Lori Ruff Identified as Kimberly McLean of PA

dogperson

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I've been waiting so long for this to be solved! For me, the only big surprise is the mundane circumstances behind her reasons to cut family ties. (By mundane I mean she wasn't hiding from law enforcement, didn't have a crazy stalker ex-boyfriend or husband, wasn't connected to a notorious criminal, etc.)
She's about the age I had her pegged at, not significantly older as either the family or her obstetrician or Velling thought. (I don't recall who said it.)
She wasn't on any missing persons list, which is the conclusion we had pretty much arrived at. There aren't many missing girls that tall who look anything like her.
I'm happy for her daughter. Now there will be no cloud hanging over her that her mom might have had a sordid or criminal past.
 

Linda9681

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So... if you want a pic from Her from HS, call the HS and talk to the librarian!! They can email it to you.... or the public library in the town.


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cvaldez1975

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that may have even happened.

For those who keep insisting the family should've reported her missing: as I said before, I'm not sure given the circumstances the police would have anything to investigate. But even if they did track her down, the most they could tell the family is "she's fine, she wishes to have no contact" - that is legally all they could tell the family. How would that have changed anything?
 

shadowdancer

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The takeaway from this (and Grateful Doe, Cali and Sharon Marshall), is that the most mundane explanation is almost always the right one. I know everyone is probably bored of me saying this, but its true.
 

jessr927

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That's exactly what happened to the MP I spoke with a few months ago. She was still under 18 when she disappeared, but the police found her at over 18 and all they told her mother was "She's alive and does not want to have contact." The MP was angry when I spoke with her and said she doesn't give a damn that her mother is still looking for her 35 years later.

For those who keep insisting the family should've reported her missing: as I said before, I'm not sure given the circumstances the police would have anything to investigate. But even if they did track her down, the most they could tell the family is "she's fine, she wishes to have no contact" - that is legally all they could tell the family. How would that have changed anything?
 

mrseeker

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So it's not quite the same, but part of the case against Dennis Rader/BTK involved getting DNA evidence. They suspected it was him, but couldn't find a way to get his DNA. However, his daughter had a pap smear and the courts permitted sampling DNA from that which led to a familial match and enough evidence to take him in. Source

I wonder if there are any cases where they get a hit on DNA from the criminal database but can rule out the particular person who matched (in prison at the time, deceased, etc.) and then start looking at family members?

I am not a lawyer but I was thinking of the question constitutionally. People submit their dna to these ancestry data bases to look for distant relatives. law enforcements searches criminal data bases. so what would happen if you had an unknown DNA from a crime scene, cannot locate a match in the Criminal data bases...so the cops submit it to Ancestry dna data base looking for relatives. They could just pretend to be someone who is submitting their own. or maybe the data base chooses to go along? Or could it be just like IP addresses being subpoenaed. Can LE get a warrant to locate relatives of an unknown criminal? I have mixed emotions on the subject. I could see many ways it could be abused. But it might clear a lot of cases.
 

PI_Baker

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Like everyone else here, I'm super happy this was solved but also thinking of this from her perspective. I remember it was reported by the family how hyper-protective she was of her baby and I wonder if she would be absolutly horified to know now that the little girl will now be associating with her family, the family she went to extreme lenghts to disassociate from.
 

Stargazer42

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I'm one of many lurkers who finally registered because of this case. So interesting!

Why did she go to such lengths to hide her identity? I think it goes back to the family situation. Something happened that made her take steps to make sure she couldn't be found.

I left home because I couldn't tolerate the alcoholism of both parents, and only renewed contact when they found sobriety.
The article mentions the changes in the household with new rules and the stepfather. Maybe stepdad was authoritarian and controlling.
Maybe it was worse. My friend "Rhonda" moved across the country with only a select few family members knowing where she was. Her stepfather was in prison for all that he had done to her. Rhonda became hyper-vigilant when his release date was announced. She begged everyone not to release her location.
She wasn't scared that her stepfather was going to hurt her - he had done that. She was terrified that he would seek revenge by hurting the children she'd had after fleeing.

I first read of how to steal a dead child's identity in a romance novel so it wouldn't have been hard for Kimberly to find a way to hide in plain sight. Who knows if we'll ever find out why.
 

