But Evelyn Bumatay Castillo is remembered as a daughter, sister and mother by her family. And they say they can't accept that she worked in the sex trade.
"Being a sister, I will not allow her to do that," says Imelda Quibin, Castillo's older sister, of the idea that Castillo was moonlighting as a prostitute.
Castillo, 43, and was in Canada as a nanny for less than two years when emergency crews found her body inside a Quality Inn hotel in Mississauga. Castillo grew up in La Union province in the Philippines.
Both sisters Evelyn and Imelda saw Canada as "greener pastures" — with greater job security and quality of life. Castillo's dream was to bring her son to Canada from Philippines one day.
The family says police tell them she was stabbed before the room was set on fire. Niran Vade 'Nick' Murray is charged in her murder. Police say the relationship between Murray and Castillo was related to the sex trade.
But her sister says Castillo earned about $1,100 monthly as a nanny for a family with three children, and sent about $250 back to the Philippines every two weeks.
"The work she was doing as a nanny was enough to provide for our needs," says her son, Richard Castillo, who is studying civil engineering in Philippines but came to Toronto after he got the news.
The last time mother and son spoke was during one of their frequent Skype chats days before she died. There were no indications she was struggling to make ends meet.
"She asked me if I'm OK and then she said she's very, very OK," he remembers.
The 22-year-old university student had not seen his mother in person since his high school graduation in 2009. She'd spent years in Hong Kong and Cyprus as a nanny before coming to Canada.
The family hasn't told Castillo's 87-year-old mother that she's been murdered. She has a heart condition and they're worried that the news could kill her.
The family says they want to see justice — a conviction — to help move forward.Suggest a correction