Po­lice: Man drove with woman’s body for five days

The Olympian - - News - BY DAVID RASBACH AND DEN­VER PRATT dras­[email protected]­ald.com [email protected]­ald.com Den­ver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @Den­verPratt

A Belling­ham man drove around with a dead woman in a ren­tal car for five days in late Au­gust be­fore her body was found sev­eral days later aban­doned in the same car in the York neigh­bor­hood — more than a week after she died.

For­rest McDon­ald Grove, 36, was cited for fail­ing to no­tify the med­i­cal ex­am­iner of hu­man re­mains, a mis­de­meanor. Grove pleaded not guilty to the charge on Nov. 20, and his trial is ten­ta­tively sched­uled for Jan. 28 in What­com County Dis­trict Court, ac­cord­ing to court records.

The blan­ket-cov­ered body of 37-year-old Anita Ku­mari Bis­nett was found in the pas­sen­ger seat of a rented gold In­finiti SUV on Aug. 28 near the Lin­coln Creek Con­do­mini­ums by nearby con­struc­tion work­ers who called Belling­ham po­lice, Lt. Clau­dia Mur­phy said in an email Tues­day to The Belling­ham Her­ald.

Mur­phy said Bis­nett, of Seat­tle, likely died on Aug. 20 or 21 seated in the same pas­sen­ger seat of the SUV she was found in. What­com County Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner Dr. Gary Gold­fo­gel said the cause and man­ner of Bis­nett’s death are pend­ing un­til tox­i­col­ogy re­sults are re­turned, which can take up to six months.

Foul play or vi­o­lence is not sus­pected in Bis­nett’s death, Mur­phy said.

Grove, Bis­nett and their group of friends are known to po­lice for prior and on­go­ing drug ac­tiv­ity and had been seen to­gether in the months prior to Bis­nett’s death, Mur­phy said. Bis­nett had been too ill to drive her­self around and Grove was seen driv­ing her on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions in the SUV, Mur­phy said.

On the day be­fore Bis­nett likely died, Belling­ham po­lice stopped Grove’s ve­hi­cle twice, in­clud­ing at least once with Bis­nett in the car, records show. Of­fi­cers re­ported she was alive at that time, Mur­phy said.

On Sept. 24, Belling­ham po­lice be­came aware that Grove was al­legedly us­ing the iden­tity of his for­mer friend Robert Calder­wood, caus­ing war­rants to be is­sued for Calder­wood’s ar­rest. Po­lice re­viewed body cam­era footage of nu­mer­ous con­tacts with Grove in which he used Calder­wood’s iden­tity, records show.

Grove was stopped by po­lice at least five times be­tween June 22 and Aug. 19, with Grove us­ing Calder­wood’s name each time, in­clud­ing once when he was de­tained for theft at a hard­ware store, records show.

Po­lice be­lieve Grove used Calder­wood’s name to avoid be­ing ar­rested or is­sued new traf­fic ci­ta­tions, as Grove had a war­rant out for his ar­rest and an ig­ni­tion in­ter­lock re­quire­ment, records show.

An of­fi­cer who stopped Grove at around 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 19 said Bis­nett was alive at the time and in the pas­sen­ger seat, but was too sick to drive, Mur­phy said.

Grove told po­lice that at some point on Aug. 20 or 21, he left Bis­nett in the car while he went to search for nar­cotics, Mur­phy said in an email.

When he came back, she was dead.

Grove did not tell any­one she died and pro­ceeded to drive around with her body in the pas­sen­ger seat for the next five days, Mur­phy said.

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