A young woman who was walking to her sister’s house after a night out was found dead in the snow near the front door.
The 25-year-old, named locally as Bernadette Lee, is thought to have fallen to the ground and was unable to get up.
Attractive brunette Bernadette was discovered in the snow by a dog walker in Deal, Kent at around 7.30am on Sunday.
Officers say the 25-year-old was found in the garden of the house next door to her sister Jodie Lee, where she was due to stay.
A spokesman for Kent Police said Bernadette had been “walking home from a night out without a winter coat”. It is believed she was dressed for a night out.
Bernadette, who is from Deal, was today described by friends as “bubbly, chatty” and “a beautiful young woman”.
More than 1,200 people have “liked” a Facebook page set up in her memory called ”R.I.P The beautiful Bernadette Lucy Lee”.
It read: “Goodnight bernadette. Your (sic) one of the Angels now, your (sic) a star shinning (sic) bright in the sky, your (sic) the spirit guide that watches over us and looks after us.
“You were a truly loved girl and you have left a hole in so many people’s hearts. Hope your (sic) having a massive party up there with Wayne, Dan, Leon and Ben.
“We love you so much bern. Sleep tight and keep snug in heaven. All our love your family and friends xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx”
One man posted: “I was closer to you than anyone on this earth, words could never be enough to describe how proud mum and I were of the beautiful person you’d become.
“You’ll have the most special place in our hearts now and for all of time… Heartbroken for the moments I’ll never get to share with you, privileged for the ones I did.”
Another friend, Rob Butler, said: “An incredible, beautiful and wonderful person who lived life to it’s fullest. You will be sorely missed. R.I.P Bernadette.”
Police officers were called to the scene at 7.30am on Sunday along with a crew from South East Coast Ambulance Service.
Bernadette was pronounced dead at the scene and her next of kin have now been informed.
Officers are now preparing a report for the coroner ahead of a post-mortem examination due to be held later this week.
A spokesman for Kent Police said: “The woman’s death is not being treated as suspicious but it is unexplained.
“It is probably a tragic accident where a young woman was on her way home from a night out and didn’t quite make it to the address she was staying at.
“We think she slipped on the snow and couldn’t get up and lost consciousness because it was so cold or she had a medical episode.
“She was staying at her sister’s home which wasn’t far at all from where she was found collapsed.
“She had almost made it to where she was staying, which makes it all the more tragic.
“A cause of death cannot be confirmed but it seems like she might have been a victim of the weather.”
He added: “We don’t know how she has come to be in the snow and that will form part of the report we prepare for the coroner.
“The woman’s death is not being treated as suspicious, but it is unexplained. A post-mortem examination will be held later this week.”
A source close to the police investigation said Bernadette might have been drinking.
Neighbour Kenneth Mitchell, 69, said: “I looked out my bedroom window on Sunday morning and wondered what on earth was going on.
“The road was taped off by police and there were forensics officers everywhere and an ambulance as well.
“It was only later I found out a young woman’s body had been found there in the snow.
“It’s just so awful, absolutely tragic. I’ve no idea what happened, but I do know it was absolutely freezing on Saturday night and you wouldn’t have lasted long out there if you’d fallen in the snow.
“There must have been about six inches of snow out there, it was pretty deep.”