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Police hunting boyfriend after bodies found at ex-EastEnders star's home

Bodies found in search for ex-EastEnder and her two kids

By Margaret Davis

Murder squad detectives are searching for the boyfriend of an ex-EastEnders actress after three bodies were found by police looking for the performer and her two children.

Sian Blake (43), who played Frankie Pierre in the hit soap, vanished with her sons Zachary (8) and Amon (4) in east London on December 13.

Three days later police interviewed her partner, the children's father Arthur Simpson-Kent (48) at the family's home in Erith, Kent, before he also disappeared.

Officers made the grim discovery in the garden yesterday and launched a murder inquiry.

Detective Superintendent Paul Monk said: "Sadly today we found three bodies around about lunchtime in the back garden of their home address and, as such, this is now a murder investigation.

"Formal identification has yet to take place; it's too early to speculate but of course the family has been told and this is obviously a very difficult time for them.

"Our efforts are continuing to find Arthur Simpson-Kent. Our appeal is to anyone who may know his current whereabouts or can assist us in finding him - we do need to speak to him as a matter of urgency. "

Ms Blake suffered from motor neurone disease - a fatal, rapidly progressing condition that affects the brain and spinal cord - and was reportedly looking "very frail" before she vanished.

She and her children had last been sighted in east London on December 13, and Ms Blake's silver-beige Renault Scenic was discovered in Bethnal Green, east London, on January 3, but it is not known who parked it there. Her next-door neighbour, Sam Sanni-Alashe, was in tears at the news.

He said: "I am in shock, I can't talk. It is really hurtful. I know the lady. I see the children playing at the back. I say hello all the time. We are not close but she was a very happy woman."

Another neighbour who knew Ms Blake was also upset after hearing the news. The 30-year-old, who did not want to be named, said: "She was a lovely, caring lady, and we didn't know anything about her being in EastEnders.

"I just feel really upset because I imagine that house and I just see those boys playing about and getting in the car. I was hoping she was just hiding away to have her last Christmas.

"I knew she was ill, but we didn't know with what.

"I wish I had been a better neighbour. I'm devastated."

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