Former U.S. Customs agent testifies in Cliff Friend murder trial

Tim Stellhorn says he saw 2 men dump large package off side of boat


MIAMI – A former U.S. Customs agent testified Thursday in the trial of the South Florida man accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in the ocean in 1994.

Tim Stellhorn recalled the night he and another agent spotted Cliff Friend's 30-foot go-fast boat speeding near Government Cut. They then saw two men dump something overboard.

"As soon as the spotlight comes on, I see the passenger move from the center of the boat, right behind the operator, and with both hands push a large bundle or bag off the side into the water," Stellhorn said. "I then saw a large splash."

Stellhorn identified the two men he saw on the boat as Friend and Alan Gold.

Gold testified Wednesday, saying Friend asked him to help Friend get rid of his ex-wife's body. He kept the secret to himself for nearly two decades before talking to prosecutors. Gold was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony.

Prosecutors said Friend lured Lynne Friend to his home, strangled her and then dumped her body into the ocean. Her body has never been found.

That night, agents first thought the men were drug smugglers.

After a brief chase, Stellhorn said, Gold and Friend gave up.

"The boat came to a stop," Stellhorn said. "They immediately put their hands up in the air."

Agents found cinder blocks and a small mushroom anchor on board Friend's boat, which isn't used for go-fast boats. Authorities believe the items were intended to be used to anchor down the bag that was thrown overboard.

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