Medical examiner testifies, defends findings in Michael Zutten murder trial

Heather Grimshaw’s body was found in disturbing conditions back in 2015. On Monday, in the trial for her suspected killer, the medical examiner showed pictures of the body to the jury.

Grimshaw’s fiance is on trial for murder. Investigators believe Michael Zutten killed and dumped Grimshaw’s body in a state forest in Collier County.

Prosecutors say Zutten posted on Facebook about hiding bodies after Grimshaw’s death.

Dr. Manfred Borges, the medical examiner for the case, said only a portion of Grimshaw’s skull, some brain matter, a single finger and some hair was found in a state park in 2015. Which is why he said it’s hard to tell exactly how she died.

Although he can’t say for sure how Grimshaw died, he said in his medical opinion he believes it was at the hands of another person.

Dr. Borges said the remains were found in a remote area in a state park in 2015. He said the way her remains were found in that park is the main reason he believes her body was dumped there.

“I couldn’t fathom why I didn’t see remnants of clothing, I didn’t see shoes, I didn’t see jewelry, I didn’t see a purse, I didn’t see a backpack. I saw skeletal remains and despite thorough shifting through all that muck, none of these items were found and that indicated to me unceremonious disposition and an attempt to conceal,” said Dr. Borges.

Zutten’s defense attorney tried to create some doubt for the jury when it comes to calling Grimshaw’s death a homicide.

Zutten’s defense attorney: “Can you tell me if Heather Grimshaw was possibly shot?”

Dr. Borges: “I don’t know.”

Zutten’s defense attorney: “Can you tell me if she was possibly attacked by an animal before death?”

Dr. Borges: “I don’t believe so. It’s not my opinion that she was attacked by an animal.”

Zutten’s defense attorney: “Can you tell me if she committed suicide?”

Dr. Borges: “Again, it’s not my opinion that she committed suicide.”

Zutten’s defense attorney: “But as far as your conclusions go you cannot say specifically how heather Grimshaw died?”

Dr. Borges: “I can say she died at the hands of another or others. she died as a homicide by unspecified means”

Grimshaw’s daughter was also in court on Monday and took the stand to testify, but was only asked to verify her mother’s handwriting.

The trial resumes on Tuesday morning.

The defense tried to get the judge to stop the medical examiner from calling Grimshaw’s death a homicide, but the judge ruled the medical examiner’s opinion is credible.

Hikers found Grimshaw’s remains in 2015. Collier County deputies didn’t arrest Zutten until 2018.

Reporter:Annette Montgomery
Writer:Matthew Seaver
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