A mother suspected of the mercy killing of her ME sufferer daughter spoke yesterday of the "great support" she had received from family, friends and the community.

Kay Gilderdale, 54, was at home in Stonegate, near Heathfield, after being released on bail by Sussex Police.

She was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of the murder of her daughter Lynn Gilderdale, 31, who was found dead that morning.

Det Chf Insp Andy Griffiths, leading the investigation, yesterday refused to confirm Miss Gilderdale had died from an overdose of the painkiller morphine, as had been reported in the national press.

Nurse Mrs Gilderdale had acted as a 24-hour-a-day carer for her daughter for 17 years since she had contracted ME (Myalgic encephalomyelitis) as a 14-year-old and been left bedridden, at times only able to lift one finger.

Neighbours in the Lymden Close cul-de-sac described her as a saint and a wonderfully dedicated mother.

Volunteers working with ME sufferers said she had written on forums recently about how tired she had become.

Mrs Gilderdale yesterday told The Argus she was legally barred from discussing her daughter's death but spoke of her desire to raise awareness of ME, the controversial condition which blighted her life.

She said: "It was one of Lynn's greatest wishes to help ME awareness, that her work to help ME awareness continued after her death so others would not have to go through the same suffering.

"She told me she wanted to continue that through me."

DCI Griffiths said the force was continuing its investigations around the death so it could provide details for the courts.

He said he was awaiting the results of a post-mortem investigation being carried out by a Home Office pathologist. The report, due in the next two days, is expected to give the cause of death.

It is believed a toxicologist is examining substances found in Miss Gilderdale's body.

DCI Griffiths said officers were also interviewing people who knew the victim.

Mrs Gilderdale was being comforted by friends and family including her ex-husband Richard, a former police inspector now working in a non-uniform role in Eastbourne.

Mrs Gilderdale said: "I am having great support from family and friends and the community. It has helped me to get through these so difficult few days."

The family had been high profile campaigners for ME giving many interviews about the struggles they went through.

In several they discussed whether it was right to continue living in pain.

In 2006 Mrs Gilderdale described her daughter as being in a limbo between life and death. She said: "If I didn't believe, and she didn't believe, that one day she would get better then I don't think it would be right for her to go on suffering like this for a whole lifespan of 70 or 80 years."

ME charities yesterday spoke of the great difficulties faced by sufferers whose condition is still not taken seriously be all in the medical profession.

They said thousands of people struggled alone in the way the Gilderdales had.

Colin Barton, chairman of the Sussex ME Society, said: "Sadly it is not a great surprise that this kind of tragedy has happened. Perhaps the only good thing is that people are now paying attention to the situation. Maybe it takes something like that to happen for something to get highlighted."

He said there were more than 6,000 people with ME in Sussex and said anyone suffering could contact his group on 01273 674828.