Canadian woman's death in Costa Rica ruled homicide
53-year-old confronted poachers in past, say friends
Investigators in Costa Rica say the death of a 53-year-old Canadian woman is being treated as a homicide.
Friends of Kimberley Blackwell told CBC News on Sunday that she was found beaten earlier this week outside her home in the remote rural area of Puerto Jimenez.
Blackwell, originally from Whitehorse, moved to Costa Rica almost 20 years ago and ran an organic chocolate factory on a farm bordering a national park.
Her friends said Blackwell had previously encountered and confronted poachers who crossed her property to hunt illegally in the park.
Blackwell was remembered as a gregarious free spirit and an animal lover who often carried a small possum under her T-shirt, the CBC's John Northcott reported on Sunday.
Friends, neighbours and colleagues were gathering Sunday for a memorial service on the Ossa Peninsula, a remote area populated with yoga retreats and surf camps where she lived.
A coroner's report is expected on Monday.
With files from The Canadian Press