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Friends pay tribute to Woodingdean mum found dead in flat
This is the first picture of mother-of-three Merissa McColm, who was found dead in the living room of her Brighton flat.
Friends of Miss McColm, who had two boys and a girl, have now paid tribute to her.
Sam Jones, 31, of Woodingdean, was friends with Miss McColm when they were both pupils at Dorothy Stringer School in Brighton.
But their friendship blossomed when they joined a group for young mothers.
“We were best friends,” Miss Jones said, opening a photo album.
Recalling how she had been watching home videos of her and Miss McColm – including going in a limousine for the first time when they were 18, she said: “Sam was so fun and so kind.
“She had troubles in her past but she was also very loving.
“If I called her she would come round at the drop of a hat – that’s the kind of person she was. She was always there for me.
“We had drifted apart but around Christmas time last year had become close again.
“It is so sad and shocking.”
In a direct message to the 31- year-old she said: “Merissa the years that we were best friends meant the world to me. I will never forget the way we used to laugh and the silly voice we would put on.
“We went through parties, births, relationship troubles – you name it.”
Another friend, Zoe Smith, also paid tribute to Miss McColm who was found dead at 7.30am on Sunday in Barclay Court, Wellington Road.
She said: “You will be in our hearts forever and will be sadly missed, there will never be a day I don't think of the good times we had.”
David Fairs added: “My dear, sweet, darling Merissa, I'm absolutely totally devastated.
“You rest now baby girl. I love you so much, will miss you so much.”
Previously Miss McColm, who was not working at the time of her death, had spoken on Facebook about how she was “loving life” and was the “happiest I have ever been”.
She added: “I just feel so lucky and the happiest I’ve ever felt as from now all my dreams are coming true.”
Police have arrested a 43-year-old Brighton man on suspicion of murder. He has been released on bail until November 29.
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