Cold Case Murder Suspect Who Spent 39 Years on the Run Had a Secret Family, Says Daughter

Donald Santini's daughter is standing by his side, despite recently learning that her father has a second family in Texas.

"This life I have lived for this last 33 years has been a big fake lie. I don't know if my last name is made up."

Those are the words of Whitney Simmonds, who is speaking to Inside Edition after the stunning revelation that her beloved father is an alleged killer who is accused of hiding in plain sight for forty years under a false name.

She knew her dad as Wellman Simmonds, but authorities say his real name is Donald Santini — and that he is wanted for the 1984 cold case murder of 33-year-old Cynthia Wood in Florida.

Law enforcement now believes that Santini set up a new life for himself across the country in California, settling down about 50 miles from San Diego. It is the type of town where everybody knows one another, and that is where he raised a family and by all accounts was a model citizen who even served as president of the local water authority.

That all changed when he applied for a passport, which tipped off authorities and resulted in U.S. Marshals arresting Santini.

His daughter is still standing by his side however, despite recently learning that her father also has a second family in Texas. Santini told her this news from behind bars, also revealing he had another daughter.

"He was the most loving father like I could think of," says Whitney.

She says that despite the allegations she found it difficult to see her father when he made his first court appearance recently in Tampa.

"My poor dad. I feel so bad for him," Whitney tells Inside Edition. "I wish that I could be there with him."

She also says that she does not believe the loving father and grandfather she has grown up with is capable of committing such a cold-blooded crime.

"Just because I didn't know his real name doesn't mean I didn't know who he was," says Whitney. "I spent every single day with him."

She then adds: "I've never met any other person who was as lucky as I am to have my parents."

Whitney also says she plans on being in court every day for his trial.

A judge meanwhile ordered Santini held in jail until his trial, saying his ability to evade authorities for 39 years made him a flight risk.

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