The search for a former EastEnders actress and her two children, has led police to the discovery of three bodies in the back garden of the family’s home in southeast London.
Sian Blake, 43, and her sons Zachary, 8, and Amon, 4, have been missing since 13 December.
The Telegraph reports:
Sian Blake – a motor neurone sufferer whose condition is said to be life-threatening – and four-year-old old Amon and Zachary, eight, have not been seen for more than three weeks.
The Metropolitan Police said the 43-year-old’s car had been found at the weekend as it announced the Homicide and Major Crime Command is now leading the investigation.
Forensic officers were seen searching her home in Erith, south-east London, for clues on Tuesday and a tent was erected in the back garden as officers appeared to be preparing to dig the garden.
Officers are also concerned for the welfare of Miss Blake’s partner and the children’s father, 48-year-old Arthur Simpson-Kent.
He has not been seen since December 16 when officers spoke to him at the family home three days after Miss Blake was last seen.
Police had attended their home after receiving information from another organisation, Scotland Yard said.
It was after this that Miss Blake, who played Frankie Pierre in the BBC soap between 1996 and 1997, and her children were reported missing.
Mr Simpson-Kent was later reported as a high-risk missing person and officers have been unable to contact him since that date.
Miss Blake was last seen on Sunday, December 13 around Waltham Forest, east London, and police in Bexley, south-east London, believe she is still in the area. Detectives say it is not known if the family are together.
Miss Blake’s silver-beige Renault Scenic was found in Bethnal Green, east London, on Sunday – but it is not known who parked it there.
Miss Blake’s house in Pembroke Road is being guarded by police officers, with several vehicles including a dog unit parked outside.
A path running alongside the family home has been cordoned off while forensic officers work in the property.
Officers in forensic suits and masks could be briefly seen in the front garden of the partly boarded up house, which has a double mattress propped up by the front door.
Neighbours said police have been at the scene for a few days. One woman, who did not wish to be named, said Miss Blake “kept herself to herself” and had “a cheeky smile”.
She said: “I see her in the street on the way to the shops. She doesn’t really talk, she keeps herself to herself. She has a cheeky smile. I feel really sad she has gone missing.”
Scotland Yard said the investigation continues to be a high-risk missing persons inquiry, but due to concerns for the familiy’s welfare, the Homicide and Major Crime Command (HMCC) is now leading and is looking into whether or not the family might have been victims of a crime.
Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn said: “A number of inquiries are under way to find Sian Blake, Arthur Simpson-Kent and their two children.
“They have all been missing for a considerable period of time now, and I am growing increasingly concerned for their welfare.
“In particular Sian suffers from a serious, life-threatening condition and we do not know if she is receiving the medication and treatment she requires to keep well.”
Miss Blake is described as black, 5ft 2in and slim with short black hair. She wears glasses, but can also wear contact lenses.
Police said Mr Simpson-Kent is a light-skinned black man who is 6ft 2in.