Tributes paid to ‘beautiful’ young rider thought to have been killed by man she knew

  • A young rider who was found fatally injured in a field in Derbyshire is thought to have been killed by a man she knew.

    Gracie Spinks, 23, was treated by paramedics but died at the scene, in Duckmanton, last Friday morning (18 June). Officers from Derbyshire constabulary believe she was killed by Michael Sellers, 35, who was found dead in a nearby field at about 11am the same day.

    Donations to a fundraising page set up for Gracie have topped £10,000, which will go to her family to care for her horse Paddy.

    Abbey Griffin, who set up the page, said: “Gracie was a beautiful girl; at just 23 years old, she had already touched so many people’s lives, and what gorgeous memories she leaves behind.

    “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. If you knew Gracie you’d also know she was horse-mad and had the most gorgeous horse called Paddy, whom she loved dearly.

    “Although no amount of money could ever bring Gracie back, I ask that you please donate whatever you can to help her family at this moment. We all love you so dearly Gracie, behave up there.”

    A spokesman for 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.

    “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.”

    The spokesman said the force has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), as it “had contact with Gracie earlier this year”.

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    “We are not able to release any further information about the case, but we can confirm there was no criminal restraining order in place,” the spokesman added.

    “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.”

    The force said the death of Michael Sellers, who was from Sheffield, is not being treated as suspicious, and “enquiries are being made to fully understand the circumstances relating to his death”.

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