BETHEL – It was love at first sight in the winter of 1993 when Doug Beatson met Cynthia Cabral at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry. He was a construction worker helping build the Grand Summit Resort Hotel. Cabral worked guest services at the front desk, a job she’d had for only a week, Beatson said Wednesday of his wife.

Cynthia Beatson, 43, was shot to death just two days earlier, on Labor Day, at the Black Bear Bed and Breakfast on Sunday River Road in Newry, state police said Tuesday.

She was one of four people killed over the weekend by former Farmington resident Christian C. Nielsen, 31, according to police.

“It’s more difficult than you could ever imagine,” Doug Beatson said of trying to cope and be strong for their 12-year-old daughter, Carlee. “This has a reason and a course to it. I try to explain to (Carlee), depression and being in grief. They’re two different things. Something like this makes you stop and think how precious life is and everybody in it,” he said.

“Life is fragile,” his daughter added. But his wife “didn’t live as a fragile person,” Doug Beatson said.

Sitting on the front steps beside Carlee at the Intervale Road ranch home the carpenter built, he suddenly collapsed, overcome with grief rekindling that first meeting with his wife to be. His daughter quickly hugged her dad tightly as he cried.

“There were definite sparks. It was kind of a love-at-first-sight thing,” he said, again breaking down into his daughter’s arms while their little mixed pug and beagle puppy played unaware with a stick, beside Carlee.

Beatson and Cabral developed a relationship that winter while both got jobs in the hotel restaurant. They were married in March 1994 at the Chandler Mansion in Andover, the year Carlee was born, he said.

Recalling Cindy Beatson’s favorite activities, Carlee said her mom liked skiing at Sunday River.

Her dad said she loved to ski and was very good at it.

“I was constantly asking her to slow down, especially when she was carrying Carlee in her belly,” he said.

“Mom’s favorite trail was Lazy River. She liked to go on Lazy River with me all the time. She also loved Dream Maker and Lollapalooza,” Carlee said.

She also enjoyed golfing at The Bethel Inn and Country Club, where she played in a women’s league, sewing, playing croquet, going for walks through woods to the Androscoggin River, and anything in the outdoors. And, Carlee added, little animals, like hedgehogs, and collecting “lucky” rocks – dark stones with white rock intrusions running through them.

“She was very giving, very caring and energetic. She was a super mom. One thing she did, and got a lot of enjoyment out of, was making costumes for the kids, especially on Halloween. It was always quite a ritual,” Doug Beatson said.

Before meeting and marrying Beatson, Cindy, a seamstress, made wedding gowns in Boston; she even made her own.

After working for many years in the food and beverage industry, she got her real estate license a year-and-a-half ago and worked for Apple Tree Realty in Bethel with her best friend, Selby Bullard, who, police say, was killed with Beatson on Monday at Bullard’s mother Julie’s inn.

“She hit her $1 million mark last month,” Carlee Beatson said proudly of her mom.

“(Cindy) was vibrant and happy and outgoing, and easy to talk to, and, she just wanted to have fun, and she would do everything she could to work things out in any situation, and for everybody,” Doug Beatson said, his voice breaking with emotion. “I just loved her.”

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