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Canadian backpacker’s body found in Golden Gate Park during Hardly Strictly

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A young woman’s body was found face down in Golden Gate Park early Saturday, October 3, 2015 shortly before the start of day two of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)
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A Canadian woman believed to have attended Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival was found dead, face down in Golden Gate Park early Saturday, with blunt force trauma to her head, authorities said.

Police are investigating the death of Audrey Carey, 23, as a homicide. A family friend said Carey was backpacking across the West Coast from her hometown outside of Montreal, Quebec, and was in the San Francisco area for the last week of her approximately two-­week trip.

Benoit Huot, a family friend who emailed the San Francisco Examiner after learning of Carey’s death, called it a “horrible murder.”

“I was on messenger with her [mother] yesterday night,” Huot wrote. “She just wrote to me ‘my daughter was found dead.’”

Huot said Carey’s mother was shocked. Carey, of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a suburb of Montreal, is described as a “hippie on the side” and “full of life.”

Carey’s body was discovered by a passerby around 9:15 a.m. near Bernice Rodgers Way and John F. Kennedy Drive, close to the Golden Gate Park Golf Course, authorities said. Police and paramedics arrived afterward.

Huot said authorities told Carey’s mother that police found a cellphone and identification on the body. But to identify the body officially, they had to compare dental records, he added.

Carey was found about two hours before Saturday’s first act performed at Hardly Strictly. It’s believed she attended the festival Friday night.

Few other details have been released surrounding Carey’s death. She was one of two homicide victims in The City this weekend, police said.

The second homicide happened in the Bayview early Sunday.

Police found Selvin Juarez, 36, with multiple gunshot wounds near the intersection of Third Street and Oakdale Avenue at 4:55 a.m. No weapon was found at the scene.

Juarez was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The pair of killings this weekend marks The City’s 35th and 36th homicides of the year.

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