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Smiths Falls woman remembered as loving mother, uplifting friend


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The best friend of a Smiths Falls woman who was killed over the weekend has started an online fundraiser to support the deceased woman’s family.

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Chantale Lebrun, 36, was a strong, uplifting and happy mother of four, recalled Caitlyn Beute, her inseparable best friend. Lebrun was killed over the weekend, Beute confirmed, in what Smiths Falls police described only as a “homicide incident” that was “domestic in nature.”

Lebrun’s death leaves a painful absence, Beute said.

A 39-year-old Smiths Falls man is in custody following her death, but police provided no further details about the identity of the man and would not say if the man had been charged with a crime, citing a court-ordered publication ban. Lebrun leaves behind her four daughters. Though she had to deal with difficult circumstances throughout her life, Beute said Lebrun was a wonderful mother to her kids.

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“She worked many jobs to be able to support the girls on her own,” she said. “She never asked for help, although I knew when she needed it and I gave her whatever I could. She never stopped trying. Those girls are the luckiest little girls in the world because their mom taught them how to be as strong as she was.

“Friends and relatives of Lebrun’s have shared memories of her online and changed their profile images to a purple ribbon — a symbol used to promote awareness and demonstrate the unacceptability of male violence against women.

The Lanark County Interval House, an emergency shelter for women and children experiencing violence, posted a statement on Facebook decrying the “senseless tragedy” and noting that domestic violence incidents increase in risk and likelihood during the holiday season.

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“We are saddened by the tragic loss of a woman in our community at the hands of violence,” the post read. “While we don’t have a lot of detail at this time, LCIHCS extends our support to the family, the community and to our police services. We are here to listen, to remain united with our community and to continue to fight to end all forms of violence.”

Lebrun’s death has rocked the town of Smiths Falls where she worked as a photographer until recently. “This town won’t let her light dim,” Beute said. “I wish she could see how many lives she touched. She had no idea.”

Beute has set up a GoFundMe page in Lebrun’s memory to help pay for her funeral and support her daughters.

It had raised over $20,000 as of Monday afternoon. “While it’s easier to curl up and cry I know that she wouldn’t want me to do that,” Beute said.

“My best friend wouldn’t want us to sit here and cry over her, she would want us to party with loud music and alcohol and remember the good. She hated sad. She fought her entire life to navigate through sad times. She’s been through a lot in her lifetime. Her entire family has.”

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