One of three women found slain Tuesday in eastern Ontario is being remembered by her former pub co-workers as a "driven" person who would always leave her customers smiling.
Staff at the Wilno Tavern say they're in shock after Anastasia Kuzyk was found dead Tuesday morning at a residence in the town of Wilno, Ont.
She was one of three women found dead Tuesday in three different rural communities west of Ottawa.
Basil Borutski, 57, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the three killings. Borutski has a lengthy criminal record and was recently released from jail on Dec. 27, 2014.
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Before starting a real-estate career several years ago, Kuzyk worked for many years at the Wilno Tavern, a bar and restaurant in the small town about 180 kilometres west of Ottawa, said Ambrose Mullin, one of the tavern's employees.
"Anastasia was a really nice person, great to work with. She was fantastic. All her customers loved her," said Mullin, who worked with Kuzyk for a decade.
She was recently working for Century 21.
"[She] was doing very well in that, too," said Mullin. "She was just a very driven person [who] was just wonderful to know."
3 women found dead
Kuzyk was found dead at a residence on Szczipior Road, in Wilno, just before 9 a.m. ET, OPP said on Tuesday.
Police also found a second woman dead — later identified by friends as Nathalie Warmerdam — at a residence on Foymount Road, southeast of Wilno. Then, at around 11:10 a.m., Bancroft OPP officers responded to a residence on Kamaniskeg Lake Road, southwest of Wilno, and found a third woman dead.
Police sources have said the third victim was related to Borutski.
Borutski was known around the tavern as a "tough guy," said Mullin, and that people around the small community "knew his background, just like everybody knows everybody else."
Mood at tavern 'very sombre'
Customers who remember being served by Kuzyk have been calling all day, said Mullin, asking if the news is true.
The mood at the well-known tavern — a popular hangout for Ottawa Valley musicians that's also known for reflecting the town's Polish heritage with its food — has been "very sombre," Mullin said, with people feeling shock and disbelief.
"It's going to take a while. Domestic violence like this, it's very personal to everybody," Mullin said.
"In a time like this, we can only hope it never happens again, and try and heal."