Staff at the Alexandria Chiropractic Centre did not notice anything out of the ordinary with Emilie Maheu the day she went missing, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Maheu, 26, was found dead in a cornfield about 48 hours after leaving the clinic in Alexandria last Thursday.
“This is why this seemed so out of character and everyone felt that something was wrong,” said Suzanne Filion. “It was just surreal. The staff felt right away there must be something wrong here.”
Filion, a psychologist who is also a patient at the clinic, said she was asked by staff to respond to numerous media requests in the wake of the homicide. Maheu, mother of a 22-month-old daughter, lived in nearby Green Valley but was found about 25 kilometres from her home on Saturday at about 11:30 a.m.
Filion said Emilie began working at the clinic in July as a part-time receptionist. A native of Alexandria, about 100 kilometres from Ottawa, she had spent a couple of years in Halifax, returning to Ontario with her child early this year. Filion read a statement jointly prepared by the staff, which includes three chiropractors.
“Emilie was a wonderful, young, energetic, bubbly person who adored her little daughter. We loved having Emilie work in our office. We wish to express to the family and to the child’s babysitter our deep sorrow. Our thoughts are with them.
“We are shocked and deeply despaired.”
In her practice, Filion, an Alexandria resident, often works with first responders who deal with critical incidents. So she was fielding many calls on Monday from concerned residents.
“I got to know Emilie as the months went by. She sincerely is a beautiful human being. She always had a smile on her face. She was always willing to do more to make sure we were always okay.”
The staff are doing their best to soldier on, she said, and asked that anyone with any information come forward to OPP investigators.
“They’re completely in shock. It’s been tough for the whole community.”
Police did not have much news on Monday. OPP Const. Tyler Copeland confirmed that the body was found in a field off Concession Road 3 near Lancaster.
Maheu’s body was sent to The Ottawa Hospital’s General campus for an autopsy. Copeland could not say when the results would be released.