07/03/2012 06:53 GMT | Updated 07/03/2012 07:01 GMT

Gemma McCluskie Missing: Body Pulled From Regents Canal In Hunt For Former EastEnders Star

Police searching for missing ex-EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie have pulled a body from a canal.

Gemma McCluskie, 29, who is 4ft 11in tall with dark hair, was last seen on Thursday 1 March in Bethnal Green.

She played Kerry Skinner in 30 episodes of EastEnders in 2001.

Yesterday a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "A body was found in Regents Canal near Broadway Market in East London at 2:40pm.

"Enquiries are underway to establish the identity of the deceased. A post-mortem will be scheduled to ascertain the cause of death.

"Pending that post mortem we will be treating the death as unexplained."

A friend last night told the Mirror: “We’ve been told the police have found the body of a woman and we’re now waiting to find out if it’s Gemma.”

McCluskie was wearing a mustard coloured top and blue leggings when she went missing without contacting friends or family. Police said the disappearance was "out of character".

Around 100 people turned out to look for her on Monday evening.

The search, which was organised by her cousins Kyri Sambridge and Nikki Tsindides, stretched from the East End to South London in an attempt to find any information about her whereabouts.

They distributed leaflets with her picture and information, and spoke to shopkeepers and locals about where she was last seen.

Kyri, 27, a told London24: "We got an important clue when we went into a kebab shop on Hackney Road, two minutes from where she lives. They told us she came in there at 8pm last Thursday.

"Until then the last time she had been seen was in the afternoon on the same day by her brother Tony at home."

Friends and family also took to Twitter to spread the word using the hashtag "#FindGemma":

Fellow ex-EastEnders actresses Brooke Kinsella and Martine McCutcheon have also helped publicise the case on Twitter.

Police told the Huffington Post UK they were "becoming increasingly concerned" for McCluskie's welfare.

"Officers and her family are conducting inquiries but so far without success," said a Metropolitan Police spokesperson.

"Her disappearance without being in contact with her family or friends is out of character."

Dez McHugh, detective inspector in Tower Hamlets, said: "Anybody with information is encouraged to contact the Missing Person's Unit at Limehouse Police Station on 0207 275 4589."