Friends of 55-year-old Mary Anne May say the man accused of her murder was her roommate.
Kevin Koehler, 49, has been charged with second-degree murder and causing indignity to a human body. He appeared in court Wednesday, where some of May's friends had gathered.
"[May] had a heart of gold. She would give you the shirt off her back," said Birgit Lingenberg, who saw Koehler in court.
"All I could do was stare at him and he stared back at me. And then he actually had the nerve to blow kisses with his lips and was smiling at me," she said.
May's body was discovered in a park near the Grand River off Tyson Drive in Kitchener's Bridgeport neighbourhood on Sept. 20, 2013. Police say they are not releasing the cause of death in order to "preserve the integrity of the ongoing investigation."
Waterloo Regional Police announced the arrest of two men in connection to the homicide on Tuesday. In addition to Koehler, John Gallagher, 43, has also been charged with accessory to murder after the fact. He was also served with an unrelated charge of carrying a concealed weapon.
Lingenberg confirmed May and Koehler were roommates. They lived together in an apartment on Margaret Avenue in Kitchener, although May wanted to move out and was "afraid to go home," said Lingenberg.
"She didn't feel good going home. She wanted to be away from there.
"She asked me if she could live with me and my daughter. Our place right now is very, very small – barely enough for two," said Lingenberg.
"She said, 'Can I please live with you?' I said, 'I can't. My place is too small. I would get evicted.'"
'She started to turn around'
Richard Watkins, who identified himself as May's boyfriend, also said she was living with Koehler.
"She didn't have a job. She was tight on money. She just got a divorce and she was going through problems with her previous marriage," he said.
"But she started to turn around soon after I met her. She got another job and she quit some bad habits, like smoking."
Koehler is due to appear in court again on Apr. 9.
"Now the justice system will have its chance to prevail and hopefully it turns out good," said Watkins.