More than 100 people huddled together on a Baxters Corner beach overlooking one of Cindy McCormick's favourite places while they remembered their friend with a candlelight vigil.
Police say McCormick, a 46-year-old mother of two, was killed by her partner Bobby Kaine, a 52-year-old Saint John firefighter, while the couple was in Alberta.
Police discovered her body at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in mid-afternoon on Oct. 22. McCormick was attending a dental conference at the hotel.
Kaine's body was found around noon the same day in a vehicle west of Lake Louise. Police said his death was "non-criminal" and he was the only suspect in McCormick's death.
On Saturday night, dozens of McCormick's friends and family members held a candlelight vigil on the shore of Loch Lomond in Baxters Corner. McCormick lived nearby and was known for spending her summers swimming and kayaking on the lake.
Sandy Morrell said she came up with the idea for the vigil as a way to honour her friend and unite the people who loved her.
"I thought if we could light a candle and spend this evening together thinking of Cindy," she said "I think it would be healing for all of us."
Morrell said the large turnout on the crisp night showed how loved McCormick was.
Many of them, like Erica Grutzner, had a bright shock of hair tucked under their toques in memory of McCormick, who was known for frequently changing the colour of her hair.
"Cindy was the life of the party," said Grutzner. "The life of anything."
As soon as McCormick walked into a room, said Grutzner, people knew they would soon be having fun.
"You always felt important around her and she was willing to do anything for you or with you" she said.
Like many, Grutzner remains both shocked and heartbroken over her friend's sudden death.
"How could this have happened to her? The most strong, independent woman I've ever known."
Grutzner said she and her friends wanted to use this tragedy to help educate people about domestic violence. At the beginning of the vigil, a social worker spoke to the crowd about how to help loved ones dealing with domestic violence.
"We're here to support people that may be aware of someone living in an unsafe situation or maybe may be living in a situation themselves" said Kate Colwell, a social worker with the Horizon Health Network who works in domestic violence outreach..
Several members of McCormick's hockey team also attended in their "Moms in Gear" jerseys. Gretchen Kelbaugh said many people on her team were still struggling with the circumstances of McCormick's death.
As outgoing as her friend was, Kelbaugh said her two children always came first. "She really loved her kids so much," she said.
Kelbaugh said it was also important that the vigil marked a more cheerful part of her friend's life. She said McCormick's funeral didn't have any "Cindy music."
"Music was an important part of her life," said Kelbaugh, recalling a tournament where McCormick brought along two karaoke machines. "So tonight we're supposed to be hearing a lot of her favourite songs" she said.
As the vigil drew to a close, (I've had) The Time of My Life played on a speaker as McCormick's friends began to leave the lake she loved.