Friends and family of a Victoria-raised woman who was killed in her home on the Caribbean island of Antigua are remembering her as someone who was always the life of the party.
Jane Finch, 66, was fatally stabbed after a woman broke into her Antigua home Monday evening, according to reports in a local news outlet, Antigua News Room. Finch called police to report a break-in, but by the time officers arrived, she had died, the outlet reported.
A 21-year-old woman is in police custody.
Finch was strong-willed and outgoing, with a large community of friends in both Antigua and Victoria, said her brother, John Finch, who lives in Victoria.
“If you were in a room with Jane, you knew that Jane was in the room,” he said of his younger sister.
Finch was born in St. Thomas, Ont., the second of five siblings. The family moved to Victoria when she was about six.
A world traveller, Finch ventured to England and France in the 1970s before moving aboard a yacht for several years to live and work.
In the 1980s, she made herself a permanent home in Antigua, a Caribbean island with a population of about 90,000 people. There she had her only son, Jareese Finch, who attended Oak Bay High School. Now in his mid-30s, Jareese lives in North Carolina, John Finch said.
He got the news of his sister’s death in an early morning call from his brother in Paris. Tributes were pouring in for Finch on Facebook, where she was quite active, he said.
On Monday evening, she had posted a cry for help. “I need help. There’s a deranged woman trying to break into my house. She’s starting to break the windows. I’ve called the police. Please call the police. Please help,” she wrote.
“It’s probably the last thing she did before she died. It’s tragic,” John Finch said.
Deb McIntyre Dagg met Finch through a play they were both in almost five decades ago. The two stayed in daily communication and McIntyre Dagg always looked forward to Finch’s annual summer visits to Victoria that brought old friends together.
“Jane is the only one I’ve ever known who truly lived in the moment. She was so in the now and everyone was drawn to her,” she said.
Finch did a variety of jobs over the years, working as a journalist for a local newspaper, in the tourism industry, and as a writer for an online yachting directory known as Superyacht Services Guide, according to her profile on the yachting website.
Superyacht Services Guide paid tribute to Finch in a Facebook post, saying she had a beautiful spirit.
“In tough times, she kept going, standing tall and positive, still giving to others,” they wrote. “We are going to truly miss you Jane in all ways.”