A MAN facing charges in connection with the death of a York woman has been found dead by police, it is understood.

It is believed that Daniel Heath, who was facing charges of preventing the lawful burial of Claire Lucas, was found dead at a flat in Cheshire on Thursday.

Police confirmed that a 37-year-old man's body was discovered at the address.

A Cheshire Police statement said: “At 6.30am on Thursday, August 8, officers from Cheshire Constabulary were called regarding concerns for the safety of a man on Joseph Locke Drive, Shavington.

“Officers attended the scene and a 37-year-old man was found dead at the address.

“The death is not believed to suspicious and a case file will be prepared for the coroner.”

Mr Heath had been charged with preventing the lawful burial of Miss Lucas, 25, between June 29 and July 3 last year, which he denied at court in June.

He was also charged with stealing £200 from Miss Lucas on July 1 by taking her bank card after she was dead and using it, which he denied.

Mr Heath was due to stand trial at York Crown Court on November 18.

The body of Miss Lucas, a nursery worker, was found in a house in Fourth Avenue, Tang Hall, on July 2, 2018.

Police went to the flat after she failed to turn up for work and friends and relatives were unable to contact her.

Following her death, many bouquets of flowers were laid outside the building where her body was found.

One of the children she cared for during her work left a card saying: “Teachers change the world one child at a time.

“You’ve changed my life forever. I love you Claire and I will miss you always.”

Other tributes called her “a beautiful young woman with a heart of gold” and “the nicest person you could know”.