CoverMeCagney

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I am not a lawyer but I was thinking of the question constitutionally. People submit their dna to these ancestry data bases to look for distant relatives. law enforcements searches criminal data bases. so what would happen if you had an unknown DNA from a crime scene, cannot locate a match in the Criminal data bases...so the cops submit it to Ancestry dna data base looking for relatives. They could just pretend to be someone who is submitting their own. or maybe the data base chooses to go along? Or could it be just like IP addresses being subpoenaed. Can LE get a warrant to locate relatives of an unknown criminal? I have mixed emotions on the subject. I could see many ways it could be abused. But it might clear a lot of cases.

That's the thing. The genealogy sites only work based on both parties volunteering their DNA in the hope of finding family, some do it out of desperation, most just out of curiosity.. In Lori's case it only happened because the Ruff's agreed to it, they wanted to find something out. If they hadn't our only hope would have been waiting until Lori's daughter was old enough to do it herself.

I think it would be unethical (useful though!) for the police to use genealogy sites for crime purposes, but an unidentified deceased is a totally different story. Imagine if Kimberly or Grateful Does parents had been able to add their childrens DNA sooner, both would have taken the opportunity and both cases would have been solved years ago.
 

mrseeker

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That's the thing. The genealogy sites only work based on both parties volunteering their DNA in the hope of finding family, some do it out of desperation, most just out of curiosity.. In Lori's case it only happened because the Ruff's agreed to it, they wanted to find something out. If they hadn't our only hope would have been waiting until Lori's daughter was old enough to do it herself.

I think it would be unethical (useful though!) for the police to use genealogy sites for crime purposes, but an unidentified deceased is a totally different story. Imagine if Kimberly or Grateful Does parents had been able to add their childrens DNA sooner, both would have taken the opportunity and both cases would have been solved years ago.

But the Ruff family submitted the DNA from the living daughter. I think cops could do it, and just never admit it. THey could use what the learn to develop their case. its just a thought. seems DNA is becoming more and more interesting every day.
 

mrseeker

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Thank you for the clarification! I just wanted to quote to make sure people saw this and didn't get carried away. I did a little sleuthing but I think I might just let it go now. For those curious, however, there are not really 2 missing years of Kim's life. In 1986 she lived alone in King of Prussia, PA just as the ST article said. I found her address in 1987 and she was still in PA, living in an apt alone. She lived in Devon only 1.5 miles from the Strafford library that she had the phone number for on the notes page. It seems she never used her name again when she left PA in 1987 or 1988. The time frame for when she did this was very short--I would guess less than a year. A lot can happen in just a few months, however.

You got me thinking on this one. I remember being 18. and no it was not pre civil war but close. but I got my first apt in college with two roommates. I was 18 and had some help from my parents and worked part time. How did she go from living with parents to living in what looks like a fairly nice apt complex if its the same one I found on mapquest? We know she was smart but she had to have a fairly good job, for a recent HS grad. I really hope someone does a future interview and explains all this. I bet there are friends who have long forgot her, who with a little prodding might remember everything. Unless she was an island in HS, I am sure there are a few friends who know more than her mother about what she did when she left. I am not saying they know about the name change but could probably explain some of it.
 

coco36

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The article said she called her family to say she was leaving. IMO it's really sad she wasn't reported missing. It's possible a trafficker made her make that call.

The article just said she "told" them she was leaving, so it could have been in person.
Then one day, she told her mom she was leaving for good. Don’t come after me, she warned.

Who knows what tempers were flaring in the lead up to this statement. I wish we had a sense.

On a different note, do we know if she was born in PA? I think I recall that she told S/S that she came from California. Also, do we know her full name?
 

Amykate

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I am so excited that her real identity has been discovered!! Although we all had all sorts of ideas of why she changed her name to bst the lori, looks like she just wanted to reinvent herself. But I do wonder why? Was it because of home life or something that happened within those two unknown years? Although family can say she had a so called perfect or normal life, maybe it really wasn't? Who in that family would really say what bad things were going on if any, or maybe didn't even know the whole just of what was going on?
I'm like yall, I'd love to see pictures of her before 1986 and hear about how she was as a person. And as far as the "don't come after me", maybe she was in a bad position at the time and didn't want anyone else involved?? Who knows??
 

jessr927

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Apartments were fairly cheap in 1987. My mom and I had a one bedroom in a NYC suburb and it was something like $500 a month. So in PA I bet Kimberly could have waitressed or something and made enough to pay for a one bedroom, and it probably would not have cost more than $400 a month.

