WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 24, 2010, 08:08 AM

Murder suspect arrested after months of investigation

Doran, Minn. (WDAY TV) - After 8 months of investigating, authorities in Wilkin County today arrested their one and only suspect in the murder of a Doran Woman. 44-year old Jeffrey Allen Silvernail, of Wahpeton is in jail tonight. He's accused of shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend Lori Roberts. He'll make his first court appearance on 2nd degree murder charges tomorrow.

Authorities say there were inconsistencies in Silvernail's statements about where he was the night of the murder. They say they found a blood speck in Silvernail’s vehicle and say they also obtained records of Myspace, Facebook, and phone logs. Authorities blame slow test results in the delayed arrest.

“It has been a long few months. We've put a lot of hours into this investigation not only for myself, but the agents with the bureau and also the BCA lab.”

Lori's family says she moved to Wilkin County from California in 2000 to get away from things like crime and her family followed. Daughters, a nephew, grown adults followed, not knowing anyone, just to be close to Lori and it's that closeness that has made her murder and waiting for and arrest that much more difficult.

Since the day Lori was murdered, her family has been vocal about who they thought murdered their mother. They say Silvernail killed her simply because she broke up with him. After 8 months of uneasiness, they're wondering if they can now get some closure.

"Feel so small here in this small community and not being able to have public awareness and letting everybody know what was walking around on the streets."

The family says since Lori's murder, they've been living in fear.

"There was a lot of restless nights when you have kids crying at home because they know that he did it."

"We know he's a very dangerous person. The whole family has been worried of what he's capable of being out and now that he's finally behind bars everybody can relax and have a good night sleep tonight."

Today's arrest allowed for a sigh of relief, but it's also another painful reminder of what happened months ago.

"With the amount of tension with everything that's been going on, we've kind of separated and everybody kind of taken our own steps of life to kind of cope with everything and deal with everything. Now were all kind of getting together right now and just saying OK something is done."

"Reflecting on things and how she was and how happy she made us and kind of how hard things have been lately."

They say the hardest part is coping with the anger. Handling the fact someone took her life.

"She was willing to do anything for anybody, she was willing to step out of her comfort zone and help anybody that was in need."

They say they wish Silvernail could face the death penalty for his crime because the family says they won't be at peace or have closure until he's gone.

"Not only my mother was taken from me, but my best friend was taken from me."

The family says they got together last week to celebrate what would've been Lori's 50th birthday.