Some answers for her family, at least. http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/36143-discovery-sister%E2%80%99s-body-provides-closure
Julie Paquin has spent the last two days thinking about the sister she’d only just started reconnecting with.
On Tuesday, Amherst Police confirmed that human remains found in a wooded area off Robert Angus Drive belonged to Katherine Cora McNeil.
McNeil hadn’t been seen since walking out of the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Upper Nappan on Oct. 3, 2010.
The discovery of her body has provided "closure," Paquin said Wednesday in telephone interview from her Halifax residence.
A few years ago, McNeil moved home to Nova Scotia. For the sisters who grew up together in Halifax, but hadn’t seen one another since McNeil left for British Columbia nearly two decades earlier, it was a welcomed reunion. They often spent hours talking on the phone.
"She was extremely smart and talented," Paquin said of her sister.
"She won an arts scholarship to university when she was in high school and was a fabulous painter and cook."
But Paquin said McNeil was also a troubled soul, who’d recently suffered a brain injury caused by a tumour.
"She was a mixture of positive and negative," said Paquin. "She was not always easy to get a long with, but would you give the shirt off her back."
When McNeil returned to Nova Scotia, she brought Portia, a thoroughbred horse, with her. After living in River Phillip for a time, she moved to River Hebert where she camped on a property with her horse, two dogs and four cats. In 2009, McNeil made the news for riding Portia to a polling station to vote in the provincial election.
Two days after McNeil’s disappearance, Paquin received a birthday card from her sister that said her attempts to buy a property in River Hebert had "gone down the toilet."
"I believe she took an overdose," said Paquin.
"We have not had any indication of foul play," Deputy Chief Ian Naylor said. "The cause and manner of her death are still under investigation."
The area McNeil was found is about a kilometre from the hospital and is close to a pasture for horses and llamas. McNeil’s animals were put into care after her disappearance.