The Disappearance of Lori Lee Kasprick

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EARLY LIFE:

Lori Lee Kasprick was born in 1961. One of seven kids, her upbringing was difficult. Her mother wasn’t always around, and according to her brother, Rick, their father struggled to raise the children by himself.

The Kasprick family lived in Winnipeg and Vogar, Manitoba before relocating to Hilliard, Alberta. Despite being a happy-go-lucky child growing up, Lori began to rebel once the family moved to Alberta. She would disappear for days at a time, until either her father or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police found her and brought her back home.

DISAPPEARANCE:

According to Rick, the last time he saw his sister was in the spring of 1976. She’d shown up at a track meet he’d been competing at to ask how things were going and to chat. She left not long after.

He remembers RCMP officers coming to speak with their father at some point after Lori was last seen, but they told him there was nothing they could do, as she was 16 and legally of age. They did, however, say they would bring her home if they found her.

The last time the Kasprick family spoke with Lori was during Christmas 1976. She’d called home and told them she was working as a model in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Unfortunately, there was no way to know if she was telling the truth, as caller ID didn’t exist at the time.

SEARCH:

There wasn’t a big search for Lori when she disappeared, as the family assumed she would come back home or call with her whereabouts. It was the belief of some that she may have made acquaintances with individuals her age while visiting her grandparents in Holden, Alberta and gone somewhere with them.

Rick did much of the leg work in the search for his sister. He kept in constant contact with the local RCMP detachment, spoke to the Red Cross and to social workers he knew, and even considered hiring a private investigator. However, it was too expensive, and the PI said it would be hard to find Lori, as she could have married and legally changed her last name.

There have been a few instances that have falsely gotten the family’s hopes up over the years. The first was a woman who called in the middle of the night to say she was Rick’s sister – it turned out she was a half-sister who had been put up for adoption. The family also found out there was a Lori Kasprick living in Ontario, but she turned out to be another woman with the same name as the missing girl.

At one point, one of Lori’s aunts thought she’d seen her on TV, while another relative believed they’d seen her at the local bus depot. Neither sighting has been confirmed.

Lori’s DNA is currently available for comparison, should her remains be located. Around 2006, a police officer from British Columbia contacted the family to ask if they had any items that may contain samples of her DNA, as he was working on the investigation into the murders committed by serial killer Robert Pickton. No matches were made to the items Rick provided, and in the fall of 2013 Lori’s file was shipped back to the RCMP detachment in Tofield, Alberta, where she was first reported missing in 1976.

Despite her father making inquiries into her disappearance in the 1970s, Lori wasn’t officially named a missing person until the Robert Pickton murders. The possible association spurred the RCMP to speak with friends and associates of the missing girl. Unfortunately, many of those they spoke with weren’t aware Lori was missing, and after speaking with 80 individuals, they were no further than they were at the beginning of their investigation.

Lori has ties to Tofield and Ryley, Alberta. According to the RCMP, she had previously spoken of interest in relocating to Calgary or the United States.

Recently, investigators were able to uncover she’d stayed in Edmonton for a while, where she may have spent time at a park on Jaspar Avenue. She travelled to Winnipeg in 1977, where she visited the East Kildonan neighbourhood, as well as the area around Portage and Main Streets.

To help progress the case, the RCMP has released an age-progression image of what Lori would look like in the mid-2010s. They’ve acknowledged she may wish to stay missing and if that’s the case they would like her to contact them, so they can let her family know she is okay.

In June 2015, speculation arose that Lori could be a woman who went by the name Lori Kennedy. Kennedy had died by suicide on December 24, 2010 in Texas, after which it was discovered she wasn’t who she’d said she was and that she’d taken the identity of someone else.

Online sleuths were struck by the similarities between the two. They both had dark hair and slight gaps in their teeth, along with similar heights and birthdates. However, there were also noticeable differences. The deceased had brown eyes and was white, while Lori’s eyes are Hazel and she is of Métis descent. As well, she has a scar above her eyes, something which the woman calling herself Lori Kennedy didn’t.

It was eventually discovered the deceased was Kimberly Maria McLean of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She’d run away from home at 17 years old after constantly butting heads with her parents, after which she’d stolen the identity of a deceased 2-year-old by the name of Becky Sue Turner. She’d used the child’s birth certificate to create a new identity for herself: Lori Erica Kennedy.

AFTERMATH:

Lori’s father died in 2006. According to Rick, he continued to carry her school identification in his wallet up until his death.

Rick now has a family of his own, with two grown children.

CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:

Lori Lee Kasprick went missing from Tofield, Mundare Area, Alberta in 1976. At the time of her disappearance, she was 14 years old, and what she was last wearing in unknown. At the time of her disappearance, she stood between 5’11” and 6’0″. Her weight is unknown, but she is described as having a slender build. She has long, straight black hair and brown eyes, a large scar over both of her eyes, and crooked teeth.

She’s known to go by the names “Lovey” and “Laurie”.

Currently, the case is classified as a missing persons investigation. If alive, she would be either 59 or 60 years old.

Those with information regarding the case are asked to contact the Tofield detachment of the RCMP at 780-662-3353. Tips can also be submitted anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Image Credit: The Doe Network

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