The boyfriend of murdered ex-EastEnders actress Sian Blake was pictured arriving in Ghana three days after police quizzed him about the disappearance of his girlfriend and their two sons.
The picture emerged as Blake's sister Ava said that she believes the 48-year-old is "responsible" for the deaths of Blake, 43, and her sons, Zachary, eight, and Amon, four and pleaded for him to "be brought back to justice".
The family went missing on December 13. Police spoke to Simpson-Kent on December 16, and when they couldn't reach him two days later, also classified him as a missing person. A day later he was in Ghana. The Blake case only became a murder investigation on Monday. On Tuesday three bodies were unearthed from the garden of the family's Kent home.
Ava Blake told a press conference on Thursday: "I want him to face justice and explain why. It's my nephews more than anything.
"My brother is angry. My cousins are angry. They are angry about Sian, but the boys have devastated us. We have lost a generation. We can never replace them.
"I want him to be brought back to justice. He'll have to answer to the courts of this country and to God eventually. I don't know what is going through his mind."
The proof that Simpson-Kent has left the UK follows a police admission that they had identified some "potential issues" with the way they handled the case. Scotland Yard began investigating how their treatment of the case on Monday and on Wednesday referred it to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
The development comes as a former homicide detective claimed that police concerns over paying overtime at Christmas might have also hampered the investigation.
Ex-Met detective Colin Sutton told The Sun: “It is remarkable for the bodies of a missing mother and her children to be found at their home address three weeks after they are reported missing. It is the first place you would look.”
Sutton, who has led several successful high-profile murder inquiries, told the newspaper that if the search for Blake and her children had taken place over Christmas it would have been "three times the price because of overtime".
He added: “Fortunes had been earmarked in overtime payments to police the New Year’s Eve celebrations and all those bank holidays. The last thing the Met needed in the current financial situation was an expensive murder inquiry.”
An aunt, who only gave her name as Terry, earlier told the Evening Standard: "The police did take a long time to find the bodies and the family want answers. Officers are probably trying their best and we know it is difficult but we want a full investigation.
"Sian’s mum is obviously very upset. The police are coming to visit the family today.
"I didn’t know Sian’s partner much and I didn’t realise he is believed to have gone to Africa, but they obviously need to find him quickly."
The family's disappearance remained a missing person's case until Blake's Renault Scenic was found in Bethnal Green, east London, on January 3.
Detectives are said to have broken a window at the family home on December 18 after returning to speak with Simpson-Kent, but did not find anything at that time.
Officers then said they made daily door-to-door inquiries around Blake's neighbourhood, but it took more than a fortnight for them to make a public appeal for information on the family's whereabouts. In initial appeals Simpson-Kent's name was not mentioned.
Neighbours said Blake, who played home-wrecker Frankie Pierre in the BBC soap in the mid-1990s, appeared "thin and frail" before she disappeared, and they feared her health was deteriorating rapidly. However, they added that the family appeared to be looking forward to Christmas and had put up a tree in the lounge.
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Previously an unknown actress, Blake's big break came when series producer Jane Harris introduced her as a soul singer in EastEnders in June 1996.
Her storylines saw her character frequently pursuing attached men and breaking up the marriage of Alan and Carol Jackson, played by Howard Antony and Lindsey Coulson.
According to IMDB, Blake was on the show for 56 episodes, reportedly quitting in 1997 because of hostility from viewers towards her manipulative character.
Her contemporaries on the BBC soap included Patsy Palmer and Dean Gaffney - who played Alan's stepchildren Bianca and Robbie - as well as Michael French (David Wicks) and Sylvester Williams (Mick McFarlane).
Blake also appeared in episodes of The Bill, Casualty, Doctors and Skins and was the voice of Yugiri in 2015 video game Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward.