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‘Our Time Was Cut Short by an Atrocious Act’: Newlywed Air Force Veteran Found Shot to Death Inside Her Home; Police Suspect Ex-Husband


Lauri Deatherage

Update: the suspect has been identified as Robert Dewayne McCloud, 64.

A Minneapolis-area woman and Air Force veteran had been married for less than one week before she was found shot to death inside her home, and police suspect her ex-husband of killing her.

Lauri Anne Deatherage, 48, was found in her Robbinsdale home Friday morning as police conducted a wellness check. She had married Billy Deatherage, 53, just five days earlier.

“After finding her body, officers tracked her ex-husband to his Brooklyn Center home,” the Star-Tribune reported. After a 10-hour standoff, the reported 64-year-old surrendered to police at around 9 p.m. on Friday, according to the Star-Tribune report.

Lauri and Billy Deatherage married on June 13, which was also her birthday.

“Can’t wait to see who shows up today!! Getting married on my birthday,” she posted on Facebook that day, adding “(I’ll never forget the anniversary!)”

Billy Deatherage, also an Air Force veteran, had met Lauri 30 years ago while stationed at the Air Force base in Grand Forks, according the Star-Tribune report. They reconnected around four years ago, and he proposed this past spring, the report said.

Deatherage told the Star-Tribune that he is a “train wreck” following the death of his wife.

“Our time was cut short by an atrocious act,” he said. “We had been married less than one week before she was taken from me.”

He described Lauri as being “loved by literally hundreds and hundreds of people and she touched so many lives in so many positive ways.”

“She was a good soul,” he said.

Billy said that Lauri had served in the Air Force in the early 1990s, and was classified as a medically retired disabled veteran, according to the Star-Tribune. He also told the paper that she had spent the last 20 years designing costumes for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.

The Star-Tribune reported that Lauri was planning to move to Arkansas to be with her new husband after closing the sale of her home.

“Why am I moving?” Lauri posted on Facebook in April. “Well, I recently got engaged and my fiancé lives in Arkansas and I am moving to be closer to him.”

Court records reportedly show that Lauri finalized a divorce with the suspect in September 2018. The suspect has not yet been publicly named, but he is reportedly in custody. Law&Crime attempted to reach the Robbinsdale Police Department by phone and email for confirmation on the suspect’s identification, but we did not receive a response by the time of publication.

[Image courtesy YouTube/Lauri McCloud]

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