Met Police launched a murder investigation after the discovery of bodies following their search for missing former EastEnders actress Sian Blake, the BBC reports.

There has been no formal identification, but Ms Blake’s family have been informed after the discovery of three bodies at her south-east London home.

Ms Blake, 43, and her two sons, Zachary and Amon, aged four and eight, haven’t been seen since mid December. The case was widely reported this weekend.

Ms Blake’s partner and father to the two boys, Arthur Simpson-Kent, 48, had alerted police, but went missing himself three days later.

The Met Police said the bodies were found in the garden and a murder investigation was under way.

The Guardian reports DS Paul Monk, from the homicide and major crime command, saying: “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 16 December then please get in touch with us.”

Police have appealed for anyone who might have seen Blake and her children since the last confirmed sighting on 13 December, to call 020-8721 4805.

Ms Blake, who has motor neurone disease, played Frankie Pierre in EastEnders between 1996 and 1997 and subsequently went appeared in Casualty, Skins and Doctors.

Next-door neighbour Sam Sanni-Alashe told the BBC: “I am in shock. 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 would see them most of the time in the summer but I have not seen them for about six weeks,” he said.

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