When somebody close to you commits suicide you're left with more questions than answers and can't help but wonder if there's something you could have done to prevent their death. This is a normal thing to wonder when you're given the bad news, and from there you start to wonder how well you really knew the person and what drove them to take their own life.
42-year-old Lori Ruff ended her life on Christmas Eve in 2010 leaving her husband Blake feeling devastated and full of questions- had Lori committed suicide because Blake filed for divorce, or was there a more sinister reason?
As Blake went through Lori's possessions he came across something suspicious- a sealed lockbox buried in the closet, which Lori had warned her husband to stay away from:
The grieving husband recognized the box. In life, Lori had warned him to stay away from it. Upon opening the container, Blake discovered why: inside was a birth certificate and IDs belonging to several different people.
His wife was not who she claimed to be. She was an accomplished identity thief.
Blake Ruff married the woman known as Lori in 2004. Her suicide came after Blake had filed for divorce and moved back in with his parents. Lori's behavior was highly erratic in the time between the separation and her death; she sent threatening emails to Blake and his family, and might have even attempted a break-in at Blake's parent's home.
Lori left behind two suicide notes, one of which was addressed to her husband and the other to her young daughter. Authorities inspected both letters, which they described as "ramblings from a clearly disturbed person." They contained no reference to Lori's life as an identity thief, nor a confession of her true identity. With little to no clues about who she might actually be, the woman once known as Lori Ruff was registered in the federal government's database of missing and unidentified persons as a Jane Doe. Investigators then began to search of her true identity — a process that would take six years to complete.