Mum of Chesterfield’s Gracie Spinks pays tribute to her ‘beautiful' daughter and shares pictures
The mother of Gracie Spinks has paid a touching tribute to her daughter – and kindly shared some pictures of her with the Derbyshire Times.
Posting publicly on Facebook, Alison Heaton said: “My beautiful daughter Gracie, taken away from me, her dad and brother and sister and everyone who loved and cared for her.”
She has also updated her profile picture to an image of a smiling Gracie with the words ‘stop violence against women #JusticeForWomen’.
Meanwhile, people flocked to St Bartholomew's Church in Old Whittington on Monday night to light a candle and write a message in memory of 23-year-old Gracie.
Her workplace, Barlborough-based online retailer Xbite Ltd, has also paid tribute to her.
The company said in a statement: “She was a friendly, well-liked young woman who will be missed greatly by those who had the pleasure of meeting her.
“Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this extremely difficult time.”
Staff are ‘deeply shocked and saddened’, the statement added.
Gracie was found injured in a field near to Staveley Road, Duckmanton, at around 8.40am on Friday.
Paramedics attended but she sadly died at the scene.
Officers believe that Gracie, who was from the Chesterfield area, was killed by a man she knew, who was later found dead.
He has been identified as Michael Sellers, from Sheffield.
The 35-year-old was found in a field off Tom Lane, Duckmanton, at around 11am on Friday.
Officials have not yet formally revealed how they died.
A Derbyshire Constabulary spokesperson said: “We are not looking for anyone else in connection with the two deaths.
“Specially trained officers are supporting Gracie’s family at this time.
“His death is not thought to be suspicious and enquiries are being made to fully understand the circumstances relating to his death.
“We will be preparing a file for the coroner.”
Inquests into the deaths will be opened at Chesterfield coroner’s court ‘in due course’, officers said.
Over the weekend, national media reported allegations that Gracie – who adored horses – had been ‘bothered’ by a man who was ‘obsessed’ with her.
The Derbyshire Times was also contacted by a member of the public who said they found a backpack full of ‘extremely disturbing’ items near to where Gracie died.
She said the backpack included two large knives, an axe, a hammer, Viagra and a note saying ‘don’t lie’.
The woman said she discovered the backpack six weeks ago and added: “I handed the bag to police.
“They basically said they won’t be investigating further.”
The Derbyshire Constabulary’s spokesperson said: “There has been a lot of speculation in the community in recent days as to what happened that day and we are working to find answers for everyone involved.
“We can confirm that the force has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) because we had contact with Gracie earlier this year.
“We are not able to release any further information about the case, but we can confirm there was no criminal restraining order in place.
“We can also confirm that a member of the public found a bag containing weapons in Duckmanton in May and handed this in to police.”
An IOPC spokesperson said: “We will assess the referral and decide on our level of involvement, if any, in due course.”