The family of a female Canadian backpacker whose body was found in Golden Gate Park released a statement to the press Tuesday, asking for privacy as San Francisco police continue their homicide investigation.
Audrey Carey, a 23-year-old from Province of Quebec, was backpacking for several weeks through the West Coast and had attended the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival the night before her body was found Saturday near the Golden Gate Golf Course.
Police are investigating the death as a homicide, saying she had blunt-force trauma to the head. No suspects are in custody.
Officials notified Carey’s mother, Isabelle Tremblay, on Monday in her home south of Montreal. The family released a short statement on Tuesday to the Canadian media.
“The family of Audrey Carey, who tragically died last Saturday while traveling in the San Francisco area, would like to thank the people who have expressed sympathy and support in the ordeal they are going through,” noted the statement, which was originally released in French.
“Audrey was a young girl full of life and loved by all. The family now wishes to grieve in privacy and in private, and asked representatives of the media to please respect their will. The family does not want to give interview at the moment and will make no further comment.”
On Tuesday, the San Francisco Police Department released an image of Carey as part of its investigative efforts.
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.
Carey was found about two hours before Saturday’s first act performed at Hardly Strictly. It is believed that Carey attended the festival on Friday night.
Few other details have been released surrounding Carey’s death.
A family friend told the San Francisco Examiner that 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.”
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.