Daughter's tribute to Sunderland mum found dead in back lane

Stevie Snaith with her mother Melissa.
Stevie Snaith with her mother Melissa.

The devastated daughter of a Sunderland woman found dead in a back lane has spoken about her outspoken and animal-loving mum.

Melissa Snaith, also known as Black, was found lying just yards from her home in Edward Burdis Street, Southwick, on Sunday morning.

Police have said there are no suspicious circumstances.

Now just a day after receiving the tragic news, her daughter Stevie has paid tribute to her mother.

"She always spoke her mind and she did like a drink," Stevie, 28, told the Echo. "She loved her animals and loved her dogs. She had two chihuahuas and would always take them for a walk in Thompson Park."

Read more: Residents speak of shock after Sunderland woman found dead

Stevie said her mum was last seen in the lane by a member of the public at 3am, so could have been lying there for hours until she was found collapsed at about 9am.

The fruit shop worker, who lives in Millfield, learned about her mother's death in a phone call from a relative of Melissa's partner John Fisk.

"It was just panic and shock, with her being by herself, and not knowing how long she had been in the back lane for ," Stevie said.

"They said somebody had seen her at 3am, so she could have been there all night until they found her in the back lane behind her house."

Stevie said Mr Fisk had gone back to his own house after spending the day with Melissa, and would not have known she had failed to get home safely.

"He's gone home to his house and not known anything about it until the next day," she added.

The mum-of-four was in remission from cancer, having been diagnosed with the disease two years ago.

Stevie said: "We are waiting to find out if that's come back, but they haven't told us anything yet."