Charges filed in 1996 murder of pizza delivery woman in West Valley City

Posted at 5:51 PM, May 16, 2024

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced Thursday that Donald Eugene Younge Jr. will be charged for the alleged 1996 murder of a pizza delivery woman in West Valley City.

Younge Jr. is charged with first-degree felony murder, first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping, and first-degree felony aggravated robbery.

According to the District Attorney, advanced DNA testing on the blood taken from the seat belt buckle matched Mr. Younge's blood. The prints from the knife also matched Mr. Younge's as well.

"The blood and prints were subsequently as part of the investigation sent to lab for testing the statement of Lieutenant Halulic that in March of 2019, he received a report from the crime lab in which a DNA profile taken from the blood on a seatbelt buckle came back with a CODIS hit to Donald Eugene Younge," said Gill. 

On December 9, 1996, police responded to an auto-pedestrian accident at 3100 South and 5300 West, where the female wearing a Pizza Hut employee uniform was identified as Lisa Redmond, a 36-year-old mother of two children. Investigators found signs of a struggle in the truck as well as blood found underneath the truck. The knife would be found in the vehicle as well.

FOX 13 News spoke with Redmond's daughter, Megan, on Thursday.

"It's been a really long time with no closure and no answers," Megan said.

Megan said the incident happened just a month before her ninth birthday.  Being so young, she says she doesn't have a ton of memories of her mother.

"What I do remember is she's very kind, very loving, very generous really good with kids," Megan said.

A year after the incident, police and Pizza Hut had raised the reward for information that might lead to an arrest to $10,000 but would remain a cold case until Thursday.

"28 years later, after diligent work and continued efforts on cold case work, this case has come to this resolution," said Chief Colleen Jacobs, West Valley City Chief of Police.

As for Megan, she said she hoped this day would come eventually at some point in her life.

"It's great if possible that that justice is served, that somebody is held responsible that it doesn't go unsolved or, you know, she mattered, she still matters," Megan said.

The defendant is currently serving a prison term of more than 30 years at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah, for two counts of first-degree felony aggravated sex assault and one count of second-degree felony robbery.

“We appreciate the hard work of our investigators and detectives at the West Valley City Police Department for their diligent investigation, which helped lead to the filing of these charges. While cold case homicides leave an open wound, a continuing injury, today’s filing is a first step towards closure for the victim’s family and our community,” said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. “All persons accused of wrongdoing are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.”

Currently, no other court date is scheduled.

Younge also remains a suspect in another 1999 murder and is suspected of killing multiple women in East St. Louis, Illinois.