The family of murdered midwife Samantha Eastwood have paid tribute to the 28-year-old, saying her “legacy will live on”.

The body of Ms Eastwood was found in a shallow grave in a rural area near Caverswall in Staffordshire on Saturday, eight days after she was last seen.

Releasing a new photograph of Ms Eastwood graduating, her family said the midwife had worked “very hard to achieve her goal”.

In a statement released through Staffordshire Police, they said: “From the age of 12 all Samantha wanted to be was a midwife.

Her family is very close and police said their concern is growing
Samantha Eastwood’s body was found eight days after she went missin

“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.”

Ms Eastwood’s body was wrapped in a duvet cover with tape around her eyes and face, a court heard on Wednesday.

A 32-year-old man, Michael Stirling, has been charged with her murder.

He is the brother-in-law of Ms Eastwood’s ex-fiance, John Peake.

Samantha Eastwood and Michael Stirling
Samantha Eastwood (far left) and Michael Stirling (far right) pictured at a wedding

A trial date for Stirling has been provisionally set for 4 February next year, but a judge at Stafford Crown Court told him the date was unlikely to remain fixed because of the complexities of the case.

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Stirling will appear at Northampton Crown Court for a plea hearing on 5 October.

Two other men, aged 28 and 60, who were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, remain on conditional police bail while inquiries continue.