She was a self-proclaimed loner on social assistance who delighted in cartooning before being found dead in her downtown apartment.
Now, family and friends are deeply disturbed by 32-year-old Jeanine Carrie Allen's sudden death, and the questions swirling around it. Police weren't calling Allen's death a homicide Friday, but said they had launched an investigation.
Friends and family said officers had interviewed them for details about the young woman after Allen's body was discovered in her apartment at 461 Kennedy St. Thursday morning.
"We’re in shock about this. I’m just feeling numb," said Nancy Beardy, Allen’s mother, who lives in Fox Lake Cree Nation, about 1000 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
Allen had spoken with one of her sisters as recently as Tuesday, said her mother.
Beardy said she got word late Thursday night about her daughter’s death after the Mounties came to her home. She’d last spoken to her daughter about two weeks ago.
"I’d been bugging her to come home, to come and visit," she said.
Her daughter had gone to live with a Winnipeg family from about when she was about six or seven years old to when she was 18 years old, she said. Beardy still loved her.
"I said, you’ll always be in my heart because you are my daughter, no matter what happens," she said. Reports about the death emerged after police and emergency officials went to 461 Kennedy Street Thursday at about 10:20 a.m., where Allen lived alone in an apartment on an upper floor.
Police told media Friday the cause of Allen’s death still hadn’t been determined, and officials were waiting on the results of an autopsy.
A caretaker helped open up the apartment, which led to the discovery.
A neighbour also told the Free Press before Allen’s body was discovered there was a strange smell emanating from her apartment. Beardy said the family still had limited details on what led to Allen’s death, or possible injuries she suffered beforehand.
"(Police) can’t really give me anything until they have that autopsy," she said.
Midday Friday, two officers were still stationed outside Allen’s apartment.
According to interviews with those who knew her, the slim woman was recently seen at the Millennium Library and the Billy Mosienko Lanes on Main Street. She’d also hang out at social service facilities in the West End, and walked around the city if she couldn’t afford bus fare.
Sharon Henderson, a close friend of Allen’s, said she was interviewed late Thursday by homicide investigators.
"We’d do anything to try to help her, and she would do pretty much the same thing for us...like if we were having struggles with food or something, she would bring over some food," she said.
Henderson said her friend liked watching pay-per-view wrestling at and dreamed of becoming a better artist.
Investigators said Friday they were trying to help friends and close associates of Allen’s, and asked anyone with information to call 986-6508.