A Montreal woman found strangled Thursday in a northeast Edmonton home was very secretive about her life, says a longtime friend in Montreal. 

Valerie Maurice, 29, was found dead Thursday in an apartment building near 144th Avenue and 88A Street.

Homicide detectives are investigating. 

Maurice's friend, who goes by the name Crystal Jones, said she knew Maurice for 12 years and the pair were like sisters.

Jones said she was worried about her friend's choices. Maurice had begun to distance herself from friends, Jones said.

Recently, Maurice had contacted her less frequently. Jones said she only heard from her friend about once a month.

"She was very secretive about her life," Jones told CBC Montreal Sunday. CBC News has agreed to hide her identity because she fears for her safety.

"We tell her, this can be dangerous.  But she doesn't listen [to] us." 

A day before Maurice's body was found, Jones and other friends of Maurice posted messages on Facebook, saying they hadn't heard from her and were worried.

Jones said Maurice used to live with a man with whom she travelled to Edmonton often. On her last trip, which Jones said was on Aug. 18, Maurice went to Edmonton alone. A spokesperson for Edmonton police said Maurice frequented the city.

'She was generous'

Jones said she's received many comments from people online, judging her friend Maurice. She wants that to stop and for everyone to help remember Maurice for who she was.

"She had a very good heart," Jones said. "She was very funny. She was generous. She loved animals."

Maurice would have been celebrating her 30th birthday on Monday.

Edmonton police have not said whether they have suspects or persons of interest in the case. 

With files from CBC Montreal, The Canadian Press