LOWELL - The Massachusetts woman who wasin the Bahamas has been identified by the Royal Bahamas Police as Lauren Erickson Van Wart, 44, of Lowell.
It was supposed to be a dream vacation for a beloved Lowell couple, but it ended in horror when the 44-year-old wife was killed by a shark while paddle boarding three quarters of a mile off the shore of the Sandals resort beach.
Authorities say her husband was with her when she was attacked. Police on Monday said a lifeguard in a rescue boat pulled Van Wart and her husband out of the water. While he wasn't hurt, according to police, Van Wart later died.
It was just a week ago when neighbors like Beth Stack Emerson saw the victim in their Lowell neighborhood.
"Trip of a lifetime, it's heartbreaking, it really is," said Stack Emerson. "Shocking. These poor people, they probably looked forward to this vacation for months."
Neighbors said Lauren was the type of person who always had a smile and a wave for her neighbors while she walked the couple's dog.
They lived in their home for more than a decade.
"She always seemed very nice, always waved to us, said hello very neighborly," said Stack Emerson.
The victim was a beloved math editor at Curriculum Associates for nine years. The CEO Rob Waldron sent a statement saying:
"Our team is heartbroken and grieving the loss of a dear and trusted colleague and friend. Lauren was a beloved member of our math editorial team, and she infused her deep dedication to students and educators into every material she touched. Her commitment to excellence and outstanding work was driven by a higher purpose, focused on improving learning outcomes for all. Our Curriculum Associates community is mourning this tragedy and extends our deepest love and support to Lauren's wonderful husband and all of her family."
The Royal Bahamas Police said investigations into the incident are ongoing.
for more features.