You got me thinking on this one. I remember being 18. and no it was not pre civil war but close. but I got my first apt in college with two roommates. I was 18 and had some help from my parents and worked part time. How did she go from living with parents to living in what looks like a fairly nice apt complex if its the same one I found on mapquest? We know she was smart but she had to have a fairly good job, for a recent HS grad. I really hope someone does a future interview and explains all this. I bet there are friends who have long forgot her, who with a little prodding might remember everything. Unless she was an island in HS, I am sure there are a few friends who know more than her mother about what she did when she left. I am not saying they know about the name change but could probably explain some of it.
 

llywrch

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Something I haven't seen anyone else mention.

We now know KM/LEK left her family because of conflict with her step father. That adds a certain poignancy to the career objective information at the top of her resume:

Establish a long term work environment with a company that can utilize my Marketing, Programming and Computer Skills and offer advancement and growth for a mutually benefiting career.

I always suspected an episode of rejection lay behind that statement. Somewhere she felt ignored, maybe exploited, maybe even unwanted. And maybe she even wanted somewhere she could be "long term" -- although that is often just so much rhetoric that is slapped onto resumes because employers are said to be looking for people who will stay with them "long term". (Since a person who reads a resume spends less than a minute scanning it, I doubt the presence or absence of these words would matter any more. I'd omit them.)

I had assumed that KM/LEK had used this language due to an unpleasant work environment. Now it would appear her language, either consciously or unconsciously, was influenced by her last years living with her family.
 

Gardener1850

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The article just said she "told" them she was leaving, so it could have been in person.

Who knows what tempers were flaring in the lead up to this statement. I wish we had a sense.

On a different note, do we know if she was born in PA? I think I recall that she told S/S that she came from California. Also, do we know her full name?

You're right it doesn't say she made a phone call. I had just assumed it was over the phone because she was living on her own in a different city but we don't really know from that statement how she told them. She wasn't living too far away from her family and could have told them in person. I looked for her birth record and couldn't find it. Interestingly, her name is "Kim M McLean" in the only 3 address records I found. So she went by Kim and her middle initial is M.
 

CoverMeCagney

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But the Ruff family submitted the DNA from the living daughter. I think cops could do it, and just never admit it. THey could use what the learn to develop their case. its just a thought. seems DNA is becoming more and more interesting every day.

I wonder if we could get Tricia to invite Colleen Fitzpatrick on her show, I'm sure we could come up with some great scenarios and questions for her, and I'd love to hear more about how she has solved recent cases.
 

bears10

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Something I haven't seen anyone else mention.

We now know KM/LEK left her family because of conflict with her step father. That adds a certain poignancy to the career objective information at the top of her resume:



I always suspected an episode of rejection lay behind that statement. Somewhere she felt ignored, maybe exploited, maybe even unwanted. And maybe she even wanted somewhere she could be "long term" -- although that is often just so much rhetoric that is slapped onto resumes because employers are said to be looking for people who will stay with them "long term". (Since a person who reads a resume spends less than a minute scanning it, I doubt the presence or absence of these words would matter any more. I'd omit them.)

I had assumed that KM/LEK had used this language due to an unpleasant work environment. Now it would appear her language, either consciously or unconsciously, was influenced by her last years living with her family.

I wouldn't look too much into it. Until recently it was pretty normal to put an "objective" at the top of your resume with fluff statements like that. Mine had something very similar. JMO
 

astridxx

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I wouldn't look too much into it. Until recently it was pretty normal to put an "objective" at the top of your resume with fluff statements like that. Mine had something very similar. JMO

Heck I still use language like that on my resume! My parents are divorced and my dad remarried, but I use that language because I *want* a long term position!!!


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mrseeker

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Apartments were fairly cheap in 1987. My mom and I had a one bedroom in a NYC suburb and it was something like $500 a month. So in PA I bet Kimberly could have waitressed or something and made enough to pay for a one bedroom, and it probably would not have cost more than $400 a month.

I remember rent in 1986. LOL. I also remember min wage was low too. I looked and it was 3.35/hr. I was living in cali by then and my rent was quite high. $950 for a two bedroom. My point is, an 18 year old leaving mom's house for the first time might even have trouble getting an apartment complex to let them an apartment. Is this a college towns? College towns tend to have another set of rules.
 
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