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'Brother-in-law' is charged over midwife murder: Husband, 32, of her ex-fiance's sister

Culled from Daily Mail

Samantha Eastwood, her ex-fiancé John Peake (together left), was allegedly murdered by Mr Peake's brother-in-law Michael Sterling, who is married to Mr Peake's sister Katie Stirling (together right)

The brother-in-law of Samantha Eastwood's ex-fiance has been charged with her murder and will appear in court today.

The midwife's body was found dumped in a disused salt quarry near Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday - eight days after she vanished.

Michael Stirling, 32, whose wife Katie is the sister of Samantha’s ex-boyfriend John Peake, 34, had been charged with her murder and will appear at North Staffordshire Magistrates' Court today.

Two other men, aged 28 and 60, who is believed to be the murder suspect's father Stephen Stirling, were held on suspicion of assisting an offender and bailed.

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Last night it was claimed that Miss Eastwood had told a colleague she had been threatened in the period leading up to her disappearance.

Michael Stirling

A spokesman for the hospital declined to comment on the claim last night. Officers searching for Miss Eastwood found a body at Tick Hill Quarry, around eight miles from her home near Caverswall, Staffordshire.

Police said the body was still to be formerly identified, but added that officers believed it to be that of Miss Eastwood.

The scene is just seven miles - an 18 minute drive - from the midwife's home In Baddeley Green, Staffordshire, where she is believed to have returned to by car after last being seen on CCTV in her scrubs leaving a night shift at Royal Stoke University Hospital at 7.45am on Friday last week.

The development came 24 hours after Miss Eastwood’s sister Gemma, 26, made a tearful public appeal for information to help find her ‘best friend’.

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In a brief statement issued through police yesterday the Eastwood family said: ‘We would like to say thank you to all the people who followed Samantha’s story and tried their best to help.’

Mr Peake’s Facebook page has also been inundated with almost 500 comments – with some trolls pointing the finger at the innocent steam railway manager.

One wrote: ‘Of course you murdered her, couple of her mates and a pair of pliers would get the truth out of you.’

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: ‘We are not naming the three men arrested yesterday but John Peake is not one of them.’

Miss Eastwood was last seen in her Volvo XC60 on CCTV, moments after leaving hospital at the end of a night shift last Friday morning. Colleagues raised the alarm when she failed to return to work that evening.

Stephen Stirling

Samantha Eastwood

Samantha's sister Gemma sobbed as she appealed for information about her sister and the family have thanked the public for their support since her death was announced

The former fiancé of midwife Samantha Eastwood John Peake (pictured together), who had begged for help in finding her

My view: It's so sad, why kill her, so evil.