Pending lab results could help determine suspect in Southworth case

neighbors would like some answers

jkegley@herald-leader.comJune 25, 2010 

Nearly two weeks have passed, and Lexington police have not made an arrest in the death of a Lexington woman who was found badly beaten behind her Meadowthorpe Avenue home.

Sherelle Roberts, spokeswoman for the Lexington Division of Police, said Thursday that detectives are investigating and do not have a suspect in Umi Southworth's slaying.

Southworth's husband, Don, was interviewed the night of his wife's beating but was released. It's not clear whether anyone else has been taken to police headquarters for questioning.

"Pending lab results are an important factor in helping us determine who the suspect in this case is," she said.

Roberts declined to say what type of lab results detectives are awaiting because there is an ongoing investigation. She said lab results weren't the only delay. She declined further comment.

On June 9, Umi Southworth, 44, was found at 7:45 p.m. underneath bushes behind a fourplex at 1486 Meadowthorpe Avenue. She had such extensive head injuries that responding officers and coroner's officials thought she was dead. She was taken to the hospital hours later and died the following day.

Without an arrest in the case, neighbors remain on edge.

Joe Collins, president of the Meadowthorpe neighborhood association, said residents have noticed increased police patrols in the area but would feel more comfortable if they had more information.

"The concern is still there. There are still so many unanswered questions, we don't know how to act," Collins said. "Should we be looking out our windows? Should we be starting up the neighborhood watch again? We don't know how much concern we should have."

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