Friends of Gracie Spinks say she was stalked by Sheffield man before ‘murder-suicide’
Tributes are pouring in for a young woman whose friends claim was stalked before she died last week.
Gracie Spinks, aged 23, was killed in a field in Duckmanton, near Chesterfield, while she was tending to her horse, last Friday.
Around two hours later the body of Sheffield man Michael Sellers, 35, was found in a nearby field.
Sellers, who met Gracie at work, is believed to have killed her before taking his own life in a murder-suicide case after becoming obsessed with her after they went on a date.
Derbyshire Constabulary said: “Officers believe that Gracie, who was from the Chesterfield area, was killed by a man she knew, who was later found dead. We are not looking for anyone else in connection with the two deaths.”
Friends claim Gracie had reported Sellers to the police for stalking but the force has confirmed that he was not the subject of a restraining order.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct has been informed of the situation.
Her friend Sammi Hancox has created badges, with the slogan ‘Stop Violence Against Women’, which are being sold to raise awareness and money in her memory.
She described Gracie as a ‘beautiful ray of sunshine’.
Schoolfriend Becky Ravcey said: “She was the most kindest, down to earth girl with a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone and had the most beautiful soul. Beautiful girl inside and out.
“She was talented at a lot of things – horse riding, singing and art – she was proud what she had achieved. That beautiful smile of hers makes me smile too.
“I’m so glad I had the privilege of knowing you and making memories. I will cherish them forever.”
Katrina Horton, one of Gracie’s former teachers at Newbold Community School, said: “I had the absolute pleasure of being Gracie's form tutor and teacher at Newbold Community School. Always smiling and laughing.”
She said she had a ‘wicked sense of humour’ and her ‘passion for horses lit her up from the inside’.
“Gracie, I am so sorry that your life has been cut short. RIP beautiful,” she added.
Friend Alicia Jordan said: “I don’t even know what to say. Heartbroken doesn’t even cut it. You really were the life of the party.
“We made so many memories and I couldn’t be more grateful to know you. Honestly sat here thinking of them is making me smile. This world is so so cruel and it’s really not fair. Rest in peace Gracie you will be so missed.”
Friend Claire Barley added: “I've got so many special memories that I will always treasure. You've been a massive part of our lives, it hasn't sunk in that we aren't ever going to see you again.
“I'm sorry this happened to you darling. It shouldn't have happened to you and I'll forever wonder if any of us could have done more
“My heartfelt condolences to your amazing family who are trying so hard to hold this together. Miss you forever.”