“I was working in my vegetable garden.” Kim Dorey remembered the day she got an unexpected visitor, almost a year earlier. It was a Friday morning, May 26, 2017, overcast and cool, perfect for working outside her beautiful home on La Brisa Road in Rancho Santa Fe.
Kimberley was surprised to see her husband’s adult son. “As far as we knew, as far as I knew, he was out of the country, living in France. And he showed up.” It was Kim’s dog Brandy, an old German Shepherd, that first noticed him. “I could see him walking around the walkway, from the driveway, on the pathway towards the front door.” Kim put down her garden tools and went to him.
“He said hi and I said hi, and he said ‘Is that still Brandy?’ pointing to the dog, and I said yes.”
Kim’s 39-year-old stepson had the same name as his father, Leighton Bromiley Dorey. The 71-year-old dad was the third, and his son was the fourth. Kim called her husband Leighton, and everyone called his son LB.
She noticed the shiny new Jeep in the driveway. “I asked about the car, and he said, ‘Yeah, his mom got it for him, she got it for a good price, he just picked it up.” It was a black Jeep Renegade.
LB had been living in Europe the last four years. Seven weeks prior, he had posted a video on his Facebook page, featuring himself on a snowy mountain in France, on a ski adventure.
“He said he would be here a few days, he couldn’t afford to stay in the hotel he was staying in in San Diego, and he would be staying in his car the next few days.”
Kim heard this 39-year-old man saying he would be living out of his car for days, but she did not make much of it. “Yeah, he was headed up, in a few days, to LA to look for a job.”
LB did make an appointment for a job interview for the following Tuesday, but he never made it to that appointment.
“And I said do you want to see your dad and he said, yes, and I said he is in the house he will be glad to see you, let’s go see him.” They walked through the courtyard to the front door.
Kim went into a hallway that led to Leighton’s office and she looked up toward the second floor, “I hollered, ‘Hey Leighton, LB is here.’ And he said, ‘I will be right down.’”
Kimberley went back outside to bring in her harvested vegetables, she took the dog with her.
Kim saw the two men come outside and walk up a pathway to the pergola; it was a high spot on the property where they could sit and visit. Kim went in the house and washed her fresh veggies and stored them and then came back outside. She could see the men talking. “I knew my husband was very excited to see his son.” She walked up and joined them. “I sat in a third chair to enjoy the conversation.”
After a while LB said he needed to go, “And my husband said make sure we have your phone number,” to get together for lunch or whatever. LB said he would text the phone number. And he got up and left to go to his car.”
Because her husband was not accustomed to smart phones, Kim showed him how to send the first text so he could easily receive a return text. And Leighton confirmed that he did get a text with a phone number from his son.
As his son was getting into his car, his dad yelled to him, “I love you, LB !”
La Brisa means The Breeze
Kimberley Anne Dorey has lived in her home on La Brisa road for many years. She still lives there. Even after everything. Now she lives with “My cat and my dog.” The dog is not the same one she had in May of 2017. Her husband isn’t there anymore either.
A year later in court, Kim remembered the everyday routines her husband and she shared. “Daily, he had to put some time in managing apartments he owns in Pennsylvania, that would occupy a couple hours every day. He did that first, in the morning. He also emailed with friends.”
Leighton was fit for his age, 71, he was proud of that. At 5 feet 7 inches tall and 152 pounds, he felt good. But he did not go to the gym, “He said the yard was his gym.” Kim happily recalled, “Most of his time he would spend in his garden.”
Leighton did show a few small signs of his age. He was just a little bent in stature. And there was his hearing, “Yes, he wore hearing aids in both ears.”
Kim and Leighton
Kim said she met her future husband Leighton when he was 48 and his son LB was 16 years old, that was in 1993. That was the same year that Leighton divorced his first wife, Carol. Leighton and Carol Dorey had raised their two children on the East Coast. Ex-wife Carol still lives in Pennsylvania.
Kimberley also raised two children, she has two adult daughters from her previous marriage. Plus two granddaughters.
Kim said that she and Leighton Dorey began their relationship in 1997 and they married two years later, in 1999. They were married in Kim’s nice home in Rancho Santa Fe.
Leighton was attractive and easy to love. He was an accomplished gymnast in his lifetime and he kept a nice physique. Kim was so enamored of her second husband, even after 18 years of marriage, she gushed about him like a young girl. She remembered his “thoughtfulness, playfulness, sense of humor, child-like enthusiasm and love for all manner of desserts.”
Leighton Bromiley Dorey III was born in 1945. He went to the Staunton Military Academy in Virginia and served in the Coast Guard. His family made their wealth in the textile industry in Philadelphia, and that was his first work. While he was in his 20s he started working in real estate. He established his own real estate brokerage in Bucks County, Pennsylvania — an area of quality estates and stately old homes.