Brother held by police after torso of 'Eastenders star' is pulled from canal
The brother of the former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie is being held by police after a headless torso, believed to be the actress, was dragged from Regent’s Canal in East London.
Tony McCluskie, 35, her elder brother, had said that her disappearance was “completely'” out of character and that she had never been missing before. Before the torso find, he said: “We are going out of our mind with worry. She is a bubbly, outgoing, strong and independent woman.”
Sky News reported that Tony McCluskie remained in custody at an East London police station. Police had not yet confirmed the identity of the suspect.
Miss McCluskie, who appeared in more than 30 episodes of the BBC soap as Kerry Skinner in 2001, disappeared from her home in Bethnal Green, last Thursday.
Her younger brother Danny joined more than 100 people who had been carrying out searches across east London and handing out leaflets.
Former co-stars Natalie Cassidy, Martine McCutcheon and Brooke Kinsella joined the Twitter appeal for help finding her.
Ms Kinsella tweeted: “Please get in touch if you have seen her.” Her phone had not been switched on since last Thursday afternoon.
A spokeswoman said: “At this early stage officers believe they know the identity of the victim but must await further forensic tests before formal identification can take place.
“Police were initially contacted by a member of the public who had noticed something suspicious floating in the water.
“The torso was recovered by divers from the Met’s Marine Support Unit and additional searches are due to be carried out in the water.”
A post-mortem examination was taking place at Poplar Mortuary as an incident room was opened in Barking. Detective Inspector John Nicholson is leading the murder inquiry.
McCluskie’s character was a friend of Zoe Slater and the great niece of the late Ethel Skinner. Skinner was written out of the Albert Square soap after the breakdown of a relationship with the character Robbie Jackson.
McCluskie was wearing a mustard-coloured top, blue leggings, dark brown Ugg boots and large sunglasses before she went missing. She is also believed to have have been carrying a small Louis Vuitton handbag with her.
Police were treating the death as “unexplained” pending the results of the post-mortem.
Witnesses are urged to call the incident room on 020 8345 3985 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence: YouGov final prediction puts No campaign 8 points ahead - but Yes team remains optimistic
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
- 1 Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
- 2 Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair