London: Homicide detectives are leading the hunt for missing former EastEnders actor Sian Blake and her two children, as police revealed her car was found abandoned 15 miles from her home.
The actor has been missing for more than three weeks, and officers also said they were concerned for the whereabouts of Blake’s partner, Arthur Simpson-Kent, who is father to her two sons, eight-year-old Zachary and four-year-old Amon.
Blake, who played Frankie Pierre in the BBC soap in the 1990s but who now suffers from debilitating motor neurone disease, has not been seen since Sunday 13 December after taking her children to visit family in Leyton, east London.
After police were alerted, officers spoke to Simpson-Kent at the family home in Erith, Kent, but he has not been seen or been in contact since 16 December, the Metropolitan police said in a statement.
He is now deemed a high-risk missing person and officers said they did not know if the family of four were together.
On Sunday, police found Blake’s silver Renault Scenic on Calvert Avenue in Bethnal Green, 15 miles from the family home in Kent, but officers do not know why the vehicle was parked in the area or who had driven it.
The investigation has been taken over by the Met’s homicide and major crime command but officers said they were keeping an open mind about the disappearances, including the possibility that the family may be victims of crime.
Police stressed said they were concerned for Blake’s health because her condition required constant medication.
The officer leading the investigation, DCI Graeme Gwyn, said officers were concerned that the family had been missing for a “considerable period of time now, and I am growing increasingly concerned for their welfare”.
“In particular, Sian suffers from a serious life-threatening condition and we do not know if she is receiving the medication and treatment she requires to keep well.
“I am appealing directly to Sian and Arthur to get in touch with the police and let us know they are all well. I am also appealing to anyone who has seen the family or knows where they may be to get in touch as soon as possible.”
Blake is described as a black woman, 5ft 2in tall, of slim build with short black hair, who often wears glasses.
Simpson-Kent is described as a light-skinned black man who is 6ft 2in tall. Zachary and Amon are both described as light-skinned black boys. It is not known what any of the family were wearing when they went missing.
Blake left EastEnders in 1997 after 56 episodes, citing a hostile reaction from fans to her unpopular character, a soul singer who was a serial seducer of married men. Her IMDB lists later roles in Doctors, Skins and The Bill but she later retired from acting and became a sign language teacher.
Anyone with any information as to her whereabouts is asked to call police on 101 or Missing People on 116000, quoting reference 15MIS050346.