Sun. May 19th, 2019

Texts killer sent while posing as murder victim

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After murdering Samantha Eastwood and burying her in a shallow grave, Michael Stirling sent a series of texts pretending that she was still alive.

The 32-year-old, who has been jailed for life after confessing to killing the midwife, used Miss Eastwood’s phone to send messages to her sister, Gemma.

Police described the ruse as a “poor attempt” to cover up his tracks, with investigators tracking the phone’s movements to Stirling’s white van.

Details of the texts – sent on Saturday 28 July – have now emerged.

Samantha Eastwood and Michael Stirling
Image: Samantha Eastwood and Michael Stirling pictured at a wedding

At 9.50am, Gemma Eastwood sent a text to her sister, saying: “Where are you. ring me to let me know you are safe.”

Stirling texted back using Samantha’s phone at 10.04am, and wrote: “I love you all I’ve had a massive breakdown about stuff. I’m so sorry xx I’ll be ok I’m in touch with the helpline. I’m not going to do anything silly I just want to be left alone xx”

Gemma replied: “Where are you let me come and see you I won’t tell anyone. Just let me come and see you I won’t tell anyone let me help you.”

Gemma Eastwood talks to the gathered media about her missing sister Samantha 1:01
Video: Sister’s tears for missing midwife

At 10.13am, a message sent from Samantha’s phone said: “Please leave me alone x”.

Growing concerned, Gemma wrote back: “Where are you, who are you with.

“We are all worried the police are involved and going to do a press release, just tell me where you are I’ll come and meet you on my own and I won’t tell anyone.”

A reply from Samantha’s phone at 10.50am read: “No Gem I’m sick of pretending I’m ok xx I’m going to go to the Dr’s I just need time to blow off some steam.”

Her family is very close and police said their concern is growing
Image: Ms Eastwood’s killer sent texts pretending she was alive

Gemma then asked her sister to ring the police, but was told: “I’m sorry I’ve caused so much stress and upset I just don’t feel myself ATM, Gemma, you aren’t listening, I need time.”

Once again, Gemma asked Samantha to make contact, and received a reply saying: “I will soon xx. Love you all, I mean it, I’ll be ok. Speak to you later, I promise xx”

At 12.45pm, Gemma received the final messages from her sister’s phone.

They read: “Gem, I’m in a car, blue BMW. He’s taking me to the motorway.

“I’m sorry. I met a guy off the internet. He’s mad. I messaged u (sic).”

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The last message read: “Lee Davis.”

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