London

Sian Blake murder: Ghanaian authorities widen search for her partner

Arthur Simpson-Kent
Image caption Arthur Simpson-Kent arrived in Ghana on 19 December

Authorities in Ghana have widened their search for the partner of a former EastEnders actress who was murdered alongside her two young sons.

The bodies of Sian Blake, 43, Zachary, eight, and Amon, four, were found at their London home on Tuesday.

Police are hunting for the children's father, Arthur Simpson-Kent, who travelled to Ghana days after they were reported missing.

The Ghanaian Police said their help was requested two days ago.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Sian Blake's body was discovered in the garden of her home in Erith, south east London, on Tuesday
Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Zachary (left), aged eight, and Amon, aged four, went missing with their mother last month

Detectives have been sent to the Cape Coast in the south of the country - where the extended Simpson family is from - as well as to other parts of the Atlantic shoreline.

In addition, police checks are in place on all of Ghana's official borders.

The authorities said while there is no official immigration record of Mr Simpson-Kent leaving the country, the delay in alerting them means he may have left via the borders into Togo, Burkino Faso or the Ivory Coast.

BBC correspondent Alistair Leithead who is in Ghana said while there have been some reported sightings of him, the investigation was low-key and had not been reported in newspapers nor on television.


Timeline

  • 13 December: Sian Blake is last seen in Waltham Forest, east London, with her sons Zachary, eight, and Amon, four.
  • 16 December: Police visit her home in Erith and speak to Mr Simpson-Kent. This is the last time he is seen.
  • 3 January: Miss Blake's car is found in Bethnal Green, east London
  • 5 January: Bodies found at her home in Erith, south east London
  • 6 January: Police announce Mr Simpson-Kent is thought to have travelled to Ghana
  • 8 January: Sian Blake and her two sons are confirmed dead

No appeal has been made for his arrest.

Ms Blake and the couple's sons were not seen after 13 December but a missing persons inquiry was not launched until 16 December, when the NSPCC raised concerns about their welfare.

Police attended the family's home in south-east London and spoke to Mr Simpson-Kent, but that is the last time he was seen.

A search at the home uncovered three bodies in the garden on 5 January and police said significant attempts had been made to conceal them.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Arthur Simpson-Kent, pictured with son Amon, was last seen on 16 December
Image caption Sian Blake played Frankie Pierre in EastEnders in 1996 and 1997

They all died from head and neck injuries, police said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating how the Metropolitan Police handled the case.

Sian Blake, who had motor neurone disease, played Frankie Pierre in the BBC One soap between 1996 and 1997.

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