THE body of a Chorley grandmother was found dumped in a snow-filled street.
Five people have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after 42-year-old Bridget Lawton was found dead on Friday evening.
A witness reported seeing two men carrying her body from an address in Croft Road before leaving her at the junction with Cowling Brow.
Passers-by called the police and ambulance service and attempted to administer CPR.
The mother-of-one was taken to Chorley hospital but was pronounced dead a short time after.
Lancashire Police’s Major Incident Team and Chorley CID taped off the scene and investigations are on-going.
Police say they are treating the former Holy Cross pupil’s death as unexplained.
The five arrested people, including three men and two women, have been released on police bail. A post-mortem examination held on Saturday showed no signs of physical abuse, but the results of toxicology tests were still not known at the time of going to press.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “Police were called to Croft Road in Chorley at around 9.45pm on Friday following reports that a woman was collapsed in the street.
“She was taken to Chorley Hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. For now, the death is being treated as unexplained.
“A Home Office post-mortem examination was carried out on Saturday and didn’t show any signs of physical injury and toxicology tests will be carried out.
“Three men and two women were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and have been released on police bail pending further investigation.”
A family friend told the Guardian: “Bridget absolutely doted on her grandchildren and loved to spoil them.
“She was excited as her daughter Amy is expecting her third child.
“Everyone is in shock and is heartbroken.
“I don’t think it has sunk in yet – we all just can’t believe it.”
Family from Ireland are expected to travel to Chorley to attend her funeral, but details have yet to be confirmed.