30 years after Rhode Island woman found dead in apartment, daughter expects new evidence in cold case
Rhode Island authorities found 30-year-old Lori Lee Malloy dead, naked and bruised in her Providence apartment exactly 30 years ago Tuesday.
Her daughter, 31-year-old Lauren Lee Malloy, is expecting more answers in her mother's case "any day now" as officials reexamine Lori's cause of death after the original medical examiner assigned to her case botched it and concluded that she died naturally.
"Any day now, we should have the results from her forensic exam," Lauren, who founded a local cold case organization called Unsolved R.I., told Fox News Digital. "[T]hey still had the original rape kit that was done on the original histological specimen. Everything they took from her in 1993 … that's all able to be retested. And then they exhumed her remains. They're able to retest all of that as well. So, I'm just hoping that when we hear the new cause and manner of death, that … the police are able to move forward with their investigation."
She added that the "East Providence Police Department (EPPD) is ready to act accordingly."
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The original police reports and witness statements in Lori's case tell a different story than her 1993 autopsy report.
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At the time, Lori's boyfriend hadn't heard from her in days and asked friends and family about her. When no one knew where she was, her boyfriend went to the EPPD and asked them to conduct a welfare check.
When police arrived at Lori's apartment in a multifamily home on March 7, 1993, they found a bizarre scene. (Lauren Lee Malloy)
When police arrived at Lori's apartment in a multifamily home, they found a bizarre scene.
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"[W]hen I first saw the door to the third-floor apartment I noticed the door was slightly open. I knocked on the door and said hello, asking if anyone was in there, and at the time I could hear the sound of water running from a faucet somewhere in the house. I got no answer to my call and I walked into the house," a police officer wrote in a report dated March 7, 1993. "… As we got closer to the bathroom we could see a person's head on the floor on the doorway to the bathroom."
Investigators found "small tufts of hair" throughout Lori's apartment and hair wrapped around her left hand and foot. The refrigerator in her kitchen was stocked full of food but unplugged and there were two empty glasses on a table. (Lauren Lee Mall
Lori was lying naked and "obviously expired" on the floor of her bathroom "with slices of bread all around her," according to the officer. The sink in the bathroom was still running.
Investigators also found "small tufts of hair" throughout the apartment and hair wrapped around Lori's left hand and foot. The refrigerator in her kitchen was stocked full of food but unplugged and there were two empty glasses on a table.
Authorities ruled Lori's death a homicide based on their preliminary investigation, but medical examiner Dr. F. John Krolikowski said she had died of natural causes due to cardiomyopathy – a type of heart muscle disease that can lead to heart failure. The autopsy report states that Lori had a history of cocaine use and took medication for schizophrenia.
Lauren Malloy is skeptical that drugs played a role in her mother's death. (Lauren Lee Malloy)
Lauren is skeptical that drugs played a role in her mother's death.
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"You hear about you have to be the right kind of victim to get attention," she said. "My whole point is: She was a woman. She was a mother. She was a sister, a daughter. And she died. And we don't have answers. I don't care if she smoked weed or did coke in her life. It's not an excuse for her to not have her justice."
Krolikowski later had his medical examiner licenses revoked in Massachusetts and Rhode Island due to his inaccurate autopsy reports.
Rhode Island investigators exhumed Lori Lee Malloy's body in February. (Lauren Lee Malloy)
When Lauren Malloy began looking into her mother's death, she turned to other experts for help. Dr. Zhongxue Hua, an independent pathologist, concluded that the autopsy report was "unlikely to be correct" and urged police to "investigate and/or reinvestigate" her mother's case.
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A year later, after pleading with local and state government officials for help in reopening the case, Lori's body was exhumed in February for a forensic evaluation.
Lauren is expecting a new cause and manner of death for her mother "any day now."
Lauren is expecting a new cause and manner of death for her mother "any day now." (Lauren Lee Malloy)
The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office, which is handling press inquiries related to the case, could not share an exact date for when the results will be released because their investigation is "ongoing" and the office is "limited" in what it can share at this time, a spokesperson said.
Lauren said she is going into the new investigation with "no expectations."
"I have learned to just let the evidence lead the way, especially with it being my mom's case. Obviously, I have my own bias and prejudices … but I do think because of the amount of visibility and support that my mom's case is getting that the state is now doing a really excellent job of making sure no stone is left unturned."