By Rina McCoy/Cosmos Communicator Editor

Loretta “LuLu” Rexroad Helmick was only 30 years old when she died a tragic death in Grantsville, West Virginia about five years ago!

Many loved Loretty known as Lulu to her friends and many miss her dearly. Lately there has been talk that she met a fate not much different than the long time girlfriend of Todd Smith, Kelli Nicole Stamper Lawson who was found dead in the bed of the infamous HOT TODDY in the early morning hours of December 26, 2009. Kelli died of a drug overdose according to family members, although the results of the autopsy have been sealed and not available to the public.

In fact, in May of 2005 Todd was just becoming acquainted with Kelli, but LULU, a local favorite of many was staying at the home of Todd Smith and unfortunately was abusing narcotics and methamphetamine at the time.

However, it was not just the sudden increase in drug use that was disturbing to the many friends of LULU that talked to members of the Calhoun County SS.  Some of her closest friends felt that since she had entered into a relationship with Todd Smith he was using mind control on her and controlling her by distributing drugs to her. LULU was struggling with a drug addiction and had become mentally disturbed around the time of her death.

Downtown Grantsville not far from where LULU was hit by a speeding vehicle

For the record she also had an estranged husband in Gilmer County, which added to the drama and the crisis of which Lulu found herself in just before the summer of 2005.

Loretta “Lulu” stepped out in front of a vehicle driven by Samantha Lee Gribble, 25, committing suicide, according to State Police Cpl. Doug Starcher!

The Grantsville woman, Gribble, was cited with speeding and driving with no insurance, following the death of LULU on May 31, 2005 – that was the extent of her charges, there was no charge for manslaughter or wrongful death.

Witnesses at the scene informed State Police that Samantha Lee made several maneuvers to avoid hitting Lulu and was fined $214 and $123.50 costs for speeding and no insurance.

LULU died shortly after being struck by Gribble’s Dodge Neon after she came on Rt. 5, just west of the Grantsville town limits.

Named after her mother, Lulu was an animal lover and homemaker and very distraught at the time of her death according to friends. Her relationship with Christopher Todd Smith had become volatile.

Many have speculated that the drug use, and mind control influenced by her affair with Hot Toddy aka Todd Smith spurned her sudden actions to leap in front of a car.

Also, Loretta Lulu’s friends feel Smith manipulated her and she was so spun from drugs and sexual abuse that she didn’t reason properly and felt she could no longer go on with her life.  If you have anything to add to this tragic occurrence years ago, or have any further info contact your local Calhoun County Secret Seven member.