CRIME

Cold Case Cracked: Suspect charged 28 years after West Valley mother’s murder

May 17, 2024, 9:49 AM | Updated: 2:20 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A huge case break was announced Thursday in a horrific crime that became a total mystery in the West Valley City community, for nearly 30 years.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, along with West Valley City Police Chief Colleen Jacobs held a press conference to explain how detectives solved the murder of Lisa Redmond.

Lisa Redmond, a 36-year-old mother of two, was killed in 1996. Her murder had never been solved.

Redmond was working as a Pizza Hut delivery driver and was last seen alive on Dec. 9, 1996, at 9:45 p.m., making her last delivery of the night. Later that night, she was found dead on the side of the road near 5200 West 3100 South. She was found wearing her Pizza Hut uniform and when the business was contacted, they confirmed Redmond was one of their drivers and had not returned from her deliveries.

An investigation into Redmond’s death showed Redmond was in some type of struggle inside her truck. She was possibly cut with a knife, and ultimately run over by her own car.

Redmond’s truck was found days later in a church parking lot in West Valley.

The man now suspected of the killing, is someone police believe has victimized other women.

Standing up at the podium, he announced his office filed charges of first-degree murder, first-degree aggravated kidnapping, and first-degree aggravated robbery against now 57-year-old Donald Eugene Younge Jr.

Younge was tied to the case by the blood found in the car.

He explained that he didn’t think Younge knew Lisa. But, the district attorney’s office and investigators knew about him before he was ever suspected in this murder.

“He is currently at the Utah State Prison on sexual assault convictions… that also started in 1996,” Gill explained.

Younge was charged in that separate 1996 sexual assault case in 2008, Gill said. And it wasn’t just that incident.

“At the same time, we had been working on another homicide from 1999, from the University of Utah,” Gill said. In 2008 when the charges were filed, Gill said Younge was out-of-state in Illinois, being prosecuted on three other allegations of murdering women in the St. Louis area.

Gill outlined why it took so many years to discover a key piece of evidence.

“This is really a whodunit,” Gill said, in an interview with KSL TV Thursday. “Where, really, was this person that they were trying to find?”

News stories aired on KSL TV back then around the time she was killed in 1996 show Redmond as a loving mom who worked the overnight shifts to help support her children. She also volunteered at a school once a week, teaching kids how to read.

Redmond served with the U.S. Navy prior to her marriage to James Redmond in 1987. The couple had two children, Megan and Nathan. Her obituary described her as a loving mother and loyal and dedicated wife.

Lisa Redmond (West Valley City Police)

James Redmond died in a car crash near Fort Collins, Colorado in June 1999. The two children were sent to live with their grandparents in Colorado.

James Redmond’s death brought interest back to the case of his wife’s unsolved murder and in 2000, Deseret News reported that Pizza Hut upped its initial $5,000 reward to $10,000.

Those early stories show the community’s heartache, as people wondered who killed her and why.

“When you don’t know who it is, it sends a terror, a chill through the community,” Gill said.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Cold Case Cracked: Suspect charged 28 years after West Valley mother’s murder