Renowned dog breeder Valerie Freer, 68, was found on her driveway in Whittington, Staffordshire

An Argentinian man accused of murdering a Crufts dog breeder has died in prison while awaiting trial.

Alex Verdu Munoz, 26, was pronounced dead at HMP Strangeways in Manchester earlier this month.

He had been charged with murdering Valerie Freer who was found by paramedics on the driveway of her home in Whittington, Staffordshire.

The 68-year-old died from neck injuries on February 24.

Mrs Freer was a renowned breeder of Samoyed dogs, who lived in a bungalow on Lichfield Road with her husband.

One of her dogs, named Dan The Man, was runner-up in the Best in Show category at Crufts in 2014.

Munoz also faced charges of burglary, possession of a bladed article and dangerous driving. His death is not being treated as suspicious.

Valerie Freer, 68, with one of her award-winning Samoyed dogs (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

Paying tribute to Valerie, her family said: ‘Words cannot even begin to describe how truly devastated we are to have lost our wonderful Val.

‘An incredibly beautiful lady both inside and out, she was always so loving and caring to all those around her.

‘Val is loved infinitely by family and friends around the world. She will be hugely missed, remaining forever in our hearts.’

Detective Inspector Ian Fitzgerald added: ‘I would like to reassure the community that we remain committed to helping the family of Valerie as well as all those affected by the events that took place in Whittington in February this year.’

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