Body found in Florida in 1984 identified as Lori Kearsey of Gloucester


Kearsey’s murder has been unsolved for nearly 40 years. Now that she’s been identified, police have reopened the cold case.

After nearly 40 years, police have identified the remains of a slain woman that were found in Davie, Florida, in 1984 as belonging to Lori Jane Kearsey of Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Kearsey’s body was found floating in a canal in Davie on Feb. 18, 1984. At the time, the medical examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide but was unable to identify the body, according to a press release from the Davie Police Department.

More recently, DNA technology provided a breakthrough in the unsolved case by linking Kearsey’s remains to her daughter, Meaghan Smith, also of Gloucester.

Smith was 5 years old when her 23-year-old mother disappeared in 1983.

Kearsey and Smith’s father had divorced, and Kearsey had remarried a member of “a pretty infamous crime family in Boston,” Smith told 7News Miami. Neither Smith nor the Davie police have shared the name of Kearsey’s husband. 

For most of her life, Smith had no idea what happened to her mother. Kearsey’s identification was “closure that I never really knew that I needed,” Smith told WCVB. “When I heard it, it really opened something up I didn’t even know was there.”

It’s unclear why Kearsey was in Florida when she died, but police have reopened the case and are continuing to investigate her murder.

Davie police are asking anyone with information about the case to call them at 954-693-8200 or contact the Broward County, FL Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.