Alex Lanchester was all set to marry the love of her life last Friday.
The 23-year-old British woman had bought a dress off Ebay, booked a photographer and chosen the bridesmaids’ dresses.
So when the phone rang a week before the wedding, she was startled to hear it was her American fiance’s father on the line — and that he was calling with some terrible news.
The voice on the phone said her fiance, 23-year old set painter Tucker Blandford, had died in a car accident.
Alex collapsed into tears as she absorbed the news of Tucker’s death, telling the UK newspaper The Mirror: “I couldn’t breathe.”
“It was devastating,” she said.
But Alex’s day was about to get a whole lot stranger. Because when she phoned Tucker’s mother to offer her condolences, she learned her fiance was not only alive, but completely unscathed.
What emerged next was almost unthinkable: Tucker had posed as his father to make the cruel phone call, faking his own death to avoid the impending wedding.
Tucker — whom Alex had met while studying in Connecticut in 2012 — has since admitted his outrageous actions, telling a Daily Mail reporter: “I’m a terrible, awful person.”
“I know I shouldn’t have told her I was dead, but I didn’t know what else to do,” he said.
“‘I got scared and wanted to get out of the relationship. It was moving extremely fast and with us being in different countries, it was really hard.”
Alex, who is now travelling solo in the US rather than cancelling the trip she’d originally booked for her Connecticut nuptials, told The Mirror she’d been ‘young, in love and naïve’ during the engagement.
“In hindsight, all the warning signs were there and I should have known he wasn’t going to marry me,” Alex said.
She described her ‘mixed feelings’ in a video message reflecting on the traumatic events.
“I’m a little bit heartbroken, a little bit relieved,” she said.
“I’m really glad I’m not going to be married to some sort of low-life scumbag who’s going to fake his own death, just be really mean about it,” she said.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’m a great person without him.”
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