Suspect's former co-worker had 'strange feeling' before her apparent suicide

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Former co-worker felt something was wrong before suspect's death (KTRK)

Robert Fisher worked with well-known Montrose veterinarian Valerie McDaniel for more than 15 years. Sunday night, he had a bad feeling that something was terribly wrong.

"I just had this really strange feeling about something," said Fisher.

He'd been concerned about McDaniel's well-being ever since she and her boyfriend were accused of attempting to hire a hit man to kill their exes.

ORIGINAL STORY: Couple accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill their exes

Fisher said he called McDaniel's sister and after the conversation, he said he felt like his concerns were possibly unfounded. But then he woke up to the news Monday of McDaniel's apparent suicide.

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"That was it, and now I wake up and she's gone," Fisher said. "I don't understand. I'm going to miss her so much."

Fisher thought of McDaniel as a little sister -- a woman from whom he learned more than he ever could have dreamed about treating animals.

Her former clients are stunned by her passing.

"The majority, 99.9 percent of her world, was being a veterinarian. And gosh she was great at it," said long-time client Julie Waggoner.

She cannot reconcile the allegations against McDaniel -- the idea that McDaniel would want to kill anyone, let alone try to hire someone to murder her ex -- she calls preposterous.

"That is the strangest, twilight, one-off. None of that is reality," she said.

Those who knew McDaniel will miss the kind soul and caring heart of this woman who they say taught them so much. She was more to them than just a vet. They considered her a friend, like family.

"I want to remember Dr. McDaniel as the loving, caring , empathetic human being that I knew that she was," Fisher said.

What no one understands is why things had to end this way. That may not be a question ever answered.

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