Wednesday 7 March 2012

Man Held After Headless Torso, Feared To Be EastEnders Actress Gemma McCluskie Is Found In Canal

The brother of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie has been arrested after a headless torso believed to be missing 29-year-old was dragged from a canal in east London, Sky News understands. Tony McCluskie remains in custody at an east London police station, sources say. Police have not yet confirmed the identity of the suspect The limbless body was discovered near to the Broadway Market stretch of Regent's Canal in Hackney at 2.40pm yesterday. "Police were initially contacted by a member of the public who had noticed something suspicious floating in the water," the Met Police said in a statement. "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." Relatives and co-stars of 29-year-old Miss McCluskie were said by sources to be "fearing the worst", as Scotland Yard carried out forensic tests on the remains. Miss McCluskie starred in the soap as Kerry Skinner on more than 30 occasions in 2001. Her character arrived in Walford as a friend of Zoe Slater and the great niece of the late Ethel Skinner. She briefly dated Robbie Jackson and got him to propose to her. Brooke Kinsella turned to Twitter to appeal for help in finding Miss McCluskie Miss McCluskie disappeared from Bethnal Green, east London, last week. Friends had been carrying out searches in the area and handing out leaflets. Co-stars Brooke Kinsella and Natalie Cassidy both appealed for help finding her on Twitter. Kinsella, who has become a prominent anti-knife crime campaigner since her brother Ben was murdered in 2008, had tweeted: "Gemma McCluskie has been MISSING from Bethnal Green since Thursday please get in touch if you have seen her." Cassidy, who played Sonia in the soap, also posted on the website: "Gemma McCluskie, missing since Thurs, if u have sn her/have any info PLS contact @CarlyKarma ... #FindGemma." Officers believe they know the identity of the victim but are awaiting further forensic tests before formal identification can take place. The man being questioned by police is understood to be known to Miss McCluskie. He remains in custody at an east London police station. Detective Inspector John Nicholson, who is leading the murder inquiry, has appealed for witnesses.