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Missing midwife’s sister issues tearful appeal to ‘get her home’

Sister plea: Gemma Eastwood

THE sister of a missing midwife has made a tearful plea to ‘get her home’ more than a week after her ‘happy, bubbly’ sibling disappeared without trace.

Samantha Eastwood was last seen in her uniform leaving work at Royal Stoke Hospital at 7.45am on Friday July 27.

Her younger sister Gemma broke down in tears at a public appeal for information today, as she said: ‘If she’s out there, or anyone knows where she is, please get in touch.

‘Get her home.’

Missing: Samantha Eastwood PICTURE: SWNS

She sobbed as she described her sister as ‘a happy, bubbly and smiley woman’, and appealed for any information about her ‘best friend and partner in crime’.

‘Without her, half of me has gone,’ she said.

Ms Eastwood’s colleagues raised concerns at 7.20pm last Friday after she failed to show up for her shift.

A 32-year-old Stoke-on-Trent man was arrested but has since been released under investigation, Staffordshire Police said.

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

Last sighting: Samantha Eastwood (left) leaving the hospital PICTURE: SWNS

Speaking at the force’s headquarters, Gemma Eastwood, a support worker, said: ‘Samantha, if you are listening, please get in touch.

‘We all love you and miss you very much. We just need you home where you belong.

‘Samantha is a fantastic woman and friend. She is warm, friendly, loyal, kind and generous, with a great sense of humour. And whoever she is with she will always make their times together fun.’

The 26-year-old went on: ‘Samantha was determined to become a midwife from a young age and succeeded.

‘All of Samantha’s work friends describe her as an amazing midwife.

‘She is caring, harmless and gentle. Samantha is selfless and would do anything for anyone before herself.’

The force’s major crime team was brought in earlier in the week to lead the investigation, and two addresses in Stoke have been searched, including Ms Eastwood’s house.

Forensics officers have also been at a house three miles away in Cromer Road, Northwood.

Police presence: An officer guards the home of missing Samantha Eastwood PICTURE: PA

Det Supt Simon Duffy, who is leading what is being termed a high-risk missing persons inquiry, said the force was also looking for Ms Eastwood’s missing purse.

The distinctive dark-coloured Radley zip purse bears a multi-coloured version of the company’s dog logo and has a pink interior.

Police are unable to say what, if anything, was in the purse but have said it appears to be the only missing item of her property.

Detectives have been tight-lipped about whether they have recovered Ms Eastwood’s mobile phone, adding the information is part of an ‘ongoing investigation’.

Mr Duffy added: ‘The only item of property that we can see is missing is a fairly distinctive purse and we’ll get details of that circulated.

‘So hopefully we can get images of that purse out, just in case anyone has discovered that in any location since the last positive sighting of Samantha, or something similar.

‘We’d be very keen on hearing that information.’

Ms Eastwood is described as white, about 5ft 3in and of medium build, with shoulder-length ginger hair, and a fair complexion with freckles.

On Wednesday, Staffordshire Police released CCTV of her leaving work with a female colleague, before driving off alone in her car at 7.47am.

Mr Duffy also made an appeal for dashcam footage recorded in north Staffordshire over the weekend.

He added concern was continuing to grow, as Ms Eastwood had ‘no access to money’, with her bank cards and car keys found in her home.

Her car, a Volvo XC60, was left parked on her driveway at the Greenside Avenue address in Baddeley Green.

Other locations are being searched, Mr Duffy confirmed, although the police would not be drawn on where, adding that specialist teams and dog units were involved.

Detectives have asked the public to report any sightings of vehicles parked in ‘strange locations’, isolated areas, or lay-bys, no matter how inconsequential it may appear.