Whitehorse woman found dead in Costa Rica

Kimberley Blackwell, 53, wanted her Costa Rican chocolate factory to make people feel good.

She left Whitehorse and moved to a remote area, near Puerto Jimenez, in Costa Rica, to build her factory.

“She was kind of a wild woman,” her friend Eric Epstein told The Star on the phone from Whitehorse. “She was very powerful woman, very fun, very silly, but also very committed.”

He said Blackwell’s property, located near Corcovado National Park, was surrounded by jungle and had an abundance of wild life. Epstein said Blackwell told him, she was having problems with hunters and poachers coming on her property.

Blackwell was found murdered in her home earlier this week. Her body was found on her patio and her friends in Costa Rica said she was apparently beaten and strangled.

“It’s a sad way to go,” said Epstein, adding that he imagined she would have been enraged that her life ended that way. “She was one who would have put up a big fight. She was all fight and no flight.”

Blackwell’s company, called Samaritan Xocolata, specialized in producing organic chocolates. The ingredients for her chocolates: cocoa beans, sugar cane, carao honey, chilies, were grown on her property. Epstein said she would sell her chocolate to hotels and spas.

According to its website, Samaritan Xocolata’s mission was “to pursue a self-sustainable cooperative that practices positive environmental stewardship and fair wage.”

Blackwell had a real love of animals, said Epstein. Her friends would call her “sloth mother” because she once adopted an injured sloth and nursed it back to life.

“She would say she used to be the woman who ran with wolves, now she’s the one who ran with tepezcuintles,” said Epstein. A Tepezcuintle is a large, rodent, native to Costa Rica.

A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the official cause of death. The Canadian consulate in Costa Rica is working with the police.

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