Police force refers itself to watchdog after model Gracie Spinks, 23, 'with a stalker' is killed in 'murder-suicide'

A POLICE force has referred itself to a watchdog over the investigation into the death of a model who reportedly had a “stalker”.

Derbyshire Police confirmed they referred themselves to the IOPC after Gracie Spinks, 23, was found dead in Duckmanton in Derbyshire on Friday morning.

The force has declined to state the reasons for the referral, and it is not clear if it is because of prior contact with Miss Spinks and an alleged stalker. 

It could also have been referred over weapons that were handed in to Derbyshire Police, which have not been confirmed as being related to her death. 

Friends claimed that the model had been bothered by a man who was “obsessed with her” and that she may have filed a restraining order after he kept turning up at the stables where she went riding.

Yesterday we revealed that a walker found a backpack filled with  weapons just 100 yards away from where she was killed.

Local Anna White re­vealed she came across two huge knives and an axe in a backpack on a farmer’s track six weeks ago.

Derbyshire Police confirmed that they have made the referral, with an IOPC spokeswoman adding: “We have been notified that a referral is being made by the force.

"When we receive it, we will carry out an assessment to determine what further action is needed by us.”

Devastated pals of model Gracie have also set up a fundraising page to help care for her horse.

Well-wishers have raised more than £6,937 so far which the talented rider and model’s family say will be used for her beloved horse Paddy.

A vigil for the 23-year-old is expected to be held next week on June 28.

Her friend Abbey Griffin, who launched the GoFund me page, said: "Gracie was a beautiful girl, at just 23 years old she had already touched so many people’s life and what gorgeous memories she leaves behind.

“Just to make you aware that all donations will be given to Gracie's family to care for Paddy, her horse who she leaves behind. This is at her family’s request. Thank you all.”

She added: “If you knew Gracie you'd also know she was horsey mad and had the most gorgeous horse called Paddy whom she loved dearly."

Gracie was found dying in a field on Friday morning in the picturesque village of Duckmanton, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, in a suspected murder-suicide.

It is understood she had been hounded by a stalker and had taken out a restraining order against him, according to her close pals.

The body of a man in his 30s was found a short time later across fields half a mile away.

Paramedics tried desperately to save Gracie’s life but she tragically died at the scene, five miles from her family home in Old Whittington.

Heartbroken friends of the aspiring eventer and show jumper told how she had recently been “bothered by a weird man who was totally obsessed with her.”

One, who declined to be named, told The Sun: “We are aware that she had a stalker but didn't know who he was. We heard she had taken out a restraining order against him because he was becoming quite a pest. 

“She’s a beautiful young woman, very popular, and he was obsessed with her and kept turning up at the stables. He was infatuated with her.”

A police cordon still remains at the scene today. But part of it has been lifted allowing owners of horses in the field where Paddy lives to tend to the bay gelding and theirs.

Abbey, paying tribute to her pal, said: "She was a caring and loving individual and was always happy to help. She was also so so stubborn and she’d always stand up for what was right. 

“Although no amount of money could ever bring Gracie back, I ask that you please donate what ever you can. We all love you so dearly Gracie, behave up there!”

Well wisher Lawson Howling, among hundreds, wrote: "It's hard to articulate the sense of loss suffered by so many.

"She radiated warmth and kindness. Seeing her just brightened your day. Such a cruel world didn't deserve her. My most sincere condolences to her friends and family. “

Kirstie Akeroyd added: "Rest in peace Gracie, may you carry on galloping in the sky.”

You can donate to Gracie's page here.

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