Police hunting killer of midwife search house of her ex-fiancé's sister and husband - as they sa
Culled from Daily Mail
Police who are hunting for a midwife's killer have searched the home of her ex-fiancé's sister and husband, as they reveal her former lover was not arrested after he was targeted by internet trolls, Daily Mail reported.
Samantha Eastwood, 28, was last seen walking out of Royal Stoke University Hospital in her scrubs last Friday.
Officers are currently quizzing a 32-year-old suspect who was arrested on suspicion of murder and two alleged accomplices, aged 28 and 60.
On Sunday, at least half a dozen officers searched the home of couple Katie and Michael Stirling, both aged 32.
Officials carried large bags inside the residence and an officer was seen wiping the area around the front door.
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Authorities have also been searching a semi-detached property on Gratton Road, Stoke-on-Trent, believed to be the home of Michael Stirling's parents Carol, 57, and Stephen, 60.
Katie Stirling is the sister of John Peake, who was engaged to Ms Eastwood before their wedding was called off in January after their relationship suddenly broke down.
Following vicious online attacks against Mr Peake over accusations he had a hand in Ms Eastwood's disappearance, police took the unusual step to reveal he is not a suspect.
A spokesperson for Staffordshire Police said: 'We are not naming the three men arrested yesterday but John Peake is not one of them.'
A body of a woman, believed to be Ms Eastwood, was discovered during a 100-strong officer search at noon yesterday in a disused salt quarry in remote woodland in Caverswall, near Cheadle, Staffordshire.
Although the body has not yet been formally identified, police say Ms Eastwood's family are 'absolutely devastated.'
During the hunt for the midwife from Baddeley Green, near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Mr Peake joined her family in making desperate Facebook appeals to find her.
In a backlash against innocent Mr Peake on his Facebook page, trolls vented their fury at him, accusing him of being involved in her disappearance.
A shocked Chloe Davies, defending Mr Peake trial by social media, posted: 'You guys are disgusting. This guy's ex has gone missing, he's trying to help find her. Give him a break.'
Mr Peake had previously written: 'Please please help find Sam and bring her back safe to her family.'
Ms Eastwood's family thanked the public for their support on Sunday.
In a statement released by Staffordshire Police, 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.'
The discovered body has now been removed and a post mortem will take place on Sunday to establish the cause of death.
Detective Superintendent Simon Duffy said: 'I would like to add my thanks to those of the family, to all those who have helped and supported the investigation over the past week and I would ask that the privacy of the family is now respected at this tragic time.'
Drinkers in pubs near the scene where the body was found also speculated that her former fiance could be involved.
Neighbours reported hearing screams at 2pm on Friday last week just over six hours after Ms Eastwood was last seen on CCTV walking out of the Royal Stoke hospital in her scrubs at 7.45am after a night shift.
She is understood to have driven home. She lived alone in the semi she had once shared with her ex partner.
At around the time of the grim discovery, the midwife's care worker sister Gemma Eastwood, who had made a tearful public appeal for her sister's safe return home, had taken to Facebook to write hope-filled messages that she would still be found alive.
Sharing an article about the latest search, Gemma Eastwood poignantly wrote: 'Please help get my sister home.'
Messages of condolence from friends and well-wishers then started to pour in once police had revealed the tragic outcome.
Charlotte Daines wrote: 'Love and strength goes out to you and your whole family at this very sad time. The whole country has been hoping for a different outcome. So sorry for your loss.'
Karen wright posted: 'Thoughts are with your beautiful sister and sincere condolences to your family.'
Kris Kros added: 'Everything I have read about Samantha suggests that she has touched many lives.
Heaven has just gained another angel. RIP.'
Claire Parry wrote: 'Sending my thoughts. It's definitely someone she knows that's involved - they know something.'
Helen Latham suggested: 'What about the wedding dress Samantha was selling. Could someone have contacted her to view it?'
Joanne Bury Churcher said: 'The worst news possible, I've been following this story with hope! My heart breaks for you all.'
The 32-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder was previously arrested a week ago on suspicion of kidnap.
He was released on bail pending further inquiries and re-arrested yesterday.
Two other men, aged 28 and 60, have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
The three suspects remain in custody as police continue to question them.
A force spokesperson said: 'A 32-year-old man who had previously been arrested in connection with her disappearance has been re-arrested on suspicion of murder.
'Two other men, aged 28 and 60, have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.'