After working to heal herself, Julie Matte worked to heal others.
The 46-year-old New Jersey woman and her husband, Edward Aghahowa, were struggling with their health. They were exhausted. They lacked of energy. They suffered from tick-borne illnesses and migraines, she said on her website.
Matte found a job, and that job produced a product that seemed to bring an end to her own stress, as well as that of her husband.
"Our sleeping patterns have changed completely," she wrote on her website about Nikken, a company that produces products that promote wellness. "We now sleep through the night and wake fully rested and alert."
That healing ended this week. On Wednesday, Aghahowa turned a gun on Matte, and then shot and killed her, according to the state police.
Soon after, he killed himself.
Matte's body was found around 1:02 a.m., when troopers from Hope Station responded to a domestic dispute in the unit block of Cherry Tree Lane in Blairstown, according to state police.
Detectives were able to piece things together once they determined that the victim lived with her 55-year-old husband, Aghahowa, who was missing. The state police issued an alert to area law enforcement in order to locate him for questioning.
Almost eight hours later, at 9:25 a.m., Aghahowa was located in the 800 block of County Road 519 in Frelinghuysen Township, suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound that ultimately killed him.
The Greater Blairstown Business Association praised Matte for being "humorous" and showing lots of energy in running Nikken, which sells health products that help create a "wellness home" for people in their lives.
"My journey to finding Nikken began as a result of trying to bring relief in to my home," Mattie wrote on her website.
One of those products included a shampoo that contains "magnetic particles" which "provide mechanical stimulation and movement in the shampoo and conditioner to help provide a long lasting deep clean."
"Negative ions collide with oxygen and water to produce a negative electric charge that emits healthy bio-energy to help create the ideal environment for a healthy scalp," according to the product description.
Aghahowa, meanwhile, was a well-known wedding videographer who ran a video outfit called Stix Productions, which showed videos of Matte promoting her products.
Some friends expressed shock at the news, saying that the pair were both good people who may have had some issues involving their marriage recently. One of them, Paula Jensen, a wedding photographer, said Aghahowa was a "darling, a diamond" who experienced some medical issues recently, and was taking medication.
Matte wrote on her website that friends have mentioned that she and her husband looked better, "or maybe it's just the huge smile shining from within now that we know we have found the answer to better health and our retirement plan!"
Matte had served as the Newton chapter president of the Holistic Chamber of Commerce. "She was also an amazing woman whose spirit lifted anyone who came in contact with her," the website said in a tribute.
"She just tried and knew how to bring out everybody's best qualities," said Melissa Luddeni, the current chapter president for Northeast Pennsylvania.
On its Facebook page, The Greater Blairstown Business Association said it "wishes to offer our condolences to the family and friends of Julie Matte. Julie was a GBBA member who will always be remembered for her energy, good humor and kindness. She will be missed."
Matte also posted videos that reflected her personality (click on them below:)
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Frank Robina of the NJSP Homicide North Unit at 973-785-9412 ext. 4320. Anonymous tips are welcome.
The Blairstown alleged murder-suicide compelled two schools to take precautions on Wednesday.
The Blairstown Police Department reported that the North Warren Regional School and the Blairstown Elementary School temporarily went into a shelter-in-place, and "there is no threat to the school but every precaution is being taken."
"There is NO specific threat of any kind to the schools," according to the department's Facebook page.
A neighbor said the pair lived at the home for approximately 10 years and told The North Jersey Heraldthey were both very nice people. “She was a very happy person,” the neighbor, who requested her name not be used, told the newspaper. “He was a nice guy, too. They were a nice, happy couple.”
The neighbor told the newspaper they didn't have any children.