A MAN with a horrifying past has been found guilty of killing a missing woman who was last seen over 15 years ago.
Investigators were shocked to discover that missing Alabama woman Lori Ann Slesinski spent her final moments with then-friend Derrill Richard Ennis who killed his parents at the age of 12.
Lori Ann Slesinski, 24, went missing in 2006 and was tragically never found[/caption]
Derrill Richard Ennis, who was with Slesinski when she disappeared, murdered his parents when he was just 12 years old[/caption]
A cold case unit identified Ennis’s DNA beside Slesinski’s burning car which was discovered four days after her disappearance[/caption]
Ennis was found guilty of her death earlier this year[/caption]
Slesinski and Ennis became friends when he moved to Auburn to work at a bowling alley.
Unbeknownst to her, Ennis, 21 at the time, has just served a lengthy sentence in prison after admitting to brutally killing his parents.
When Ennis was just 12 years old, a state trooper discovered him on the side of the road after he crashed his parent’s car.
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“As my headlights take in the curve, I see it looks like a young boy with a backpack,” trooper John Clark told CBS News.
Ennis admitted that he was the driver and allowed Clark to search through his backpack.
“The first thing I pull out is a kitchen knife,” Clark said.
“There’s some 12-gauge and some 22-caliber loose ammunition in the bottom of the bag.”
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Clark put Ennis in the back of his patrol car, thinking that the kid would be in huge trouble with his parents for sneaking out and wrecking their car.
But after asking a couple questions, Ennis made a chilling confession that Clark will never forget.
“I said, ‘Where are your parents?’” Clark said.
“He looks right back at me, and he says, ‘I killed them both.’ No tears, no emotion, nothing.”
Police said Ennis confessed to shooting his mother in the face and then beating her to death.
He also admitted to waiting with a shotgun for his stepfather to come home before he murdered him with a blast to the face, authorities said.
Investigators found that Ennis lived with the bodies for two days and took himself to school.
At the time of the admission, Ennis said he was angry at his parents for deciding to move. Investigators also discovered a “to-do” list written by the boy that included a plan to kill his three stepsisters, CBS reported.
As per Alabama law, the killer served time in juvenile prison until he was released after turning 21.
Once he was released, he moved to Auburn where he met Lori Ann Slesinski.
One of Slesinski’s close friends had planned a girl’s night when the Alabama woman disappeared Saturday, June 10, 2006.
Lindsay Braun was on alert after Slesinski failed to show up to the night-in and wouldn’t answer her calls despite talking to her moments earlier.
The next day, Braun still couldn’t get in touch with her friend and remembered Slesinski had been with Ennis on Saturday.
She overheard his voice in the background of one of their calls but thought nothing of it as the two were friends.
Ennis had actually written Slesinski a love letter expressing his feelings for her but she didn’t reciprocate, friends of the two later confirmed in court.
“They were friends so I wasn’t concerned,” Braun told CBS.
But when Slesinski failed to show up for work, Braun became incredibly anxious and drove to her mobile home.
Braun said she knew something was “terribly wrong” as soon as she arrived at her missing friend’s place.
“The door was unlocked, which was not like her … the air condition was running. Her dog, Peanut, was in the crate,” Braun said.
Even more haunting was the fact that Peanut seemed to be well taken care of despite Slesinski’s disappearance.
The missing woman’s boss eventually called her mother to say she had failed to show up for work two days in a row.
Concerned, the mother drove to Auburn and got the police involved in the search for her daughter.
Four days after her disappearance, friends and families were horrified when Slesinski’s car was found engulfed in flames on a deserted street.
However, her body was still nowhere to be found.
Police spoke with Ennis when they found that he had been with Slesinski the day she disappeared.
Ennis told cops that she seemed fine when he left him, but investigators were on alert when they noticed he made inconsistent statements and had scratches on his arms in a re-interview.
Investigators also eventually found out about the man’s haunting past.
However, at the time, they couldn’t find enough compelling evidence that linked him to her disappearance and the case went cold.
COLD CASE CRACKED
A decade after Slesinski’s disappearance, a cold case unit was launched and they picked the case back up.
Special agent Mark Whitaker and the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation poured over files and interviews before they found a critical piece of evidence that had been overlooked.
The unit collected a flew of evidence including a hand-rolled cigarette that police said was recovered near Lori’s car.
They found Ennis’s DNA on the cigarette. Investigators also identified his blood on the front door of Slesinski’s mobile home and found his semen on her sheets.
In August 2018, a task force arrested Ennis in rural Virginia where he was living and engaged to a librarian. He was charged with Slesinki’s murder.
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In March 2022, Ennis stood trial where he maintained his innocence until the jury found him guilty.
CBS’s 48 Hours will feature this chilling tale in an episode that airs Saturday at 10pm ET.