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 Consejo, 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.

Belize home

Lynn Nichiporowich was found dead just inside the entry way of her home in Consejo, Belize. Police suspect this was a home invasion but say it appears nothing was taken.

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.

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."

Ractliffe says Nichiporowich was found dead just inside the entry way of her home, and that neighbours drawn by the screams scared off the attacker.

Police in Belize suspect this was a home invasion, but say it appears nothing was taken.

Tim Boys of Island Expeditions, who specializes in travel to Belize, says the murder is an unusual if tragic occurrence. He says that in 28 years of leading tours, he has never heard of a Canadian being killed in Belize.

The country is attractive to tourists, he says, because it has a stable government and is considered safe.

"We are always aware and mindful of the rule of law in Belize. I really hope the perpetrators are caught and brought to justice, which is pretty common in Belize. You don't get away with these sorts of crimes."

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Consejo, Belize
With files from Bal Brach and Terry Donnelly