Olivia Bulmer still can’t believe her close friend Max Boudreau is gone.
Boudreau’s body was discovered in a wooded area in Irishtown, N.B., north of Moncton on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old had been reported missing on Nov. 17.
Bulmer remembers her friend as a funny person with a kind soul who could light up a room.
“We would have endless sleepovers and watch movies,” said Bulmer as she choked back tears. “Go for hikes, go to the gym together. I really lost my best friend and I hope we can get some peace. The family is hurting, everyone’s hurting and this is just not fair.”
Forty-two-year-old Justin Barrow of Moncton has been charged with first-degree murder.
Barrow made a brief court appearance Wednesday in front of roughly 20 of Boudreau’s family and friends.
Boudreau’s cousin, Louise Vautour Goguen, released a statement Thursday on behalf of the family.
She said Boudreau’s mother is devastated.
“The family is trying to cope with extreme grief and incomprehension surrounding the details of his death. The investigation is still ongoing and the family has no other information to share at this point,” read the statement.
“Although we all have so many unanswered questions, we kindly ask for discretion regarding shared information that could compromise the ongoing investigation.”
What is known is that Boudreau left Angie’s, a Dieppe bar, in a taxi around 3 a.m. on Nov. 15.
The connection between the suspect and the victim is still not known.
The cab company that picked up Boudreau says the man arrested did not work for them.
Moncton’s River of Pride, an LGBTQ support group, offered its deepest sympathies in a Facebook post.
Its president Jeremie Duguay was also a friend and a past roommate.
“He always found a way to live life to its fullest. I’m honestly a bit jealous for the way he managed to do that,” said Duguay. “It was impressive honestly. He was just very proud of everything he did. He was just so confident. it was very uplifting to have him in my life.”
Downtown whiskey bar Antlers Lounge will hold an evening to honour Boudreau this Saturday and all proceeds and donations will go to his family.
Co-owner Eric Doucet said it will be an emotional night for all.
“The LGBTQ community itself here in Moncton is a small community. It’s a strong community, but it can be fragile,” said Doucet.
“We’ve seen what just happened in Colorado, it happens all the time. So as a community here in Moncton, it’s very important we support our friends, our brothers, our sisters.”
The family statement from Vautour Goguen said they are deeply touched by all the love and support they are receiving.
“It serves as a testament to how much Max was loved and appreciated by all who knew him.”
The statement concluded by saying:
“At this time, we kindly ask for privacy as we grieve the loss of Max. His kind, fun-loving spirit will be deeply missed along with his beautiful smile.”
A spokesperson for the New Brunswick RCMP told CTV News the investigation continues, but the cause of death and any other details were not revealed.
Barrow is scheduled to be back in court on Dec. 12.