A Masterton 13-year-old who died in her sleep this week has been remembered by her primary school principal as a "real treasure".

Eve Bennett was found dead in her bed by her mother, Wendy. Police have referred her death to the coroner. Her parents were too upset to speak to the Herald on Sunday yesterday, but Lakeview School principal Ed Hodgkinson remembered Eve warmly.

Eve had epilepsy, which caused her many challenges during her eight years at the school, but she was a lovely girl, he said, "with a wonderful nature, a big heart and a beautiful smile". The school planned to plant a memorial garden for Eve and had started a tribute table for pupils and staff to put photos, flowers and art on, and with a remembrance book for them to write in.

The table would also be taken to Eve's funeral at Masterton's Lighthouse Church on Wednesday.