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Sister’s tears as she appeals for missing midwife’s safe return

By Richard Vernalls

The sister of a missing midwife has made a tearful plea to "get her home" more than a week after her "happy, bubbly" sister disappeared without trace.

Samantha Eastwood was last seen in her uniform leaving work at Royal Stoke Hospital at 7.45am on Friday, July 27.

Her younger sister Gemma broke down in tears at a public appeal for information yesterday, as she said: "If she's out there, or anyone knows where she is, please get in touch.

"Get her home."

She sobbed as she described her sister as "a happy, bubbly and smiley woman", and appealed for any information about her "best friend and partner in crime".

"Without her, half of me has gone," she said.

Ms Eastwood's colleagues raised concerns at 7.20pm last Friday after she failed to show up for her shift.

A 32-year-old Stoke-on-Trent man was arrested but has since been released under investigation, Staffordshire Police said.

The force said neighbours reported hearing a scream in the vicinity of the midwife's house at about 2pm on the day she went missing.

Speaking at the force's headquarters, Gemma Eastwood, a support worker, said: "Samantha, if you are listening, please get in touch.

"We all love you and miss you very much. We just need you home where you belong.

"Samantha is a fantastic woman and friend. She is warm, friendly, loyal, kind and generous, with a great sense of humour.

"And whoever she is with she will always make their times together fun."

The force's major crime team was brought in earlier in the week to lead the investigation, and two addresses in Stoke have been searched, including Ms Eastwood's house.

Forensics officers have also been at a house three miles away in Northwood.

Detective Superintendent Simon Duffy, who is leading what is being termed a high-risk missing persons inquiry, said the force was also looking for Ms Eastwood's missing purse.

Police are unable to say what was in the purse but have said it appears to be the only missing item of her property.

Detectives have remained tight-lipped about whether they have recovered Ms Eastwood's mobile phone, adding that the information is part of an "ongoing investigation".

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