10/31/2013 15:18 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 18:58 EST

Vancouver woman stabbed to death in Belize home

A 57-year-old Vancouver woman living in Belize was found stabbed to death in her home on Tuesday night.

Lynn Nichiporowich was in the process of moving her life to Belize with a new American common-law husband. She had been living in the secluded village of Cosejo, a popular retirement destination, for about a year. 

John Ractliffe, the former brother-in-law of Nichiporowich, worked for the victim's Vancouver-based air quality business, Eco Impact and Mould.

He says he was talking to her on the phone just two hours before she was murdered.

“When I spoke to her on the phone, she was jolly – everything was good," says Ractliffe.

Police in Belize suspect the assault was part of a home invasion, and Ractliffe says he understands that they have since arrested a suspect.

Ractliffe says the family just can't believe what's happened. Nichiporowich's husband was away in Florida at the time of the homicide.

“Her son is devastated, and her common-law partner, who we spoke to this morning at about 5 o’clock, he is so devastated he couldn’t even speak to us anymore."