Samantha Eastwood: Man charged with midwife's murder

Michael Stirling to appear before magistrates on Monday

Henry Austin
Sunday 05 August 2018 23:57
The last known CCTV of missing midwife Samantha Eastwood

A man has been charged with the murder of midwife Samantha Eastwood.

Michael Stirling, 32, from Stoke-on-Trent will appear before magistrates on Monday, Staffordshire Police said in a statement.

"The body of Samantha was discovered during a police search of rural ground near to Caverswall on Saturday 4 August. She had been reported missing on Friday 27 July," it said.

It added that two other men aged 60 and 28, "were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender" but they had been released on conditional bail while inquiries are ongoing.

"A post mortem has taken place but further tests are required," it said.

In a statement released by Staffordshire Police, Ms Eastwood's family thanked supporters for their efforts.

They said: "The family of Samantha would like to ask that their privacy is respected at this terrible time. We would like to say 'thank you' to all the people who followed Samantha's story and tried their best to help."

Ms Eastwood had last been seen leaving the Royal Stoke University Hospital and the alarm was raised when she did not return for her night shift.

Shortly after her body was found, Liz Rix, chief nurse at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, paid tribute to her on social media:

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our friend and colleague", she said. "Sam will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with her family and friends during this time.”

She had worked at the Royal Stoke for six years and was a ”much loved and valued” member of the maternity team, Ms Rix said.