Stoke & Staffordshire

Samantha Eastwood: Police find body in midwife search

Samantha Eastwood Image copyright Staffordshire Police
Image caption Samantha Eastwood, 28, was last seen leaving work on 27 July

Detectives searching for missing midwife Samantha Eastwood have found a body and made three arrests.

The body, which is yet to be formally identified, was found near Caverswall, about 10 miles from Stoke-on-Trent, where Ms Eastwood was last seen.

A 32-year-old man arrested last Sunday on suspicion of kidnap has been rearrested on suspicion of murder.

Ms Eastwood, 28, was last seen leaving Royal Stoke University Hospital at 07:45 BST on 27 July.

Two other men, aged 28 and 60, are being held on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Det Supt Simon Duffy, from Staffordshire Police, said: "The discovery today is not what anyone wanted, and this is now a homicide investigation."

Forensic teams are at the scene and will remain there for some time, police said, confirming a post mortem examination will take place "in due course".

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Media captionTimeline of the search for missing Staffordshire midwife

Ms Eastwood's colleagues raised concerns at 19:20 on the day she was last seen after she did not arrive for her night shift.

Chief Nurse Liz Rix described her as "an absolutely dedicated and committed midwife" and a much loved part of the team.

"Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this time," she said.

Neighbours of Ms Eastwood told police that at about 14:00 on the day she went missing a scream was heard near her home in Stockton Brook, Stoke-on-Trent.

She has not used her bank cards since then, and her car remains parked in her driveway.

Ms Eastwood had been due to marry, but her engagement fell through earlier this year, it was revealed.

In a Facebook post in July, she advertised a "never worn" wedding dress for sale.

Image caption Police found a body in Caverswall earlier

Searches involving dozens of officers and police sniffer dogs began in fields near Tickhill Lane close to Caverswall, shortly after 09:00 BST.

Farmer Nigel Potts, 53, said he had seen police activity close to a nearby disused quarry.

"It seems that that's where the main focus of the search is," he said. "They've been down here for three days."

Image caption Police have been searching a cordoned-off area in Caverswall

On Friday, Ms Eastwood's 26-year-old sister Gemma made a tearful appeal, describing her as "warm and generous with a great sense of humour".

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

"We miss you very much, we need you home where you belong."

Specialist police officers are supporting Ms Eastwood's family as the inquiry continues.

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