Who Killed Umi Southworth and Where is Her Killer Donald Southworth Today? – On June 9, 2010, Umi Southworth, 44, was discovered naked and badly beaten in a brushy area behind her Meadowthorpe Avenue house.
Donald and Umi Southworth’s marriage was going very well, but their relationship started deteriorating when their daughter was born.
However, the authorities became involved in June 2010 after Umi’s body was discovered behind their flat. The episode of “Fatal Vows: Death Knows No Borders” on Investigation Discovery explores Umi’s death causes and circumstances. Let’s investigate what occurred, shall we?
Who was Umi Southworth and How Did She Die?
Umi hails from Indonesia and often mingled with Donald for work. At the time, UPS employed Umi as an overnight driver and she worked at a bank. She was characterized as a lovely, bright, and loving lady, and the two clicked right away. Midway through the 1990s, Umi and Donald got married and immigrated to the US, residing in Lexington, Kentucky. The couple had a daughter named Almira in 1997. The headquarters of a restaurant chain employed Umi at the time of the incident.
When Umi failed to arrive for work on June 9, 2010, her coworkers began to search for her. They discovered some of her belongings and keys were scattered outside her apartment complex. Umi’s body was discovered after a search of the area behind the complex in a wooded area. Under a mattress were her remains. Umi was lying face down, naked, and wearing a neck belt.
An injury on the back of Umi’s skull initially led the authorities to believe she had passed away. She was subsequently discovered to be still alive, and they hurried Umi to the hospital. She was brain dead as a result of severe head trauma and forceful chest trauma. Umi’s nose was broken, her face was bruised, and she suffered fractures in her skull. She was ultimately determined to have died from blunt force trauma, which caused blood and brain swelling.
Who Killed Umi Southworth and Why?
Before the incident, Donald and Umi’s marriage was dissolving, and they were preparing to file for divorce. In order to support their daughter’s music career, Umi wanted to relocate to Nashville with her. Around midday, Donald phoned 911, but at the time, he said Umi frequently went missing to meet friends or perhaps was with her lover. The coworkers nevertheless kept looking for her.
But Donald’s story kept altering while being questioned by the police. At first, he said that Umi had been up late texting her boyfriend, but he claimed not to remember his name. Donald then said that the girlfriend’s boyfriend was named John Degrazio and that he was envious of their union. Additionally, Donald said that the divorce was merely a convenience so he could see other women and that he and Umi were still in love.
Testimony later revealed that Donald was controlling both his daughter Almira’s career and Umi’s. After an investigation, it was discovered that Donald had been replaced at his 3:15 am shift on June 9, 2010. Even though it wasn’t necessary, he called in and asked to return to work. On Umi’s nightgown at the crime site, there was a drop of blood, and Donald’s DNA was discovered there.
The police spotted Umi’s handbag beside a trash bag behind the apartment complex the day after the deceased was located. The bag was identical to those discovered in the Southworth house. Additionally, the cops discovered a roll of paper and towels inside that bag, which matched what Umi used. Later, Donald acknowledged passing by the area where the corpse was discovered. He even admitted to perhaps touching or sitting on the mattress.
The police believed that Donald was the murderer based on the available evidence. According to the testimony, the family’s basement washing machine was running all night when the police arrived, and they later discovered a pair of women’s underwear and a UPS uniform inside. In addition, Hesti Johnson, an Indonesian lady, revealed in court that she once babysat Almira and had an affair with Donald a few years earlier. Hesti Johnson said she married Donald and now has a daughter.
What Happened to Donald Southworth and Where Is He Now?
In February 2012, Donald was initially convicted of murder and given a life sentence. The Kentucky Supreme Court, however, overruled it in March 2014. Donald, who was 53 at the time, took an Alford plea for first-degree murder in February 2016. The following month, he was given a 15-year prison term with a six-year parole potential. Records show that Donald remains a prisoner at the Morgan County, Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex. In February 2024, he will be eligible for parole.