Beds, Herts & Bucks

Helen Bailey disappearance: Man arrested by murder police

Helen Bailey Image copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption Hertfordshire Police are currently searching Helen Bailey's Hertfordshire home and a property in Kent

Police searching for missing children's author Helen Bailey have arrested a man on suspicion of murder.

The 51-year-old writer, who created the Electra Brown series for teenagers, was last seen walking her dog near her home in Royston, Hertfordshire on 11 April.

A man, 55, from Royston, is being questioned on suspicion of murder, disposing of a body and the theft of Ms Bailey's money.

Police are currently searching her home and a property in Broadstairs, Kent.

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It is believed the Northumberland-born author had left the house she shared with partner Ian Stewart and his children, and had taken her miniature dachshund for a walk.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Forensics teams are currently searching the author's home in Royston
Image copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption Ms Bailey has been missing for three months

Ms Bailey left a note for her partner, saying she wanted some time on her own and was going to stay at their holiday home in Broadstairs.

Four days later Mr Stewart reported her missing, having travelled to Kent and established she had not been there.

'Simply disappeared'

Hertfordshire Police carried out extensive searches of the local area and checked hundreds of hours of CCTV footage in their efforts to find Ms Bailey.

Speaking a month after she went missing, Ch Insp Julie Wheatley described it as a "highly unusual case" because Ms Bailey "seems to have simply disappeared".

Image copyright sbna
Image caption Officers searching for the author carried out extensive searches of the local area

There was no evidence she had tried to contact friends or family, used her mobile phone or taken any money out of bank accounts.

Further searches are now taking place at both homes owned by Ms Bailey and Mr Stewart.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption A metal fence has been erected around the author's Hertfordshire home by forensics officers

As well as the teenage book series, Helen Bailey wrote a blog called Planet Grief after her husband of 22 years drowned on holiday in Barbados in 2011.

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