Samantha Eastwoods family pay heartbreaking tribute to murdered midwife
The family of Samantha Eastwood have paid heartbreaking tribute to the midwife whose body was found in a shallow grave on Saturday.
Thanking the public for their support since her death, the 28-year-olds family released a new photograph of her on her graduation day.
Miss Eastwoods body was found six days ago in a rural area near Caverswall, Staffordshire, bringing the search for her to a close eight days after she was last seen.
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 today, 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.
The photo shows a smiling Miss Eastwood receiving her midwifery degree at her graduation ceremony
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 Eastwoods 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.