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When Kimberly Mc Lean was an adolescent, her parents divorced.Deanne met a man named Robert Becker, remarried and moved the girls to Wyncote where Kimberly Mc Lean attended Bishop Mc Devitt High School.Gallery: See the evidence Kimberly Mc Lean / Lori Ruff left behind And so they waited.Fitzpatrick periodically checked back in with the sites, working other angles as they popped up.For three years, a large cadre of dogged online sleuths has been trying to solve the mystery. And also, in a way, even more puzzling than the mystery itself.Late last year, a California scientist called Velling with a theory: Lori Ruff came from a Philadelphia-area family, she said. Based on the evidence she provided, Velling believed she was right. The Ruffs had provided him some photos, and he began laying them out on the table. For most of the online sleuths, investigating the Lori Ruff case was a matter of poring through records of missing-persons photos looking for women who resembled her.“Suddenly, I had Lori’s extended family in front of me,” Fitzpatrick realized. He was just a retired government employee, after all.
They were contacting him long after the Seattle Times published Lori Ruff’s story. The next day, Velling spoke with the large extended family, answering as many of their questions as he could. She liked to sing to the kids and make up crazy words in the songs, ‘crinkle crinkle little star.’ " "She was very quiet and reserved," said Dave Rullo, who knew her from high school and grade school.
There was no indication she adopted the new identity for financial gain. Velling used every tool he had, but turned up nothing. Joe Velling, a former Social Security Administration investigator, became convinced the dead woman known as Lori Ruff and a Pennsylvania woman, Kimberly Mc Lean, were one and the same.
When he showed pictures of Ruff to a family member in Pennsylvania, his suspicion was confirmed. Banner / The Seattle Times, 2013) With the support of the Ruff family, Velling turned to a reporter he knew at the Seattle Times in 2013, hoping that crowdsourcing would provide an answer.
Earlier this year, he took a plane to Philadelphia to knock on the door of one member of the Cassidy family. “My God,” the family member said, “that’s Kimberly! There is no doubt they have spent thousands of hours doing this.
” Kimberly Mc Lean, who left her home in King of Prussia at 18 and never came back. Colleen Fitzpatrick, a nuclear-physicist-turned-forensic genealogist, went about the investigation differently.