07/01/2016 06:04 GMT | Updated 07/01/2017 05:12 GMT

Costs 'May Have Played Role In Delays' In Ex-EastEnders Star Police Probe

Worries about costs could have played a role in delays in the investigation into missing ex-EastEnders actress Sian Blake and her children, an ex-murder detective with the Metropolitan Police has suggested.

The force has referred its handling of the case to the watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), amid questions over why it took so long to escalate the missing persons inquiry into the performer's disappearance

Murder squad detectives are still urgently looking for Ms Blake's boyfriend Arthur Simpson-Kent, who may have fled the UK after his family vanished.

Ms Blake vanished with her sons, Zachary, eight, and Amon, four, in east London on December 13.

The case was taken over by murder squad detectives on Monday, and three unidentified bodies were found the next day in the garden of the family home in Erith, Kent, that Ms Blake shared with her partner.