CBS 48 Hours: How was the Lori Ann Slesinski cold case cracked?

The chilling case of will be explored on CBS
The chilling case of will be explored on CBS' 48 Hours (Images Via CBS News and 48 Hours/YouTube)

CBS' popular true-crime series 48 Hours will investigate and explore the tragic disappearance and murder case of Lori Ann Slesinski. The victim, who was just 24 years of age in 2006, disappeared and was never found again.

The upcoming episode of CBS 48 Hours, titled A Man With a Past, is set to make its debut on the popular network CBS this Saturday, September 24, 2022, at 10 / 9c. According to the official CBS synopsis for the latest episode:

"A young woman vanishes. The prime suspect has a criminal past — he murdered his parents when he was a child. Did he kill again? 48 Hours correspondent Peter Van Sant reports Saturday."


Since the official trailer for the upcoming episode of 48 Hours was launched by CBS, the audience of the true-crime series has been quite eager to learn all about how the authorities cracked the cold case after more than a decade.

So, without further delay, let's dig deep to find out all about how the police solved the case before the upcoming 48 Hours episode airs on CBS this Saturday.

Learn all about how the cold case of Lori Ann Slesinski was solved, ahead of the 48 Hours episode's premiere on CBS

When and how did the authorities crack the cold case?

A still of Lori Ann (Image Via CBS News)
A still of Lori Ann (Image Via CBS News)

The tragic incident that rattled Alabama took place in June 2006. A 24-year-old woman named Lori Ann Slesinski, who used to reside in her Auburn home with her pet dog Peanut, mysteriously disappeared and was never seen again.

She was last seen on CCTV footage from a local Walmart store on June 10, 2006, where she went to buy a few items. She was supposed to meet her best friend that night but never arrived at her house. Soon, a missing report was lodged by her parents, and authorities treated the case like a normal missing persons case.

A still of Lori Ann with her parents (Image Via 48 Hours/Youtube)
A still of Lori Ann with her parents (Image Via 48 Hours/Youtube)

Authorities reportedly found no solid evidence regarding the case, and it was soon forgotten. In 2016, the case was once again reopened by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency cold case unit, which was led by a special agent named Mark Whitaker, along with the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation.

Mark Whitaker selected Lori Ann's disappearance case as the unit's very first investigation case. The entire unit, which entailed Mark's long-time partner J.W. Barnes, started revisiting significant files, re-interviewing several witnesses, and sending out pieces of various evidence to a forensic lab to get tested adequately.

Authorities eventually discovered vital pieces of evidence that they had previously overlooked. After almost 18 months of rigorous investigation, the team collected enough evidence to present to the grand jury. The list of proofs entailed a hand-rolled cigarette that was recovered from beside Lori Ann's scorched car in 2006.

A still of Derrill Ennis (Image Via CBS News)
A still of Derrill Ennis (Image Via CBS News)

The DNA of Derrill Ennis, who used to be friends with Lori and was questioned back in 2006 by authorities, was found on the cigarette. Furthermore, his blood was found on the interior of the front of Lori's trailer, and his semen was discovered on Lori's bedsheet. This led to the authorities connecting him to the cold-blooded murder of Lori Ann.

In 2018, Derrill was arrested and charged with Lori's brutal murder. He is currently imprisoned without bond at the Montgomery County Virginia Jail. In 2022, Ennis went on trial for the astounding kidnapping and murder of Lori Ann.

Watch the brand new episode of 48 Hours, titled A Man With a Past, premiering on CBS, on Saturday, September 24, 2022, at 10 / 9c.

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Edited by Priya Majumdar
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