Detectives looking for missing oil executive Carole Waugh are considering the possibility she may be an escort, it emerged today.
Waugh, 50, originally from Durham, has not been seen by her family since mid-April and concerns are growing after a fraudster tried to sell her central London flat by posing as her brother.
Several suspicious financial transactions linked to her identity involving "substantial sums of money" have also been made since she vanished, and at least three women have tried to impersonate her.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We know that she met men through a variety of internet sites including dating sites, and prostitution is a line of inquiry."
Earlier today police arrested a man in connection with her disappearance after making appeals to find him.
Scotland Yard released CCTV footage of the man yesterday, which was captured outside a branch of Sainsbury's in Enfield, north London on July 10 where Miss Waugh's bank card was used.
He was detained today and is the ninth person to be arrested so far in connection with the investigation; seven have been bailed. Scotland Yard have not yet said what offence the man has been arrested over.
Police are appealing for anyone who has known Miss Waugh since she moved to London in 2008 to come forward.
She is originally from Durham, and since her mid-20s had spent time living in Libya and London.
Detective chief inspector John McFarlane said a "significant amount" of her personal property has also gone missing, but would not say what.
He said: "Ms Waugh is a successful businesswoman and her disappearance is completely out of character.
"Following her disappearance, there have been a number of fraudulent transactions associated with Ms Waugh's bank account.
"I'm very concerned for her safety and I appeal to anyone who has known her since she returned from Libya in 2008 to get in touch with us as soon as possible.
"Ms Waugh had a circle of friends and I have spoken to a number of them; however, I need to speak to more so that I can build a complete picture of Carole's life, that includes anyone who has met her socially or personally."
Miss Waugh's 53-year-old brother Chris said the family would like to speak to female friends who were due to travel to Las Vegas with her as a birthday celebration. She turned 50 in June.
He said: "We are keen to track them down to see what was going on. If we could find the friends, just to see what light they can shine on my sister.
"Anything with regards to friends or work colleagues, even."