Zutten trial continues with a focus on a single written word

Published: November 23, 2021 5:24 PM EST
Updated: November 23, 2021 8:57 PM EST

Testimony in the murder trial of a man accused of killing his girlfriend then dumping her body continued on Tuesday. Michael Zutten is accused of killing Heather Grimshaw.

That testimony got very specific. At one point it came down to the significance of a single printed word.

A crime lab analyst told the jury about Heather Grimshaw’s calendar. On her calendar, the word trip was written on the date Aug. 26, 2015.

Crime scene analyst Kate Bulter testified the pen used to write the word “trip” was not the same pen used to write every other entry for that month.

The state believes that is significant because a Collier County deputy already testified that when he talked with the defendant Michael Zutten, Zutten showed him that calendar entry.

“I concluded that the questioned trip entry was made and the circles were made with a different ink pen than any of the inks on the August 2015, July 2015 and June 2015 pages,” said Bulter.

Butler admitted she cannot say with certainty whether Zutten wrote that word trip, and she can’t say for sure that it wasn’t Grimshaw who wrote it.

Forensics investigators also took the stand in the murder trial. A sheriff’s deputy who studied the phone records of Michael Zutten’s live-in girlfriend testified in front of a jury.

Grimshaw was last seen on Aug. 21, 2015. The last time her phone was used to make a call was that night at 9:49 p.m.

Kristin Adams with Collier County Sheriff’s Office said Grimshaw’s cell phone records also show that four days later, on Aug. 25, 2015, someone checked the phone’s voicemails.

Not only did Adams do cell phone tower mapping on Grimshaw’s phone, but she also tracked the defendant’s phone, and one call on Michael Zutten’s cell stood out.

“That phone call was on the 27th of August 2015 and it was at 8:19 in the morning. It was a phone call to Ms. Grimshaw’s phone, his phone, Mr. Zutten’s phone was located in the sector that was previously shown that covers the airport and their home and her phone was located in Charlotte County,” said Adams.

Why does that matter? There is no explanation yet for why Grimshaw’s phone would be in Charlotte County.

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

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

On Monday, the medical examiner for the case testified about the condition of the remains and what he believes was the cause of death.

Testimony will resume on Nov. 29.