THE mother of a woman who died suddenly in her flat in York has described her daughter as a caring person with “a heart of gold”.

Michelle McLean, 46, was found unresponsive at her flat in Prospect House, Bishophill Junior, on Friday night, but despite the efforts of emergency services, the mum-of-one could not be saved.

Her mother, Jenny Howard, of Walmgate, said she was hoping to plan a large funeral for her daughter in tribute to her life.

She said: “It’s terrible. She was lovely, caring and had a heart of gold.

“We are not coping so well at all with the circumstances. We are finding it hard to deal with.”

She said her daughter, who lived alone, had been found dead in the bathroom of the flat.

Ms Howard said her daughter had been a popular woman with a lot of friends, but said in more recent years said she “went down the wrong path”.

Ms MacLean, who leaves a 24-year-old daughter, Jade, was born in York and went to Burnholme School.

She had previously worked as a waitress, her mother said.

A funeral is provisionally planned to be held at St Lawrence’s Church and York Crematorium.

A 46-year-old local man who was at the scene was arrested in connection with the incident. Following questioning he was released on police bail.

A police spokesman said officers were continuing to conduct inquiries as they work to establish the full circumstances surrounding the death.

They said the cause of death was not yet known and a postmortem investigation was due to be held.

An inquest is expected to open later this week.