When we meet that person of our dreams, it can be hard to believe that our search for love is over. We love everything about them, and we cannot find a single thing about them that we might change. However, for Blake Ruff, his meeting with Lori Erica Kennedy in 2003 was the beginning of a dream marriage that turned very sour.
A year into their amazing relationship that was moving at rapid pace, the pair seemed perfect for one another – besotted and deeply in love. A year in, they tied the knot together and everything looked perfect. They met at a Texas Bible Study class and Kennedy, newly arrived from Arizona, was looking to meet people.
They hit it off despite her rather guarded nature about her personal and private life, one which included no parents and a rough upbringing. Despite his own families guarded suspicion about her they pressed on and were married in 2004 before departing for Leonard, TX, to start a family.
Over a period of several years, though, Lori had several miscarriages and they were unable to start the family they so desperately wanted. Eventually, using IVF, she was pregnant with a baby girl to be born in 2008. However, when the baby was born everything changed. She pushed people away, and even wouldn’t let Blake’s mother touch the child – her guarded nature turned to complete over-protection.
Banned from seeing the family and with Lori taking more and more time to look into Blake’ family, the tension was unbearable and eventually Lori fell into a deep depression. By 2010, they were in counselling together but Lori was unable to overcome her issues, and thus they had to split – after seven years and a child together, they split up.
She wound up regularly seeing her church pastor, talking about her problems and her excessive weight loss, never at peace. In 2010, Christmas Eve, she appears at Blake’ family home in a black Tahoe SUV, and proceeded to come towards the house armed with a shotgun. Sadly, she turned the gun on herself and killed herself – found the next morning, alongside two suicide letters. One was for her daughter and the other for Blake, but neither could be made out.
Searching through her closet after death to try and pack up her stuff, Blake came across a large, black chest. With police help, he got the box opened and inside they found all manner of ID cards, birth certificates and a 1988 writ for a name change – when she was just 17. She’d changed her name from Becky Sue Turner – who apparently died in a house fire, aged 2 – to Lori Erica Kenney.
Apparently, she’d found an ID and a security card to get herself a GED and a Business degree from the University of Texas. Despite a complete lack of fingerprints or anything properly traceable, though, the officers were stumped – just who was “Lori”?
An old friend told them that Lori was a stripper in the early 90s, but after 1988 nothing official about her existed. In 2013, a breakthrough was made when Colleen Fitzpatrick, a genealogist, used DNA from Blake and Lori’ daughter to try and find a connection.
They found a very distant connection in Pennsylvania, where they met with a man called Michael Cassidy. It turns out that ‘Lori’ was, aged 17, a disappearing individual who had left her home at age 17 as her mother married someone she deeply hated. Sadly, this was all that could be found: all other information, facts or otherwise, went to the grave with Lori. RIP Lori, the victim of what must have been some deeply tragic circumstances.