The 90 Day Fiance franchise has teased viewers with potential catfish story lines before (I’m still not absolutely sure that Jesse Meester is a real person), but could it be that the second season of Before the 90 will actually deliver the first real deal catfish? All the indication would seem to indicate that 33-year-old Ricky from Columbus, Ohio has been misled by someone claiming to be 28-year-old Melissa from Colombia. In addition to the generic “hottie” photos, Ricky reveals that the only video conversations he has had with Melissa prior to his trip were constantly breaking up due to a bad connection on her end, and actually looked like a brief animated gif on a loop.
Because I regard myself as quite the Nev and Max protege, I spent a good deal of time trying to crack this case. Alas, my efforts were for naught. I do not know if Melissa turns out to be a real person that looks like the Melissa in the photos, and I also don’t know if Ricky is still in a relationship with either the real Melissa or the actual catfish Melissa.
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UPDATE – We uncovered some new evuhdense in the Melissa catfish case! MAJOR SPOILERS!
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I did uncover a little bit more about Ricky though! His real name is Ricardo Reyes, and it appears that he and his daughter Amber recently moved from Columbus to just outside of Austin, Texas where he continues to be a professional photographer and videographer. It is mentioned in the premiere episode that he is still going through a divorce, and it appears as though his wife (and mother of his youngest daughter Kira?) was born in Russia. Ricky referenced his wife often on his Facebook page, including numerous photos, right up until August of 2017, but she has since completely ghosted Facebook. I could not find a trace of her on other social media platforms either.
However, I found a LinkedIn profile that appears to be hers that may explain why Ricky relocated to Texas. That profile says she worked at a bank in Columbus, Ohio up until June of this year when she listed a new job at a bank in Austin, Texas. I assume Ricky followed her there so that he could remain close to his youngest daughter Kira, but that is purely speculation.
As far as Ricky’s background, it is really pretty fascinating. He was a combat engineer in the US Army from January of 2004 to December of 2008. After leaving the Army, Ricky got his Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and Corrections from Hudson County Community College. He went on to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Rutgers and then a Masters of Business Administration from Ohio University.
While obtaining his undergraduate degrees, Ricky worked as an accountant. Just prior to starting his Masters Degree in 2015, Ricky switched up and got a job as an investigator for the U.S. Department of Labor. His LinkedIn profile lists the U.S. Department of Labor job as his current occupation, but I don’t know if that is just because Ricky has not updated it to reflect his photography and videography work.
In the premiere, Ricky comes across as a very likable and genuine guy with a great father/daughter relationship with Amber, so I think most viewers will be really pulling for him this season. Of course, “pulling for Ricky” may mean that viewers will really hope that Melissa is a catfish, because it seems like he is headed for even more heartache if she’s not. 😉
To find out what happens, be sure to tune in to new episodes of Before the 90 Days airing Sunday nights at 8/7c on TLC!
Also, we will be sharing more posts with everything we currently know about all of the couples on the new season of Before the 90 Days, so stay tuned! I will add links below as we publish.