Navarro tries to make sense of a tragedy

It was Aug. 30, the night before it happened. Wade Belak was vamping in front of the mirror, that's what Kim Navarro remembered. The music was on in her Toronto hotel room. Choreographer Rene Roca was selecting tunes for Belak and Navarro, who would be competing in "Battle of the Blades," Canada's ice skating version of "Dancing With The Stars." Belak, who played in the NHL for 14 years, stood in front of the mirror, striking poses, working it, wiggling this, shaking that, grinning, creating quite a profile for someone 6-foot-5.

"Rene fell out of her chair, she was laughing so hard," said the 1999 El Molino grad. "He was hilarious."

A couple hours later, energy evaporated, Belak said goodbye. Navarro will never forget his words.

"See you tomorrow," Belak said.

Navarro had no reason to think these would be the last words she would ever hear from him.

"Wade was so full of life," she said Wednesday from her Toronto hotel room. "He was so personable. He seemed so happy and content."

The next morning Navarro went down to the lobby at One King Street West to wait for Belak so they could take a van to the rink. He was late. She grew restless. She looked from the lobby to the valet area. She saw two police cars. She saw a photographer turn to take a picture of her. She started to stress, then dismissed it.

"I'm watching too much &‘Law And Order,'" Navarro said to herself. "&‘I'm just being paranoid,'"

A few minutes later Navarro was told Belak, 35, was found dead in his room. Reports surfaced that Belak committed suicide.

"I was speechless," she said. "I was shocked. It was not believable."

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