Cheese boss’s family thank well-wishers

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The family of an award-winning Yorkshire cheese maker have thanked well-wishers for their support after she was found dead in a snowy garden near her home.

Police have confirmed there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Mandy Reed, 47, the co-founder of the Swaledale Cheese Company.

Her body was found in a neighbour’s garden in Grammar School Court, in the village of Scorton, near Richmond, on Sunday. She was last seen the night before, taking a taxi after an evening with the family.

Mrs Reed ran the company with her husband David from 1987 until he died suddenly at 46 following a heart attack in 2005.

She remained in charge as managing director, working beside the couple’s children, Louise and Sam.The company won four medals at last year’s British Cheese Awards.

In a statement, Mrs Reed’s relatives said: “Sam, Louise and family would like to thank people for their kind thoughts and words at this very difficult time. The family request that the media respect their privacy and leave them to grieve in peace.”

An inquest was opened and adjourned in Northallerton yesterday.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The death is not being treated as suspicious and officers are now gathering evidence on behalf of the coroner.”