husband Clifford Friend, went unanswered.
Police wondered if all the approaching existence changes might have been an excessive amount of to deal with. Could Lynne go from the grid? Not a way. Not without her boy, Sanchez told “Dateline: Secrets Uncovered,” airing Thursdays at 8/7c on Archiweekend. “Lynne would need to be dead not to have Christian.”
Investigators working the case found little at Lynne’s the place to find advance looking. There have been no indications of forced entry. There wasn’t any evidence that they have been kidnapped. Lynne’s vehicle, this was found near her home having a flat tire, offered no clues to her location.
Government bodies did learn that on August 28, Lynne had informed her fiancé she would the house of her ex-husband, who, like her, is at a brand new relationship, to get a young child-support payment, reported the Florida Sun-Sentinel in 2014.
Still, investigators, who’d no forensic evidence or leads, had basically hit a wall. That altered once the U.S. Customs agents who patrolled seaside waters for drug-runners and smugglers connected the dots between Lynne’s inexplicable disappearance as well as an event on August 28 seven miles out at ocean.
Agents had spotted two men tossing a sizable bag business boat. They initially suspected it had been a smuggling job gone wrong, but when they swept up using the boat, the bag had sunk. The boys switched to be Clifford Friend, who owned a pawn shop near Miami, and the longtime pal Alan Gold.
The main focus from the analysis switched to Clifford, who’d a criminal background that incorporated drug smuggling, based on “Dateline: Secrets Uncovered.” But after acquiring a warrant to look his home, government bodies found no clues to succeed their situation.
Similarly, searching from the deep waters from the Florida coast through the U.S. Navy to retrieve the big bag thrown overboard by Clifford and Gold would be a stalemate.
Government bodies were back at where you started. Clifford Friend continued together with his existence together with his boy along with a new wife, Jesse, who told producers he helped keep Lynne’s memory alive for Christian. O’Dell, who’d an airtight alibi and wasn’t a suspect, also eventually managed to move on.
However in 2010, the situation was introduced to existence when prosecutors Michael Von Zamft and Mari Mato checked out evidence that hadn’t panned out initially having a fresh eye. They centered on the truth that certainly one of Clifford’s acquaintances claimed Clifford said Lynne never was departing the condition with Christian. Rather, he allegedly stated she was “going for any boat ride rather than returning.”
Investigators didn’t have body — however they were built with a motive for murder. And even though Clifford’s acquaintance would be a charged felon and thus not a completely credible witness, prosecutors used that recollection to obtain a grand jury indictment. This Year, prosecutors billed Clifford Friend with first-degree murder.
Their key witness was 68-year-old Alan Gold, who had been subpoenaed to testify and given a grant of immunity together with it. It had been a deal he couldn’t refuse, based on “Dateline: Secrets Uncovered.”
Around the stand, Gold testified that twenty years earlier, the night time Lynne disappeared, he’d attended Clifford’s house. His boy was having a babysitter. On the ground in the home, he stated, would be a large canvas bag that contained Lynne’s body. He told a legal court Clifford said when he met together with his ex-wife, things got unmanageable. He “knocked her lower and clogged her out.”
Although Gold never looked within the bag, he was convinced Lynne’s body is at it. Once the pair put the sack overboard they used an anchor to weigh it lower to make certain it sank.
Prosecutors were banking on the truth that using Gold like a witness would repay. They reasoned that despite the fact that Gold was wretched he was still being a reputable witness — and the jury would believe him.
The prosecutors also place a jailhouse snitch around the stand who stated that although in jail waiting for trial Clifford designed a mention of the killing his wife as you’re watching a soap opera where a similar plot unfolded. However, in a bombshell twist they missed coming, the witness was caught inside a lie. Clifford never told him such factor — and had not even viewed the soap with him. The jury was expected to neglect the snitch’s testimony.
Prosecutors were concerned that Gold wasn’t a 24-carat witness either. But in the finish, the jury came back having a verdict and located Clifford Friend responsible for second-degree murder.
Speaking straight to 58-year-old Clifford Friend, the judge berated him for his “unspeakable cruelty. Evidence demonstrated you committed a monstrous act. You dumped her within the sea just like a sack of trash.” He was subsequently sentenced to existence imprisonment.
Christian Friend, the couple’s boy, addressed a legal court and stated he never asked his dad’s innocence.
To understand more about the situation, watch “Dateline: Secrets Uncovered,” airing Thursdays at 8/7c on Archiweekend.