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Former Whistler music teacher found dead in Ottawa

Boyfriend charged with murder



Dorothy Halton performed and gave flute lessons for almost a decade in Whistler.

She also worked in ski school and lived in Alpine Meadows, which is why some locals were shocked and saddened this week with news that Halton had been murdered.

According to a report from the Ottawa Citizen, Halton was found dead in Ottawa last Saturday, Dec. 11. Police have charged her boyfriend with murder.

Halton, 40, was discovered strangled in her condominium, a few steps from the Rideau Canal.

Her boyfriend, Burns Coutts, aged 36 and a senior policy adviser in the federal government, was charged by Ottawa police.

Teresa Bouchard from Whistler Kids first met Halton in 1987 when she was playing her flute in the old ski-school locker rooms at Base II.

"I took lessons from her for several years and that’s how we became good friends," said Bouchard.

Bouchard said Halton was a caring person, which is why she was not surprised when Halton later started working towards a medical career.

"One of the things I remember is that she had always wanted to be a musician and a doctor and she accomplished both.

"She was very generous, really kind and compassionate and when Dorothy asked you how you were feeling she really meant it and really paid attention to what you were saying."

Doctor Lauren Shaw, from the Whistler Medical Centre, met Halton later when she was a medical student.

"She came into it from quite a different background and I think that always adds a more human, well-rounded side," said Dr Shaw.

"She wanted to help people more directly. I think she was a real humanist."

Halton saw a lot the world through her music and once played in London's Royal Albert Hall before settling in Ottawa with Coutts.

Coutts and Halton shared an apartment for a few months in the summer, but they had recently sought counselling, according to family and friends.

Coutts was arrested late Saturday after he returned from Montreal, where he threatened to commit suicide at a downtown hotel.