'The world will be darker without her': Tribute to a Cornish woman found dead in a van in Bath

The brother of a woman who was found dead in a car park in Bath says the world is a 'little darker' without her.

The body of Melanie Jane Spence was found in a van in the car park of Odd Down Football Club in Combe Hay Lane on the morning of Saturday 2 November 2019.

The 39-year-old, who was originally from Porthtowan near Truro in Cornwall, worked in the media and as a yoga teacher. She also played the role of 'Ms Mangetout' in an award-winning short film, Two Down, by Tanktop Films.

Melanie was the youngest of four siblings, Peter, Catherine and Richard. Peter, who now lives in Norway, says the family had received an 'outpouring of love from all corners of the earth' following her death. He says, "Through our lives, we meet a few people who light up the room and bring a smile to everyone’s faces. Mel was one of those lights.

"From raising the roof as the lead singer in a rock and roll band, to helping small groups find inner calm as a much sought-after yoga instructor, Mel had the rare ability to raise everyone up to a new level, push them to come out of the shadows, and be a brighter version of themselves."

Mel's light may be extinguished, the world will be more than a little darker without her, but she leaves a glowing legacy of glitter, sequins, lost mobile phones, and laughter.

Peter Spence, Melanie's brother
A favourite family photo of Melanie Spence, taken on Porthtowan Beach Credit: Family

Peter says this photo of Melanie, taken a few years ago on Porthtowan Beach, is one of his favourites. They grew up there and it's still a regular haunt, even though the family has moved away.

Melanie was staying in Bath at the time of her death, which police are treating as unexplained. A 45-year-old man - who was known to Melanie - was arrested on 2 November but released under investigation.

Police activity at the car park in Odd Down, Bath where Melanie's body was found. Credit: Artur Lesniak/Bath Live

Police say Melanie's death is not connected to Odd Down Football Club and investigations continue.

As there is an ongoing police investigation into the cause of her death, the family has been unable to make funeral plans. Peter Spence says he believes her funeral could take place in a couple of weeks.

It was not just that she was loved, but that she absolutely lived life to the full, no regrets, and without the need to eclipse others.

Peter Spence