Three bodies found in search for missing Eastenders actress
Three bodies have been found by police searching for a missing former EastEnders actress and her family.
Sian Blake, 43, who played Frankie Pierre in the hit soap, vanished with her sons Zachary, eight, and Amon, four, 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, and he also disappeared.
Forensic teams were seen searching the property today and neighbours said police had been at the house for several days.
Police said the bodies were found in the garden and a murder inquiry is now under way.
The bodies have not yet formally been identified, but police repeated appeals for help finding Mr Simpson-Kent.
Detective Superintendent Paul Monk said: "Sadly, as part of a thorough forensic search we are carrying out at the family's home in Erith, we recovered three bodies from the garden of the property.
"As yet, we have not formally identified the bodies but this is of course a significant development and Sian's family have been informed.
"This continues to be a fast-moving investigation and our thoughts are with Sian's family at this time.
"We continue to appeal for any information that could help us trace Sian's partner Arthur Simpson-Kent. If anyone has any information about where he is or his movements since December 16 then please get in touch with us.
"I would also like to ask anyone who may have seen Sian and her children, or who may have information about their movements since the last confirmed sighting on 13 December, to call us.
Former actress Ms Blake had motor neurone disease - a fatal, rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord - and was reportedly looking "very frail" before she vanished.
She and her children were last seen in Waltham Forest, east London, on December 13, and her silver-beige Renault Scenic was found in Calvert Avenue in Bethnal Green, east London, on January 3, but it is not known who parked it there.
Next-door neighbour Sam Sanni-Alashe was in tears over 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.
"This is a disaster and it is awful for the community.
"I can see everything in the garden but these last few days I have chosen not to look.
"When my son finds out, he will be terrified.
"I would see them most of the time in the summer but I have not seen them for about six weeks."
Neighbour Hannah Cutting, 18, said: "I have just seen the news.
"I would see the kids playing at the window then we were worried when police were there 24/7.
"It's awful just to think that something can happen on your doorstep and you see people and you have no idea what's going on."
A woman who lives opposite the house was also in tears.
She said: "I've just heard the news so I just can't talk right now."