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Family’s new tribute for tragic midwife Samantha Eastwood

It comes as new image of the 28-year-old graduating is released.

The family of tragic midwife Samantha Eastwood have released a new photograph of the 28-year-old, thanking the public for their support since her death.

Miss Eastwood’s body was found in a shallow grave in a rural area near Caverswall, Staffordshire, on Saturday.

The grim discovery brought the search for Miss Eastwood to a close, eight days after she was last seen.

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Samantha Eastwood’s body was found in a rural area near Caverswall, Staffordshire (Staffordshire Police/PA)

Former Keele University student Miss Eastwood, from Baddeley Green in Stoke-on-Trent, worked at the Royal Stoke Hospital, where staff described her as a “much-loved and valued” colleague.

In a statement released through Staffordshire Police on Friday, along with a picture of a smiling Miss Eastwood at her graduation ceremony, the family said: “From the age of 12 all Samantha wanted to be was a midwife.

“She had to work very hard to achieve her goal.

“Samantha may no longer be here but her memory and legacy will live on.

“Thank you to everyone for their kind thoughts for our family.”

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Two nurses from the Royal Stoke Hospital lay flowers at the home of their work colleague Samantha Eastwood (Richard Vernalls/PA)

A fundraising appeal for the midwife has almost hit its new £15,000 target.

A 32-year-old man has been charged with her murder.

Michael Stirling, the brother-in-law of Miss Eastwood’s ex-fiance, John Peake, will appear at Northampton Crown Court for a plea hearing on October 5.

His trial date was also provisionally set for February 4 next year, but the judge told him that the complexities of the case meant that date was unlikely to remain fixed.

Two other men, aged 28 and 60, who were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, remain on conditional police bail while inquiries continue.

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