Po­lice: Woman failed to re­port death, stole car

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY - By IAN CO­HEN

Af­ter a man who in­gested heroin died, a West Palm Beach woman left him in a boat in the In­tra­coastal Water­way for eight days, stole his car and cashed stolen checks, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

Dawn Lo­raine Grif­fiths, 38, turned her­self in to the Palm Beach Po­lice Depart­ment on Fri­day, about a month af­ter po­lice said 43-year-old Wil­liam Ross Har­ris’ body was found in a moored boat.

When po­lice asked Grif­fiths why she had not re­ported the death sooner, she told po­lice she was “high and freaked out,” ac­cord­ing to a sworn af­fi­davit.

Grif­fiths told po­lice that she and a friend boarded a boat in the In­tra­coastal Water­way on Aug. 12 to meet with Har­ris, who lived on the boat, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit.

On the boat, Grif­fiths said Har­ris snorted “two large lines” of heroin, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit. Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, Grif­fiths then said she wanted to buy drugs for her­self and Har­ris gave her per­mis­sion to use his car.

Be­fore Grif­fiths left, she said Har­ris fell asleep on a couch and made “odd noises,” and two other peo­ple on the boat were wor­ried he was over­dos­ing, po­lice said. But Grif­fiths said she thought Har­ris was just sleep­ing.

A few hours later, Grif­fiths said she re­ceived a call from a friend on the boat who said that Har­ris had died from an over­dose, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit. Grif­fiths re­turned to the boat and found Har­ris dead, po­lice said.

Grif­fiths then left the boat, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit, tak­ing Har­ris’ car keys and steal­ing checks be­long­ing to the boat’s cap­tain, who was out of town. Grif­fiths cashed the checks and kept Har­ris’ car for an­other week, po­lice said.

Po­lice said she did not re­port the death to po­lice un­til she turned her­self in Fri­day.

Grif­fiths was charged with two felony counts of grand theft be­tween $300 and $5,000, two felony counts of a scheme to de­fraud prop­erty un­der $20,000, two felony counts of ut­ter­ing forged in­stru­ments, one felony count of ve­hi­cle theft and one mis­de­meanor charge of fail­ing to re­port a death.

She is be­ing held on $28,000 bond.


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