Michael Stirling, 32, sobbed in court this afternoon when he pleaded guilty to killing Samantha Eastwood, 28, a midwife.
The brother-in-law of Samantha Eastwood's ex-fiancee admitted to killing the midwife in "intense rage" and throwing her body in a ditch after a "long-standing affair".
Appearing through a video link dressed in a gray T-shirt and sporting a beard, landscape gardener Michael Stirling, 32, of Stoke-on-Trent, pleaded guilty at Northampton Crown Court this afternoon.
Stirling, who is married to the sister of Miss Eastwood's ex-boyfriend, John Peake, sobbed in court when he admitted to killing the 28-year-old National Health Service worker.
The court heard how he wrapped his hands around her throat, mouth and nose as she lay on the ground after flying in an intense rage & # 39; during a discussion.
His body was found wrapped in a duvet cover with duct tape covering his face and eyes near the village of Caverswall, Staffordshire.
Charles Miskin QC, defending, told the court that there had been a background of "growing tension" in a "long-standing but not particularly intense case".
He said: On the afternoon of the murder several things were said and there was a discussion.
Samantha Eastwood's body was found wrapped in a duvet cover with duct tape covering her face and eyes near the village of Caverswall, Staffordshire.
Samantha Eastwood was found dead after disappearing after a night shift. Michael Stirling, brother-in-law of his ex-fiance, is accused of his murder.
Floral tributes in the scene where the body of Samantha Eastwood was found in Caverswall, Stoke on Trent
Samantha Eastwood (photo on the left), leaving the hospital. It was the last confirmed sighting of the missing midwife.
Samantha Eastwood (pictured left to right), ex-girlfriend John Peake, Katie Stirling and killer Michael Stirling
He got very angry and while she was on the ground, he put his hands around his throat, his mouth and nose. As a result, she died.
During his intense rage, he originally intended to cause her really serious bodily harm, but after the issues intensified, the intention to kill her was formed and carried out.
"He panicked and buried her in an area that he had some knowledge of."
Samantha's body was discovered during a police search of rural land near a quarry around noon on August 4.
She had been reported missing eight days earlier, on July 27, after she did not show up for work at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.
Michael Stirling, 32, left the court of magistrates of North Staffordshire in Newcastle-under-Lyme on August 6 of this year
Her colleagues expressed concern at 7:20 pm the same day after she did not show up for her next shift, which was described as "completely out of place."
Mr. Miskin added: "He is absolutely horrified by what happened and he feels it deeply.
& # 39; Not only for him, but for all those who are victims of this crime & # 39;
Stirling, whose married wife Katie is the sister of 34-year-old John Peake of Samantha, was charged with murder on August 5.
Samantha Eastwood, photographed with her sister Gemma. Samantha was last seen leaving the Royal Stoke University Hospital around noon on August 4.
Samantha and John were to get married in June, but the wedding was canceled in January and she put her wedding dress on sale on Facebook.
The court also heard that Stirling looked for ways to kill himself with antifreeze, carbon monoxide and suffocation two days before the murder.
Jonas Hankin QC, prosecuting, said: Stirling investigated ways of committing suicide on the Internet using antifreeze, carbon monoxide and choking two days before the murder.
& # 39; Has a history of depression & # 39;
The scope of the police search operation to find Samantha Eastwood, who disappeared after a shift at the Royal Stoke University Hospital. His body was found later in Caverswall, Staffordshire
Samantha's tearful family, including her mother Carole and sister Gemma, attended the hearing, but declined to comment outside.
Speaking on the steps of the court, Detective Inspector Dan Ison of the Staffordshire police said the plea had saved the family from enduring an "emotional rollercoaster."
He added: "I am very happy that Michael Stirling has pleaded guilty to this crime.
& # 39; It will save a lot of pain for the family. We should have had a trial that would be terrible for the family.
& # 39; They should hear some horrific evidence. It has saved an emotional roller coaster.
"The family is very excited today, but relieved that they have accepted what they have done."
The CCTV released earlier showed Samantha Eastwood driving home in her Volvo (pictured)
Her sister Gemma Eastwood, 26, made a tearful appeal at a press conference when she disappeared and said, "Without it, half of me is gone."
After the discovery of his body, his family paid tribute and thanked the public for their help to help in the search.
They said: "Samantha's family would like to request that their privacy be respected at this terrible time.
"We would like to thank all the people who followed Samantha's story and who did everything possible to help."
Stirling will be sentenced in the Stafford Crown Court on December 3, where he is expected to be imprisoned for life.
The former Keele University student, Miss Eastwood, of Baddeley Green, worked at Royal Stoke Hospital, where staff described her as a "very dear and valuable" colleague.
The court heard that Michael Stirling, 32, had a history of depression and had looked for ways to commit suicide, days before the murder.
She was seen smiling as she left the hospital on Friday, July 27, after a night shift.
CCTV then showed her driving home to her Volvo XC60 SUV and they did not see her again.
His body was found during a search for a disused salt quarry in a remote forest in Caverswall, near Cheadle, Staffordshire.
Liz Rix, NHS Trust chief nurse at University Hospitals of North Midlands, said: "Our thoughts are with Samantha Eastwood's family and friends at this time.
Sam, who had worked at Royal Stoke for six years, was a dear midwife.
"We will continue to offer our full support to Sam's colleagues in the coming weeks and months after this news."
Timeline: Police search for murdered midwife Samantha Eastwood
Friday, July 27
7.45am: Samantha Eastwood ends her night shift at the Royal Stoke Hospital and drives home in her Volvo SUV
2pm: The neighbor heard a scream from her house, but the police were not informed until she disappeared.
7pm: Midwives report that they have disappeared when they do not appear in their turn
Saturday, July 28
Noon: Police look for their empty house in Baddeley Green
Sunday July 29
8am: The police launched the first public information call to find it.
2pm: A 32-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of kidnapping.
Monday, July 30
5 pm: The suspect is released on bail.
Tuesday, July 21
16:15: The police released the CCTV from their work departure on Friday when it was learned that she had canceled her wedding at the last moment and tried to sell her wedding dress.
Michael Stirling, 32, pleaded guilty to murdering Samantha Eastwood (pictured)
Wednesday, August 1
1 pm: The new appeals from her family to anyone who has seen her as she emerged, the police have been at the home of her ex-fiance's sister and her husband since the weekend.
Friday, August 3
Samantha's sister, Gemma, calls for information on his whereabouts. Revealingly, he said that if someone knew where he was, he should "take her home."
Saturday, August 4
Noon: Police teams begin to search the forest outside of Stoke-on-Trent before finding their disused body in the salt quarry.
Sunday August 5
10am: Michael Stirling, the brother-in-law of his ex-fiance, is accused of his murder. Two other men, aged 28 and 60, suspected of helping a criminal have been rescued
Monday, August 6
Stirling appears in court, but does not plead guilty.
Monday, October 22
Michael Stirling, sobbing in court, admits to having murdered a young man of 28 years. Stirling will be sentenced in the Stafford Crown Court on December 3, where he is expected to be imprisoned for life