VALLEY, AL (WTVM) - She helped police catch a wanted murder suspect. Now, Valley police and the community are showing their thanks in a very big way to a woman they call "The Lawnmower Lady."
Lori Boyd, 54, is known as the Lawnmower Lady in Valley because she doesn't have a car, so she rides her mower all over town doing odd jobs to make money.
Earlier this week, Lori turned in murder suspect Larry Moore after investigators say he shot and killed a woman he was riding in a car with along Interstate 85 near the Chambers County-Lee County Line.
When Valley's Police Chief Tommy Weldon heard Boyd was struggling financially, he asked the community for help and boy, did they come through.
"It's been a whirlwind. I can honestly say Valley has the best police chief there ever could be. The man has helped me," said Lori.
Overcome with gratitude, Lori gets emotional thinking about how her life has been turned around, thanks to her community.
"I was floating in the gutter," she said.
Disabled and living on social security, Lori does backbreaking yard work to make ends meet. She's been living without power and water for a few weeks.
"I would borrow people's outside hoses and shower with those hoses. I am a bag lady, an official bag lady," she explained.
On Monday, she was cutting grass when a Valley officer showed her a picture of Larry Moore, who was wanted for questioning in the shooting death of Lorena Leasure of Brunswick, GA.
A few hours later, Moore asked Lori for a drink of water. When he left, she followed him on her lawnmower and called police.
"We knew she would be out and about, and she did call when she saw him and our officers were nearby and were able to get him into custody without anyone getting hurt," said Chief Weldon.
"That girl lost her life because of a straight up thug, he thought he was funny, he had a smile on his face, he was a thug," she said.
The Lawnmower Lady quickly became a community hero. When Chief Weldon learned of her financial struggles, he asked the community to help raise $1,500.
Soon, he had helped Lori deposit $2,200 in donations, including a $500 Crime Stopper Reward into her account and got her utilities turned back on.
"What does $2,200 mean to you? It may as well be a million dollars in the situation I was in," said Lori.
"Very thankful for the community who saw a need and met it like they always do, I am very thankful I had the opportunity to be a part of such a great effort," said Chief Weldon.
"I'd like to thank everyone in this town, they didn't even know me. I am not really a good person, I skate the fence, but it means a lot to see the love people have out there," Lori said.
Lori now has a new friend in Chief Weldon and his officers.
"Any jobs she needs done at the house, I am sure we will do that. We are just tickled to become her friends and l plan on keeping that friendship for a long, long time," said Chief Weldon.
"I'm not a big worshipper of God, but I would put him right beside him, he's been real good to me," Lori said about the chief.
Lori's story has been shared all over the nation, including The Boston Globe. You can tell by her accent, she's a Bostonian.
More donations are coming in and Lori hopes to use the money to go to truck driving school.
We wish her the very best!