London

Sian Blake case: EastEnders actress's partner 'travelled to Ghana'

Arthur Simpson-Kent (left), 48, and Amon, four Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Arthur Simpson-Kent, seen here with son Amon, was last seen on 16 December

A former EastEnders actress's partner who is being sought by police after three bodies were found at their home has left the UK, the BBC understands.

Detectives want to speak to Arthur Simpson-Kent, 48, the partner of Sian Blake, over the discovery in the garden of the house in south-east London.

She and the couple's sons have not been seen since 13 December.

The BBC understands Mr Simpson-Kent arrived in Ghana some time after 16 December and before Christmas Day.

It is not known if he is still there.

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Media captionSian Blake played Frankie Pierre in EastEnders between 1996 and 1997

The Met Police say they spoke to Mr Simpson-Kent on 16 December, but he disappeared three days later.

Police said the possibility he may have left the UK was "one line of inquiry" and he was being sought urgently.

The Met referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission over how the investigation was handled.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Zachary (left) and Amon went missing with their mother last month
Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Sian Blake played Frankie Pierre in the BBC One soap opera

Post-mortem examinations of the three bodies, found at the property in Erith on Tuesday, will take place later.

Ms Blake, 43, who had motor neurone disease, played Frankie Pierre in EastEnders between 1996 and 1997.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Police stand guard outside the property while investigations continue
Image caption Aerial view of the property's garden reveals a series of tents erected as part of the police search

The actress, whose character broke up the marriage of Alan and Carol Jackson, was last seen with sons Zachary, eight, and Amon, four, in Waltham Forest.

Her car was found on 3 January in Calvert Avenue, Bethnal Green, but it is not yet known how it got there.

Det Supt Paul Monk said: "It's too early to speculate. Our efforts are continuing to find Arthur Simpson-Kent... we do need to speak to him as a matter of urgency."

A 30-year-old neighbour, who did not give her name, said: "She was a lovely, caring lady. I was hoping she was just hiding away to have her last Christmas. I wish I had been a better neighbour. I'm devastated."

A family member had reported the three missing on 16 December, with the police speaking to Mr Simpson-Kent that day.

Two days later a missing persons inquiry was launched, but not classed as high risk.

The same day officers returned to the house, and forced their way in when there was no answer. On Monday the homicide team took over.

The Met is also conducting a serious case review, which is standard in all major cases, to look at what lessons can be learned from the investigation.

As well as EastEnders, Ms Blake also appeared in the 1998 film Siberia and TV movie May 33rd in 2004 under her stage name Syan Blake, according to her IMDB profile.

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