Blaylock Murder Case: A Look Back

Questions Linger After Conviction, Sentencing

POSTED: 6:08 AM PST November 17, 2011    UPDATED: 7:58 AM PST November 17, 2011 
BEND,Ore. -

What started as a missing persons case turned out to be a horrific murder that shocked the entire Bend community.

Fast forward one year later, and through a three-week trial. and Steven Blaylock is now a convicted murderer, sentenced Thursday morning to life behind bars.

But for Lori Blaylock's friends and family, the pain of losing her won't go away when her husband goes to prison.

Words can never take back what the 47-year-old did.

But Steven Blaylock's last words to a courtroom packed with his wife's friends and family made sure they'll never forget what he did.

"If I can't have my ashes spread in space, if I can't be buried at sea, then I'd rather feed my friends -- the fish," said Blaylock, quoting what he said his wife told him.

Blaylock said that was his reason for dumping his wife's body in the North Santiam River, days after murdering her.

Minutes later, Judge Michael Adler sentenced him to life in prison. He can only apply for parole after 25 years.

But even with her husband and killer locked up for life, we may never know just how Lori died.

Many of her friends waited a year to hear from Steven himself why it had to end this way.

But the trial is over, he's been convicted and sentenced and still, no clear answer.

"He was still trying to prove that she was a bad person, and deserved it almost," said one of Lori's friends.

During Steven's murder trial, witnesses described the couple's relationship as volatile, full of happy highs and dark lows.

Blaylock's attorneys portrayed his wife of 15 months as a violent drunk who resented her unsuccessful husband.

They said Steven killed in self-defense, but the jury didn't buy it.

A year to the day after his arrest, Steven Blaylock was convicted for his wife's murder -- and on that day, Lori's sister shed tears of joy.

"He's behind bars, and I never had a doubt that's where he should be," said Cindy Wright.

Still, there's no complete closure. After countless searches of the North Santiam River, Lori's body has still not been recovered.

Those close to her don't even have a grave to visit -- where they can remind her she has not been forgotten.

And that, to those who loved Lori, could be the cruelest part of Steven Blaylock's murderous saga.

"They can go see their son in jail. I will never see my sister and my daughter will never see her aunt again," said Wright, in tears outside the courtroom on the day of his conviction.

Steven Blaylock showed no emotion when Deschutes County Circuit Judge Michael Ddler sentenced him to life in prison.

Lori Blaylock's family and friends were hoping Steven would get life without any possibility of parole, so that they would surely never have to see him again.