New Brunswick dentist Cindy McCormick was a fearless, vibrant woman, known as much for belting out karaoke tunes as for constantly changing her colourful hairstyles.
She was even a contestant on the reality television series "Wipeout Canada" in 2011.
"She had it all: She was the jock, she was the brainiac, she was gorgeous. And she was so humble," says close friend Pamela Wilson Sydor.
"I'll never meet anyone like her again. She was sensational."
McCormick was killed last weekend while attending a dental conference in Alberta.
RCMP said her body was discovered Sunday afternoon in a room at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in the mountain resort community. About two hours earlier, officers had responded to a call of a 52-year-old man found dead in a vehicle about 35 kilometres west into British Columbia near Emerald Lake.
Police confirmed the two cases are linked. An autopsy showed the woman's death was a homicide and the man's death was not criminal, and officers say they are not looking for other suspects.
Sydor identified the man as McCormick's boyfriend, Bobby Kaine, a member of the Saint John, N.B., fire department.
The pair, both divorced, started dating a few years ago and had moved in together, said Sydor. McCormick, owner of Bayside Dental Clinic, had two teenagers and Kaine had a grown son and grandchildren. They both grew up in the town of Nackawic, N.B.
Sydor of White Rock, B.C., was raised in Nackawic as well and knows both families. Kaine took her sons camping last summer and they adored him.
"It seemed like a good match. It really did," said Sydor, who last saw the couple at a wedding in northern Alberta in September. She said her 46-year-old friend had streaks of pink and blue her in blond hair and looked happy.
"What I saw was a couple enjoying life."
She said she was shocked to learn Kaine and McCormick were dead. She wasn't aware that the couple had problems.
"She never told me anything and she tells me everything," Sydor said.
McCormick had invited her to join the couple in Lake Louise but she chose not to go, she added.
"What a nightmare," said fellow Saint John dentist Jim Craft.
He didn't attend the Dental Technology and Business Growth Summit with McCormick, he said, but word of her death spread quickly.
Working together on different dental boards, they rotated hosting lobster parties at each others' homes. She was funny and fearless, took her family camping in the winter and played hockey, Craft said. He believes that's how she met Kaine, who also played and coached the sport.
It's unimaginable that such a tough woman could be the victim of domestic violence, he said.
Bob Hatheway, president of the New Brunswick Dental Society, considered McCormick a close friend. He visited her clinic Wednesday and said patients who didn't even have appointments were stopping by to give their condolences and drop off flowers.
Everyone will miss her, he said.
"She had this big beaming smile. As soon as she walked in the room, you knew the life of the party had just arrived."