Looking forward to a new life in a new city with her son and fiancé, Lynne Friend suddenly disappeared without a trace in 1994. When several phone messages from family members and loved ones went unanswered, everyone hoped that she would be safe and sound. The case is explored in a detailed manner in the episode titled ‘What Lies Beneath’ of ‘Dateline: Secrets Uncovered.’ Several questions arose about the situation — was she a runaway bride who got cold feet or did she run into some trouble? Moreover, it also gives us an intricate glimpse into the investigation that took place after the strange case. If you are intrigued to learn more about the same, let’s delve into all the necessary details together, shall we?
How Did Lynne Friend Die?
On November 13, 1958, Bennie Robert and Colleen Allen welcomed Lynne Ann Allen Friend into this world. As she grew into a kind-hearted and helpful girl, she studied and worked her way to become a Hospital Administrator. When she came of age, in 1988, Lynne got married to Clifford Friend and within a year or so, they welcomed a baby boy and named him Christian. However, their marriage did not last long as soon, the couple divorced just after a few years down the line.
Sooner rather than later, Lynne crossed paths with one Ed O’Dell, whom she got closer to with time and started dating. After dating for a significant amount of time, Lynne and Ed decided to take their relationship to the next stage and get married. At the time, she worked for Parkway Regional Hospital as a marketing director and was planning to quit her job. So, in the summer of 1994, to start afresh, the couple and Lynne’s 5-year-old son, Christian, made the decision to move from southeastern Florida to Tennessee, where they would get married eventually.
Unfortunately, these plans were never realized as just a few days before Lynne was supposed to leave Hallandale Beach, a city located a few miles away from Miami, on August 28, 1994, she disappeared all of a sudden. An increasing amount of concerning and worried phone messages from her loved ones, including her fiancé, were sent to her, but all of them remained unanswered. More than a decade later, it was believed that Lynne Friend was beaten and choked to death, after which her body was kept in a large duffel bag and tossed into the Atlantic Ocean, never to be found.
Who Killed Lynne Friend?
It didn’t take long for the authorities to launch an investigation into the disappearance of Lynne Friend. Apart from questioning the missing woman’s friends and family members, they also searched for evidence in her house, which led to a dead end because there were so signs of forced entry, no signs that pointed toward her being abducted, and her car was near her home with a flat tire.
However, they found out that on the day Lynne went missing, she told her fiancé that she would stop by her ex-husband’s house to collect a child-support payment. According to reports, on the same night, the U.S. Customs agents, who were patrolling the coastal waters for smugglers, had spotted two men dumping a large duffel bag off their boat. However, by the time the agents chased the boat around, the bag had sunk into the depth of the Atlantic Ocean. The two men on the boat happened to be Clifford Friend and his close friend Alan Gold.
Following this revelation, the US Navy launched a search of the deep waters to retrieve the bag that Clifford and Gold tossed overboard but to no avail. However, a couple of fresh eyes brought the case back to life in 2010 and despite having no physical evidence of any sort, the two leading prosecutors had found a motive for murder that put Clifford under the light of guilt. The case progressed even further when Gold testified against his friend that the night Lynne vanished, he went to her ex-husband’s house and Clifford told him that Lynne’s body was kept inside the large canvas bag in front of them.
Gold claimed that Clifford admitted to killing his ex-wife when things got out of control and after a while, they dumped the bag with Lynne inside it with the help of an anchor to ensure that it sank down. So, the jury took into account all the testimonies and Clifford’s motive and in July 2014, came to a decision to charge him with second-degree murder for the murder of his ex-wife Lynne Friend.