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Man due in court charged over midwife murder

Stirling, the brother-in-law of the midwife’s ex-fiance, will appear at Stafford Crown Court on Wednesday.

A man is due to appear in court charged with the murder of midwife Samantha Eastwood.

Michael Stirling was charged after the 28-year-old’s body was found in a rural area near Caverswall, Staffordshire, on Saturday – eight days after her disappearance.

Ms Eastwood had last been seen in uniform leaving work at Royal Stoke Hospital at 7.45am on July 27.

Michael Stirling leaves court in Newcastle-under-Lyme, where he appeared charged with the murder of midwife Samantha Eastwood (PA)

The 32-year-old defendant, who is the brother-in-law of Ms Eastwood’s ex fiance John Peake, allegedly murdered Ms Eastwood between July 26 and August 5 at Baddeley Green.

Staffordshire Police said two other men, aged 28 and 60, who were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender have been released on conditional bail while inquiries continue.

Ms Eastwood’s sister Gemma took away some of the cards and keepsakes left by well wishers at the midwife’s home on Monday and her ex-fiance paid tribute with a bouquet of flowers.

Floral tributes outside the home of Samantha Eastwood(PA)

In a statement issued through the Staffordshire force, the midwife’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.”

Stirling, of Gratton Road, Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent, will appear at Stafford Crown Court via live videolink later.

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