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Samantha Eastwood: police find body in search for midwife

Man, 32, is re-arrested on suspicion of murder and two other men, aged 28 and 60, arrested

Detectives searching for missing midwife Samantha Eastwood, 28, have found a body, Staffordshire police said.

A 32-year-old man who had previously been arrested by Staffordshire police in connection with her disappearance has been re-arrested on suspicion of murder.

The force said two other men, aged 28 and 60, have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Forensic teams remain at the scene near Caverswall, Staffordshire and will remain there for some time. Police said the body has yet to be formally identified and a postmortem will take place in due course.

Eastwood was last seen leaving Royal Stoke University hospital after a night shift eight days ago.

Dozens of officers and police dogs have been scouring an area near Tickhill Lane, Caverswall, about seven miles from the hospital, on Saturday, using large sticks to search bushes.

Nigel Potts, who owns neighbouring Newhill Farm, said he had witnessed a large police presence at a nearby disused quarry on Saturday morning.

It seems that thats where the main focus of the search is. Theyve been down here for three days, he said.

Officers had asked to view footage from Pottss CCTV camera on the night the midwife disappeared but his recordings did not go back that far.

Eastwoods colleagues raised concerns at 7.20pm on the same day she was last seen after she failed to show up for her next shift.

The force said neighbours reported hearing a scream in the vicinity of Eastwoods house at about 2pm on the day she went missing.

Det Supt Simon Duffy, from Staffordshire polices major and organised crime department, said: The discovery today is not what anyone wanted, and this is now a homicide investigation.

A 32-year-old man who was previously released on conditional bail has now been re-arrested for murder, and remains in custody.

Two other men, aged 28 and 60, have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

He also thank the public for their support and asked anyone with further information to contact police on 101.

The discovery of a body came a day after Samanthas sister Gemma Eastwood broke down in tears at a public appeal for information about her whereabouts.

CCTV footage released by police on Friday showed Eastwood, dressed in a blue uniform and carrying a green handbag, leaving work at the hospital with a colleague and getting into her Volvo XC60.

The car remained parked outside her home in Stoke-on-Trent and her bank cards were found in the property.

Liz Rix, chief nurse at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS trust, said: It is with deep sadness that we announce that Staffordshire police have discovered a body, yet to be formally identified, in the search for our friend and colleague Samantha Eastwood.

Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this time. We would like to thank Staffordshire police for their dedication and support this week.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

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