Arrest made in 2006 Auburn cold case murder of Lori Ann Slesinski

Arrest made in 2006 Auburn cold case murder of Lori Ann Slesinski
Rick Ennis (Source: Auburn Police Department)
Rick Ennis (Source: Auburn Police Department)

AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - After a dozen years, the Auburn Police Department says it has cracked a cold case murder and made an arrest in the June 2006 disappearance of Lori Ann Slesinski.

Derrill Richard "Rick" Ennis, 38, was arrested in Pilot, Virginia, Monday and charged with two counts of capital murder, one of the charges brought for burglary and the other for kidnapping.

Ennis was arrested on his birthday Monday, according to authorities, by members of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, Virginia State SWAT and Montgomery County Virginia SWAT teams.

The process of extraditing him back to Alabama is underway. The investigation is ongoing by Auburn Police and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Cold Case Unit.

Slesinski was reported missing on June 13, 2006, after not being seen or heard from for several days. Family members could not reach her and she did not report to her job at East Alabama Mental Health Center.

Lori, who was 24 at the time, had just graduated from Auburn University but had plans to go back to school to get a Master's in psychology.

The day after the missing report was filed, her 2005 Mazda Tribute was found engulfed in flames at the dead end of DeKalb Street in Auburn.

Investigators say Ennis, who was an acquaintance of Slesinski's at the time, became a person of interest in the case. He was questioned by police before they say he abruptly moved from Auburn.

The Auburn Police Division, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's Cold Case Unit and the Lee County District Attorney's Office initiated a collaborative effort in April 2017 resulting in a determination that Lori was murdered by Ennis.

Authorities have not stated whether Slesinski's remains have been recovered and would not discuss any evidence related to the case.

The Lee County Grand Jury indicted Ennis on Aug. 2, 2018, on two counts of capital murder. Investigators first got a tip that he was in South Carolina where they traveled to find him. While investigators failed to find him in the Palmetto State, they learned he could possibly be in Virginia.

Ennis was taken into custody Monday by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force assisted by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the Virginia State Police, the Montgomery and Pittsylvania County Virginia sheriff's offices as well as the city police departments of Blacksburg, Christianburg and Radford, Virginia.

Ennis remains in custody without bond in the Montgomery County Virginia Jail while extradition back to Auburn is pending.

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