Crime writer Michelle MCNamara passed away in her sleep at the couple's home in Los Angeles on 21 April (16), aged 46.

Patton's representative confirmed the sad news in a statement, which read: "It was a complete shock to her family and friends, who loved her dearly."

A cause of death has yet to be revealed, but on Friday (29Apr16), the former King of Queens comedian took to Twitter.com to remember his wife of 11 years in a touching post.

"She wrote lines that stung & hummed," he wrote. "13 years in her presence was happily humbling. #RIPMichelleMCNamara".

Patton also shared a link to 826LA, an organisation which helps students improve their writing skills, encouraging fans to donate in her memory.

Michelle founded the website True Crime Diary, which covered breaking stories and cold cases.

She wed the Young Adult star in 2005. The couple has a seven-year-old daughter, named Alice.