The partner of EastEnders actress Sian Blake, who was murdered along with her two children, has been arrested in Ghana. An international manhunt has come to an end after Arthur Simpson-Kent, 48, was apprehended in the coastal town of Takoradi, which is around 150 miles from the Ghanaian capital, Accra.
According to local law enforcement in the West African state, the 48-year-old was armed with a "knife and a spoon" when he was arrested by detectives. Four Metropolitan Police officers travelled to help African police as part of the investigation.
Simpson-Kent fled the UK on 19 December 2015 just three days after police quizzed him at the family home in Erith, south-east London. Blake was last seen on 13 December and her body and that of her two sons Zachary, eight, and Amon, four, were found on 5 January buried in shallow graves in the back garden at their home.
The hairdresser and former model was said to have travelled to Glasgow and then Amsterdam before flying from the Netherlands to Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana. The Met launched a murder inquiry after Blake's car was found abandoned in Bethnal Green, east London, on 3 January.
Interpol's director in Ghana said they are planning to transport Simpson-Kent to Accra before flying him to the UK . They said, according to the Daily Mail: "He has been arrested. He had a knife and a spoon on him."
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard confirmed there had been an arrest saying it was "working alongside the Ghanaian authorities". It is understood that Blake, 43, had motor neurone disease – a fatal, rapidly progressing illness that affects the brain and spinal cord.
The Met revealed a post-mortem examination confirmed the actress and her two children died from "head and neck injuries" on 5 January. Blake and her two sons were last seen when they went to visit family in Leyton, east London, and they were reported missing three days later – allegedly by Simpson-Kent.
A missing persons' investigation for the trio was launched on 16 December 2015 after officers attended the family's home. The Met has confirmed measures were taken following information passed on from children's charity the NSPCC over concerns about Blake's health.
Scotland Yard is now facing questions as to why it took so long to find the bodies and why the investigation was not made a higher priority earlier. The Met has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which will look at why it took so long for Blake's disappearance to be treated as suspicious.