‘America’s Most Wanted’ cold case suspect extradited to Florida

Posted at 12:34 PM, June 29, 2023


HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (Court TV) — A cold case murder suspect featured on “America’s Most Wanted” has been booked into a Florida jail after 39 years on the run.

Donald Santini, 65, was arrested in California on June 7, reports Scripps News San Diego. He was extradited to Florida and booked into jail on June 28, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Donald Santini is booked into the Orient Road Jail

Donald Santini is booked into the Orient Road Jail on June 28, 2023. (Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

Santini is accused in the 1984 murder of 33-year-old Cynthia Wood. Authorities say he was the last person to be seen with Wood, whose body was found strangled and left in a canal.

He has been charged with first-degree murder in Wood’s death. Authorities say he previously “served time for raping a woman while stationed in Germany and was also wanted in Texas for aggravated robbery.”

Santini’s case was reportedly featured on “America’s Most Wanted” in 1990, 2005, and 2013.

According to Scripps News San Diego, Santini had been living under the name Wellman Simmonds in Campo, Calif. for years. He reportedly owned a restaurant, volunteered with the Rotary Club, and ran an apartment block.

READ MORE: Arrested fugitive wanted for cold case murder in Florida details decades of life under an alias.

Santini reportedly told the station “not even his wife of 30 years knew about his real identity.”