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Jennifer Bird, 26, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Simon Hubbard. ((Canadian Press))

A close group of friends are mourning the death of Simon Hubbard, a chef at the Sussex Drive government offices who was found covered in blood New Year's Day outside his home in Ottawa's New Edinburgh area.

Steve Lafond, who had known 43-year-old Hubbard for more than 30 years, since elementary school, said he can't imagine why his friend was killed.

"He was such a likeable, personable fellow. One of the best senses of humour of anybody I know. Always in good spirits. He liked to go out, have a good time," Lafond said.

Hubbard and his close-knit group of about two dozen friends met in high school and continued to play music together.

Hubbard played the bass guitar.

'He's the last guy you'd think this would happen to.' —Mike Petrasek, Simon Hubbard's friend

Another friend, Mike Petrasek, said they often jammed together.

"He's the last guy you'd think this would happen to. He wasn't married, had no kids. He led a quiet lifestyle."

Friends said Hubbard was last seen leaving the Heart and Crown pub in the Byward Market on New Year's  Eve.

A neighbour found him covered in blood Saturday outside his home in New Edinburgh, a small neighbourhood east of the downtown core.

"We're all stunned.... We're all thinking the same thing. Everybody's just curious to know what actually happened."

Jennifer Bird, 26, who was living at a homeless shelter for women in the Byward Market, is in custody after being charged with second-degree murder. She is due back in court by video remand Friday.  

"It's just odd that somebody none of us knew and was a homeless person was in Simon's apartment, if that is what happened," said Lafond.