The Body of Lindsey Lee Was Discovered in Her Bathroom but There Were No Signs of a Break-In

Technology can be our friend but sometimes it feels as if it's out to get us. Every once in a while, it helps catch a killer.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

May 8 2024, Published 5:49 p.m. ET

There is a reason why the trope in movies and television shows has always been that the husband did it. Former FBI agent told ABC News there were two types of premeditated domestic homicide. The first is spontaneous and usually involves a history of abuse. The second is premeditated which often stems from jealousy or greed. Was this what happened to Lindsey Lee when her body was found lying on her bathroom floor in March 2017? Here's what we know.

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According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Of the estimated 4,970 female victims of murder and non-negligent manslaughter in 2021, data reported by law enforcement agencies indicate that 34 percent were killed by an intimate partner." This number seems particularly high when compared to the number of men killed by intimate partners. In 2021, 17,970 men were murdered and of that, six percent were by a partner. In other words, women were murdered by intimate partners five times more than men.

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What happened to Lindsey Lee?

Lee's murder was violent and denoted an alarming amount of rage. At the time of her death, she was separated from her husband and by all accounts, was happily moving on with her life, reported WISTV. Not only was she getting physically healthier, but mentally Lee was in a much better place and was even dating someone new. This is what makes her death on the evening of March 13, 2017 all the more painful.

When Lee got back to her apartment in West Columbia, S.C., she was carrying groceries into her home when she was suddenly attacked. WISTV reported that "testimony from the medical examiner revealed Lee was choked, beaten and had her throat cut, before being placed in the bathtub." The following day, her coworkers called for a welfare check when Lee didn't show up to work, per WLTX.

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When police arrived they found a bag of marijuana in the glovebox of Lee's car as well as small pieces of blue latex in the bathroom where she was left. The first person they spoke with was her estranged husband Jason Donn Lee who told authorities that the morning after Lee's murder, he woke up to find his car was missing. Beyond the fact that this was an odd thing to happen, Donn Lee also gave "conflicting stories about where he was on the day of the killing," per WLTX.

Lindsey Lee and Jason Donn Lee's wedding day
Source: YouTube/A&E (video still)

Jason Donn Lee and Lindsey Lee

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Where is Jason Donn Lee now?

Days after Lee was killed, Donn Lee was arrested and charged with murder, via WISTV. Police found his DNA on the pieces of latex, which were from a pair of gloves. Police were able to deduce that the murderer picked the lock of Lee's back door and it didn't come as a surprise to learn that her estranged husband was a locksmith by trade.

During Donn Lee's trial, Deputy Solicitor Shawn Graham showed video surveillance wherein the accused is seen driving his car to Walmart. Leaving it there he walks back to his own place and gets his work van. Donn Lee then drove that back to the Walmart parking lot and proceeds to move things from his car to this work van. After that, he pulled the van up to the Walmart entrance and went inside in order to make several purchases. This was meant to tee up the lie that Donn Lee's car was missing.

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It's clear Donn Lee was trying to build a story that involved his own car being stolen that was then used to help commit the murder. Graham also noted that Lee did not use drugs and stated the existence of the marijuana in her car was meant to suggest the murder was drug-related. Apart from Donn Lee's DNA found on the latex pieces, the most damning evidence was the lack of activity on his FitBit from the evening of the murder to the next morning. He never took that off.

In November 2019 Donn Lee was found guilty of murder and first-degree burglary. As far as motive goes, he was drowning in debt and was furious Lee was about to get a nice chunk of change from the sale of their house. Judge Thomas Cooper Jr. handed down two life sentences for each crime. In a statement to the court, Donn Lee said he was innocent and planned on filing an appeal. That appeal was denied in July 2023.

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