Love Island's Sophie Gradon had been in 'good spirits' before 'suicide' and was house-sitting for her parents
The 32-year-old gave no impression of being unwell when she arrived to stay at her parents' home – which she had promised to house-sit while they were on holiday.
A close family friend said: "She was house-sitting for her family who had gone away on holiday.
"She had seemed in good spirits, and had offered to come over to Medburn to stay in the house while they were away.
"They had seen no cause for concern."
The close friend said Sophie's death had left her family reeling.
They said: "Her parents are understandably devastated.
"Sophie had wanted to settle down and was growing sick of the party lifestyle."
Tragically, it was devastated boyfriend Aaron Armstrong who found Sophie's body at the home near Newcastle on Wednesday afternoon.
It comes as friends revealed the former Miss GB had been struggling with anxiety and cash worries before her death.
One friend told The Sun last night: “We all thought Sophie was the happiest she had ever been.
“She had suffered from depression and anxiety and there was talk of financial issues, which obviously adds to the worry she was enduring.
“Her friends thought she was in a great place as she was madly in love with her boyfriend and life was good.
“However a good friend died and it affected her very badly.
“She struggled to cope with it and fell into a dark place.”
Privately educated Sophie last week attended the funeral of close friend Paul Burns — a bar owner known as Mr Newcastle — who had a heart attack at 37.
The former beauty queen, who starred in the 2016 series, appeared to have overcome a previous bout of depression.
Writing on Twitter, the reality star wrote: "Thinking back to when I became a total recluse, afraid to go out anywhere because of crippling anxiety & how different my life is now!!!
"Facing up to your fears is sometimes the hardest but most rewarding thing!!!"
She had previously spoken about her struggles with anxiety and the toll online trolls took on her.
Speaking to Radio Aire just three months ago, Sophie revealed how difficult it was to see people write hurtful comments
The 32-year-old said: "It was very hard to deal with because you take it like you’re being judged. It can really get into your mind and really affect you.
"The harsh reality is, it can end up with that person taking their own life. And as you’ve seen in the media, that is what happens. Can you imagine being responsible for that?"
Sophie had recently messaged friends to say “everything was going so well” but the friend added: “That clearly wasn’t the case. This is such a massive shock.”
Her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong was believed to be “the one” and friends thought they would marry.
Aaron posted a photo of Sophie with him on Facebook yesterday and wrote: “I will never forget that smile I love you so so much baby your my world forever ever and always.”
Her sister Charlotte Martin also posted childhood snap of the pair together, writing: "You were everything I wanted to be and more, the most caring and hilarious person I knew. The beacon of any room you entered and I will remember your smile and laugh forever."
Police said yesterday they were not treating her death as suspicious.
Love Island tweeted: “The ITV2 and Love Island team are profoundly saddened to hear the news about Sophie, and our deepest sympathies and thoughts go to her family and friends.”
A tribute was shown at the start of last night’s episode with the message: “In loving memory of Sophie Gradon.”
Northumbria Police said: “There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding her death. A report will now be prepared for the coroner.”
- IF you are having suicidal thoughts, suffering from anxiety or depression or just want to talk, call The Samaritans on 116 123.
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