Police are searching for the boyfriend of ex-EastEnders actress Sian Blake, after they found three bodies in the garden of the family home while searching for her and her two young children.
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, before he also disappeared.
Speaking around 2pm on Tuesday, a police spokesman said "it is with deep regret that around lunchtime today we found three bodies in the garden of that property."
"It's tragic and its sad news for the family," he added.
Police forensic officers arrive at the house in Erith, Kent, where three bodies were found in the garden
Speaking outside New Scotland Yard, Detective Superintendent Paul Monk said: "Sadly today we found three bodies around about lunchtime in the back garden of their home address and as such, this is now a murder investigation.
"Formal identification has yet to take place, it's too early to speculate but of course the family has been told and this is obviously a very difficult time for them.
"Our efforts are continuing to find Arthur Simpson-Kent. Our appeal is to anyone who may know his current whereabouts or can assist us in finding him - we do need to speak to him as a matter of urgency. "
Sian Blake with 'EastEnders' co-star Howard Antony
Police announced on Monday that the Homicide and Major Crime Command (HMCC) were leading the hunt.
Blake and her children were reported missing after officers visited her home address and spoke to Simpson-Kent having received "information passed to us by another organisation".
When officers were then unable to contact Simpson-Kent a second time he became a "high-risk missing person".
A police inspection tent in the back garden of the house in Erith, Kent
Blake's silver/beige Renault Scenic - registration number SM54 FUO - was found in Calvert Avenue, Bethnal Green on January 3. It is not known why the vehicle was parked there and by whom, police said.
Blake suffers from motor neurone disease.
According to website IMDb, her Frankie Pierre character featured in 56 episodes of the BBC soap opera between 1996 and 1997.