The Lisk/Silva Case


A driveway on Blockhouse Road where the Lisk sisters were taken on May 1st, 1997.

Halee Lane, Staff Writer

 Back in 1996,  tragedy struck two Spotsylvania County families with the loss of their children. For them their world was turned upside down, little did they know it would only get worse.

One breezy afternoon in September of 1996, sixteen year old Sofia Silvia went outside to do her homework on the front steps of her parents’ home, and suddenly disappeared without a trace. The Courtland High student was found five weeks later in a King George County creek. A year later on May 1,1997, two girls, one of which attended Spotsylvania High and the other Spotsylvania Middle, up and vanished from their front yard. Fifteen year old Kristin and twelve year old Kati Lisk, just like Sofia, seemed to have vanished into thin air.

The search for Sofia took five weeks.  They found her, but still didn’t know who had taken her. Investigators talked to the people in her neighborhood and one name kept coming up, Karl Michael Roush, who  was 44. He was known for his petty crimes such as traffic violations, trespassing and indecent exposure. The police would later find out that Karl was not the killer. So the police were yet again at a dead end up until May 1997, when a hair belonging to Sofia had been found on Kristin Lisk.

However, the search for Kati and Kristin took five days because just like Sofia there were no leads.Kristin and Kati’s bodies were found five days later in the South Anna River. A break in the cases finally came in June, 2002, when a fifteen year old girl from a small town in South Carolina told police she was held at gunpoint and told to act normal and get in the car. They eventually arrived at an apartment where she was held hostage for seventeen hours and raped repeatedly. The girl led the police to the apartment where they later did a search and found articles with connection to the Lisk sisters.

Richard Marc Evonitz took the life of Sofia, Kristin and Kati. He took the life of these three girls knowing he’d be destroying their families. Evonitz had two wives, his first wife is Bonnie Lou Gower and they got married August 11,1988. Bonnie left him in August 1996 because she felt lonely,unloved and was having an affair. He got remarried in 1999 to his second wife Hope Evonitz. When the investigators were searching Evonitz home they came across a chest. Hope said that she wondered what was in the chest but never opened it. “He wouldn’t even discuss it with her” said Capt. Steve Dempsey of the King George County Sheriff’s Office. When police opened the chest it held evidence of his crimes, articles about the Lisk sisters and Sofia, it also held things about his wives and an outfit that he used when he committed his crimes. Hope wondered if the chest was a way for Richard to hide his demons under lock and key.

On June 27,2002, Richard Marc Evonitz was cornered by police at Bayfront Drive in Sarasota, Florida,where he committed suicide in his car by shooting himself in the head. With the brave words from the girl of South Carolina investigators closed the case and gave some closure to the families of Sofia SIlvia and Kati and Kristin Lisk.

Information collected from The Free Lance Star and Merdiapia.