United Kingdom

Model, 23, dies in a field after being brutally attacked as she tended to her horse

A rider died in a field after being brutally attacked as she tended to her horse in what is believed to be a murder-suicide.

Named locally as Gracie Spinks, 23, the part-time model was found seriously injured yesterday morning but died at the scene.

Roads in and out of Duckmanton in Derbyshire were cordoned off after her assailant reportedly fled towards a country park.

A primary school went into lockdown and local businesses were issued with a description of a suspect in grey jogging bottoms and a black top.

But by lunchtime police said the situation had been ‘resolved’ after a body was discovered. 

Part-time model Gracie Spinks, 23, was found seriously injured in Duckmanton, Derbyshire, yesterday morning but died at the scene

Last night visitors dropped off flowers at the home where Miss Spinks lived with her mother in the nearby village of Old Whittington.

A villager, 28, who lives close to the spot where Miss Spinks was found, said: ‘The word locally is that this was a very vicious attack and possibly a crime of passion.

‘Gracie kept at least one horse on the land – it is grazing land where a number of people have horses and there is a temporary stable.

‘As I understand it, Gracie was looking after her horse when she was attacked. It is just awful.’

Friends said she lived for horses and riding and took part in showjumping and dressage competitions with her favourite, named Paddy.

After Derbyshire Police set up roadblocks around the community close to the M1 outside Chesterfield yesterday, a local resident wrote on Facebook: ‘I’ve been informed that, sadly, less than an hour ago a young woman was murdered on a farm less than half a mile from Poolsbrook Park.

‘The perpetrator… is believed to have fled towards the area of Poolsbrook Park. Anyone around that area please be careful.’

Roads in and out of Duckmanton in Derbyshire were cordoned off after her assailant reportedly fled towards a country park (pictured)

Friends of Miss Spinks, who worked for a local e-commerce company, posted tributes on Facebook last night. 

Charlotte Pemberton, 23, who grew up with her, wrote: ‘RIP Gracie. Such a beautiful, kind young girl who’s been taken far too soon. Fly high sweet girl.’ 

Alicia Jordan wrote: ‘Oh Gracie Spinks… Heartbroken doesn’t even cut it... This world is so cruel.’

It is understood that Miss Spinks, who had studied art and design at Chesterfield College, did occasional modelling work for a London agency and took commissions online to do pet portraits.

Derbyshire Police said it was not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

The force said: ‘A woman was found injured in a field near to Staveley Road at around 8.40am. Paramedics attended and the woman, who was in her early 20s, sadly died at the scene. 

'At 11am, the body of a man in his mid-30s was found in a field off Tom Lane, Duckmanton.

‘We have traced and informed both families and specialist officers are supporting them at this time.’ 

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