Opening statements begin in the murder trial of Auburn woman, Lori Slensinki

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 10:01 PM EDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - A trial is underway in Lee County for the murder of Lori Slesinski.

The recent Auburn University graduate disappeared 15 years ago with nothing but her abandoned, burned car left behind.

Her body was never found, but Derrill Richard Ennis was arrested years later for her murder.

Slesinksi had just graduated from Auburn and bought her first car when she left to visit friends. She never showed up.

Her mother, Arlene Slesinki was on the witness stand today and described raising the daughter she abruptly lost 15 years ago.

Arlene Slesinki said she knew of Ennis because her daughter had recently sold her ‘93 Dodge Intrepid to him and said he spent Christmas of 2005 with them.

She said she got a call four days later from her daughter’s work that she had not shown up for two days. After driving down to Lori’s mobile home, she said the door was slightly ajar, but her bed was perfectly made.

That’s when Arlene said she noticed Lori’s kitchen rugs were gone, a pillow from her couch, a gallealo thermometer, a green trashcan that Lori put a rake and shovel in and a phone cord for her landline were all missing.

After investigators took pictures and grabbed evidence, Arlene said she found something else unusual she didn’t notice before a few days later

“I found a wad of hair in the hallway between the bathroom and the kitchen. And a broken bracelet in the vents close to the kitchen,’ Arlene said.

The charred remains of Lori’s car were found on DeKalb Street in Auburn days later next to a bowling alley where Ennis worked.

Investigators found an empty gas can in the woods. However, a body was never found.

After forwarding Lori’s mail to her house in Troy, Arlene said she received a credit card statement from Lori’s bank that said there was a gas charge Sunday at 11 p.m., a few nights after she was last seen.

If Ennis is convicted of capital murder he could get sentenced to death or life without parole.

Opening statements concluded just a few hours ago here in Lee County. The trial will resume on Monday.

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