Michael Zutten will soon face the penalty phase of his trial in the murder of Heather Grimshaw. On Tuesday, a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder.
To Heather’s family, the ruling is a relief.
Now that the trial’s over when Alyson Grimshaw thinks about her mom Heather, she remembers the best part of her and what she hopes for her.
“My mom is a kind person that had a lot of love to offer. Our family is thankful that she can finally rest in peace,” said Alyson.
Since Aug. 21, 2015, there’s been no rest and no peace.
That’s when Heather Grimshaw disappeared. A week later, hikers found her remains in a Collier County state park.
Alyson said, “this outcome would not have been possible without the hikers that spotted my mom’s remains in the Picayune Strand.”
It took three years for Collier County sheriff’s detectives to arrest Heather Grimshaw’s live-in boyfriend Michael Zutten, and three more to take the case to trial.
On Tuesday Zutten denied having anything to do with her murder.
His defense attorney asked him while on the stand, “did you love Heather Grimshaw?” Michael Zutten told the court, “yes, I still do. It just doesn’t stop.”
Zutten also told the court that he wanted to marry Heather, but those words didn’t sway the jury which ruled, “we the jury find as follows as to the defendant in the case. The defendant is guilty of second-degree murder so say we all.”
For Heather Grimshaw’s daughter Alyson, “my family and I are comforted with the outcome of the court.”
Now, after more than six years, Heather Grimshaw can rest and her family can find peace with the past and look toward the future.
For Zutten, the next step is sentencing which will take place in February.