Stoke & Staffordshire

Samantha Eastwood: Michael Stirling charged with midwife murder

Samantha Eastwood Image copyright Samantha Eastwood
Image caption Samantha Eastwood's family have thanked members of the public for their support

Police investigating the death of 28-year-old midwife Samantha Eastwood have charged a man with her murder.

Michael Stirling, aged 32, from Stoke-on-Trent, is due to appear at North Staffordshire Magistrates Court later.

The body of Ms Eastwood was discovered when police searched rural ground near Caverswall, Staffordshire, on Saturday, eight days after she was last seen.

Two men, aged 60 and 28, arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender have been released on conditional bail.

Staffordshire Police did not release any details of how the charged man was known to the victim, but several newspapers have reported Mr Stirling, of Cromer Road, is the brother-in-law of her ex-fiancé John Peake.

Ms Eastwood was last seen in uniform leaving work at Royal Stoke University Hospital on the morning of 27 July.

Staffordshire Police said a post-mortem examination had taken place but further tests were required.

In a statement released by the force, Ms Eastwood's family said: "We would like to say 'thank you' to all the people who followed Samantha's story and tried their best to help."

University Hospitals of North Midlands chief nurse Liz Rix described Ms Eastwood as "an absolutely dedicated and committed midwife" and a much-loved part of the team.

Searches involving dozens of officers and police sniffer dogs had centred on fields near Tickhill Lane, close to Caverswall.

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