A young model from Saltspring Island, B.C., was found dead in Shanghai, China, her friends told CBC News on Monday.
Diana O'Brien, whose Facebook webpage says she was 22, had been in China since mid-June after landing a contract with a modelling agency in Shanghai.
Police in Shanghai had also started a murder investigation of their own but have not said how O'Brien was killed, her friends said.
"o'brien was told to dance on the podium", friends...
O'Brien had told friends she didn't like working in Shanghai and had bought an airline ticket to return to B.C. in two weeks, after finishing her last assignment.
O'Brien told friends that she did legitimate modelling work but was also asked to dance in bars as promotional work.
"She thought that was weird. It was right to one of these bars … the agency had her dancing on the podiums," Brittany Brown, one of O'Brien's friends, said Monday at O'Brien's house.
O'Brien began modelling locally more than a year ago and a stint in Milan was her first big break, friends said.
O'Brien was one of 27 female international models listed on the website of Barbara Coultish Model Management, a Victoria-based modelling agency. She just finished three months of modelling in Milan and was in Shanghai this summer on contract work, according to the website.