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Police Watchdog Investigates Met Over Handling Of "EastEnders" Actor Search

A day after three bodies were found in her family's garden, the Met said a review found there were "potential issues regarding the handling" of the search for former EastEnders actor Sian Blake, who was reported missing on 16 December.

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The IPCC's investigation will look into the steps the police took to find the family when a missing persons appeal was made on 16 December. The alarm was sounded after officers visited Blake's partner and the boys' father, Arthur Simpson-Kent, at the family's home in Erith, southeast London.

Simpson-Kent, 48, went missing days after police visited him and fears are growing that he may have left the UK. Police are appealing for information on his whereabouts.

The Met said: "An initial review has highlighted some potential issues regarding the handling and grading of the missing persons investigation."

The move comes 24 hours after three bodies were found in the garden of the house in Erith. Formal identification is expected after an autopsy on Wednesday.

Blake, 43, and her two children, Zachary, 8, and Amon, 4, were last last seen alive when they visited family in Leyton, northeast London, on 13 December. The Met's directorate of professional standards earlier said it was trying to "fully understand the timeline of police interaction with the family".


The Met has not implicated Simpson-Kent as a suspect in the murder investigation, which began as a missing persons inquiry handled by local police in Bexley.

A Met spokesperson would not comment on Simpson-Kent's whereabouts and reiterated that the force simply wants to speak to him. "We are not commenting on where he might or might not be. But we are keen to find him," he said.

It remains unclear who drove Blake's car to Bethnal Green, 15 miles away from the family's home, where it was found on 3 January.

Blake, who appeared in EastEnders as Frankie Pierre in 1996 and 1997, was known to suffer from motor neurone disease and neighbours told reporters this week she had appeared frail.

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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