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I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for months now. Back in September, my mom and I received calls from producers of the show Cold Justice. They contacted me first so that I could maybe speak to my mom about doing the show. My sister Jennifer Servo’s over 21-year-old unsolved murder had been featured on many programs over the years, all in an effort to solve her case. My mom had done so many interviews in the past and had relived the events over and over and over again. She had decided she didn’t want to do it anymore, and I could understand her feelings about that. Every time she had to tell the story, again, from the beginning, it wrecked her.

After listening to what the producer of the show had to say, I gave my mom a call to see if she would be up to doing this one more time. She had heard of the show Cold Justice, and she really liked Kelly Siegler, former Texas prosecutor who would be investigating the case on the show. This program was different than others we had done because Cold Justice, with their many resources, would be spending weeks with detectives on my sister’s case from the Abilene Police Department to go over all the evidence, and they would be reinterviewing people who were either suspects or witnesses, and they would fly all over the country to do it.

My mom decided she would do the show. In October the lead detectives from Jen’s case came to Montana along with Kelly Siegler and the producer and crew from the show. We all met at my house to sit down for the interviews. They were there for a couple hours, and I learned things about my sister’s case that I had never heard before. They had me read pages from her last diary entries that she made in the weeks before she was killed. I didn’t even know that diary existed. It was like hearing her voice again and getting a glimpse of how she was really feeling at that time in her life. I asked if I could get a copy of it, and they said at some point that could be possible, but not yet.

After they completed our interviews, they went to talk to some of Jen’s friends who still lived in the area. Then they were off to other states to interview the two main suspects in Jen’s case. About two weeks after that initial interview, Cold Justice flew my mom and me to Abilene to meet at the police department so they could reveal to us what they had learned and whether or not they had found enough to prosecute a suspect. That day they told us that they had a few things to button up, but that they were planning to prosecute Ralph Sepulveda in my sister’s murder.

I had been holding my breath waiting to hear them say that they tried their best, but that they were just still missing that one little piece of evidence that they needed. I had mentally prepared myself for disappointment and for my mom’s disappointment, but that was not what happened. One big exhale. I had just heard the news that we had been waiting for for over 21 years.

Ralph Sepulveda had always been the primary suspect in my sister’s case. She had met him in her Army Reserves training that she had once a month in Montana. They had quickly become infatuated with each other, but Jen had just been offered her first job as a news reporter after graduating college. The job was in Abilene, Texas, and she was moving there. In a very quick decision, they decided that Ralph would move with her. He quit his job and planned to just drop his life in Montana and move with her.

When Jen told me about this plan, I thought it was a terrible idea. I had never even met the guy, and he was 12 years older than her. I told her she was probably just having him come along because she was nervous about moving away. I told her she would meet lots of great people in her new town. I told her I thought the whole idea was stupid. It made her mad. We didn’t speak for maybe 24 hours, but then she forgave me for butting in, and she went and told Ralph that he shouldn’t move with her. But he had already quit his job. He told her he still wanted to move because he could help her get settled and that if she didn’t want him staying with her, then he would move out. She felt bad since he had already quit his job, so they went ahead with the original plan.

After only a few weeks in Abilene, Jen learned that Ralph had a fiancé whom he had abandoned to move to Texas with her. She also learned that he had a child somewhere and that he was not a part of that child’s life. This news changed any feelings she had once had for Ralph. Jen told Ralph that she wanted to break up, and he did move out, to an apartment not far from hers.

When my sister was found murdered in her apartment on September 18, 2002, the first person police wanted to speak to was Ralph. And they did. He said he had been home asleep. He never asked the police what happened to her. He never contacted us or came to her memorial service. He refused a polygraph test, and because he had lived in the apartment with her before the night she was murdered, DNA evidence could not prove that he had been there that night. At one point, detectives told us they were 99 percent sure it was Ralph, but the circumstantial evidence they had at the time might not be enough.

So, her case remained unsolved for over 21 years. It was never as if they had given up. They followed every lead they had over the years. There were lots of shows that made her case very public, and sometimes those programs brought new information and new light to the case. Ralph moved out of Abilene shortly after my sister’s murder and refused to talk to anyone about Jen’s case again.

When Abilene detectives and Kelly Siegler were telling us the news we had been waiting for for all of these years, I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. They said it would take some time. They said all the pieces would need to be in place, but they had a plan, and their plan was to prosecute Ralph Sepulveda for the murder of my sister Jennifer Servo, and we could not tell anyone about that plan until after the show aired. They didn’t want anything to cause problems in their ongoing investigation, and neither did we.

So, we returned to Montana and kept quiet about it for the next five months until the show aired, just as we had promised. Last night, Cold Justice, Season 7, Episode 6 “The Reporter” finally aired. My mom and I watched it for the first time along with the rest of the viewers. There were things we weren’t prepared for. Pictures from the crime scene that we had never seen before. A reenactment of the murder that took my breath away, but now it’s all out there. We can finally exhale and process all of this with our loved ones.

“But, now what?” people ask. “Have they arrested Ralph yet?”

Not yet, I tell them. It is the plan, and I trust that the Abilene Police Department and the prosecutors will do just that when the time is exactly right, but it makes me nervous too. Won’t Ralph hear about the show? I’m sure he will. Maybe he’ll read this blog. Who knows? I know the detectives have a plan. And I trust that their plan will be what is best to finally bring justice to Jennifer Servo and all of us who loved her so much. It may just take a little more time. If you have any information about the murder of Jennifer Servo, please contact the Abilene Police Department.