A Kamloops woman who tragically died last week while taking part in an apparent Pagan ritual was a former social worker who, at one point, handled the case of three Merritt children murdered by their father in 2008.

Heather Arlene Carr, 40, was found badly burned in an “enclosed rock structure” in Riverside Park just after 2 a.m. on March 31.

Firefighters pulled her from the fiery structure, but she succumbed to her injuries in hospital several hours later.

The BC Coroners Service says Carr’s death appears to have been accidental, despite early police reports that it was a suicide.

Friends have written at length about Carr in the aftermath of her death, describing the wife and mother as a “strong woman” who was devoted to her family.

She was also active in the local Pagan community, teaching workshops on spirituality and advocating acceptance of the often misunderstood nature-focused religion, according to several blog and Facebook posts from people who say they were friends of Carr.

Some have speculated her death was the result of a ritual gone wrong.

“Alone, she climbed into the centre of the park’s rock sculpture – a place that held spiritual significance to Carr,” said Heather Greene, a writer for Pagan website The Wild Hunt.

Another friend suggested she may have been taking part in a healing ritual for a sick relative that involved candles.

Officials have not confirmed any of those details.

Since her death, it has also been revealed that Carr was a former social worker who handled the file of Kaitlynn, Cordon and Max Schoenborn.

The three children were murdered by their father, Allan Schoenborn, in April 2008, their deaths igniting a media firestorm.

Carr reportedly went on stress leave and then long-term disability after the children were killed.

Schoenborn was found not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder and remains in a psychiatric facility in Coquitlam.

A BC Coroners Service investigation into Carr’s death is ongoing.

With files from The Canadian Press