Michelle McNamara, writer and wife of Patton Oswalt, died on Thursday at her Los Angeles home.

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Michelle McNamara founded the website TrueCrimeDiary.com

She steered away from celebrity murders, focused on little-known cases

CNN  — 

Michelle McNamara, the crime writer who founded the website TrueCrimeDiary.com and the wife of popular comedian Patton Oswalt, died Thursday, her husband’s publicist confirmed.

The 46-year-old passed away in her sleep at her Los Angeles home.

“Her passing was a complete shock to her family and friends, who loved her dearly,” Kevin McLaughlin of Main Stage Public Relations told CNN on Saturday.

No cause of death was provided.

McNamara, who earned her masters degree in creative writing from the University of Minnesota, was fascinated by crime stories. Her website covered both breaking stories and cold cases.

Word of McNamara’s death prompted an outpouring of grief by peers of her husband.

As a writer, she steered away from famous murders and instead focused on mysteries that others had either overlooked or had not gained public attention.

“True Crime Diary is not interested in looking back at notorious criminals and saying, wow. We’re interested in looking at unfolding cases and asking, who?” she said, in an article on her website.

Oswalt, a comedian and actor who has appeared on shows such as HBO’s “Veep” and “The King of Queens,” shared a news story on his Twitter feed about his wife’s passing. However, the prolific tweeter did not issue a personal statement.

The couple has a seven-year old daughter.