Friends recall slain teen as ‘sweet-natured’

Posted Aug. 12, 2009, at 9:54 p.m.

When Holly Boutilier was a young child living in the Aroostook County town of Oakfield, she would often sneak off into the woods with her friend, Brittany Bouchard, who lived next door.

“We use to go walking in the woods together all the time and when Holly slept at my house we used to sneak out and go down to the Great Northern bridge just to sit there and watch the river,” Bouchard said by e-mail on Wednesday. “It was nice.”

Boutilier, 19, was found dead on Sunday in a shack along the Bangor Waterfront. After two days of intense investigation, Bangor police arrested the man they believed killer her — Colin Koehler, 34, who lived in an apartment in the city’s downtown.

“They were acquaintances,” Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said on Wednesday.

Bouchard, who is 18 years old and now lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, set up a Facebook memorial site in her friend’s honor on Monday.

“You will be missed chick,” the social networking site states.

Bouchard is just one of many friends and family members who will miss the Old Town woman.

Sarah Hallatschek of Old Town met Holly Boutilier when she walked into the Old Town YMCA on her 18th birthday looking to use the phone. At that time, Hallatschek was the YMCA’s fitness manger.

“We were fast friends, instantly spending all of our free time together,” she recalled.

Hallatschek described Boutilier as “an incredibly sweet-natured person, who wanted to experience life to its fullest and only wanted to be loved.”

She was fun loving and had a great sense of humor, but she also was couch surfing between friends, as some teens do when they don’t want to go home, Hallatschek said.

“I was the friend that she would go to for advice and sometimes I’d give her a place to crash till she could meet up with someone else,” she said.

In their yearlong friendship, Hallatschek noted that Boutilier “had a rough year.”

The last time the two spoke was in July, when Boutilier told her that her cell phone was being shut off.

“It was then that I told her I loved her and that if she needed me, she knew where I lived and when I was home,” said Hallatschek, who was one of the last people to post a message to Boutilier on her Facebook page.

The murdered Old Town woman was not on drugs, her friend said.

“She had removed herself from that circle (though not from the people, if that makes sense),” she wrote. “But she did have a wild side that I’m sure would never be tamed, and was trying to get on her feet on her own.”

Even though Boutilier had left the Old Town home she shared with her mother, Kathy Ingraham, and two sisters, she expressed a tremendous love for her family, especially her dad, Gene Boutilier of Linneus, according to her friend.

“She was a daddy’s girl,” Hallatschek remembered. “Her face would light up immensely anytime she got to talk to him on the phone, and whenever she told stories about him.”

After Koehler’s arrest, Bouchard updated the Facebook memorial site to say so.

In an e-mail later in the day, she said that “it is very sad that this had to happen to a young girl, she didn’t even get to live her life! I’m going to pray for her every night. I hope the guy that did this to Holly will get life.”

A funeral service for Boutilier is planned for 1 p.m. today at Birmingham Funeral Home on Main Street in Old Town.

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