Police hunting for Samantha Eastwood's killer search home of her ex-fiance's sister and husband

Police confirmed the body found by search teams in woodland yesterday is believed to be the tragic midwife's and a 32-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of her murder.

Meanwhile, cops took the unusual move of confirming her ex-partner is not one of the men arrested in connection with her murder – after he was targeted by online trolls.

Samantha's disappearance after finishing work at Royal Stoke University Hospital on Friday, July 27, sparked a huge nationwide search.

A 32-year-old man previously released on bail was re-arrested on suspicion of murder following the discovery of a body at around midday on Saturday.

Police moved to clarify that her partner John Peake, 34, whose wedding to Samantha was called off in January, is not the suspect.

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police told Mail Online: "We are not naming the three men arrested yesterday but John Peake is not one of them."

In a statement, Samantha's family said: "We would like to say 'thank-you' to all the people who followed Samantha's story and tried their best to help."

The body has now been removed from where it was found and a post-mortem and formal identification will take place later today.

Floral tributes have been left on Samatha's doorstep on Greenside Avenue in the Stockton Brook area of Stoke-on-Trent.

One neighbour on Greenside Avenue who didn't want to be named said: "We're all shocked that this has happened. It's such a quite community here and it's quite upsetting.

"It's upset my wife quite a bit and we think it's absolutely dreadful what's happened to that poor girl. Everyone round here is in shock."

Detective Superintendent Simon Duffy said: "The primary focus now is for the SIO DI Dan Ison and the investigation team to work to provide justice for Samantha and her family.

"I would like to add my thanks to those of the family, to all those who have helped and supported the investigation over the past week and I would ask that the privacy of the family is now respected at this tragic time."

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

Liz Rix, Chief Nurse at the hospital where Samantha worked, confirmed her death on Twitter before paying tribute to the "much loved and valued" midwife.

She wrote: "It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our friend and colleague Samantha Eastwood.

"Sam will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with her family and friends during this time.

"Sam, who had worked as a midwife at Royal Stoke for six years, was a much loved and valued member of the Maternity service."

Cops confirmed last week that the only item still missing was Samantha's purse and they are desperately trying to track it down still.

Samantha was last seen leaving Royal Stoke University Hospital last Friday morning and worried colleagues "knew something was wrong" when she failed to return for her night shift.

Cops launched a nationwide hunt for the “incredibly dedicated” medical professional and neighbours reported hearing screams from her home in Baddeley Green, Staffs.

Her concerned colleague, chief nurse Liz Rix, described her as an “honest midwife” and said worried staff members are "praying" for her safe return.

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