Gemma McCluskie: Police want to trace last steps of EastEnders actress in murder investigation

Police are trying to piece together the last movements of EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie after a headless torso found in an East End canal was confirmed as her.

The 29-year-old from Pelter Street, Bethnal Green, was last seen on Thursday March 1, and officers want to trace more witnesses as part of their murder investigation.

Gemma was reported missing to police two days after her disappearance.

Detective Superintendent Fiona Mallon, who is leading the investigation, said: “It is important we piece together Gemma’s movements from Wednesday February 29 until the discovery in Regent’s Canal in Hackney on Tuesday 6 March.

“We urge anyone with any significant information about this case to contact us as soon as possible. In particular we would like to hear from anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity around her home address in Pelter Street in Bethnal Green.”

Police are aware Gemma attended the high profile opening of the new Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, where her mother was recovering from a tumour, on Thursday March 1 at 11:30am.

It is understood the actress, who starred as Kerry Skinner in 30 episodes of EastEnders, had been carrying for her ill mother lately while working weekends as a night club bar maid.

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Gemma was pictured at the hospital launch wearing a yellow long-sleeved top with a round neck and navy-blue leggings.

She was also carrying a Louis Vuitton bag with beige handles and brown-coloured end panels.

It is also believed Gemma had her blackberry mobile phone with a white phone case with her. These items have not been recovered.

It was a member of the public who last Tuesday reported a suspicious object floating in the Regent’s Canal close to the Broadway Market.

Divers then recovered her torso and more searches were carried out in the water nearby to try and find her head, arms and legs.

A post-mortem examination took place at Poplar Mortuary but tests to establish the course of death proved inconclusive and more tests are being carried out.

DNA tests on the body were also carried out to establish formal identity and next of kin were informed of developments.

Anyone who can assist police should call the Incident Room on 020 8345 3985 or to remain anonymous Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

A 35-year-old man was arrested in connection with the inquiry. He remains in custody at an East London police station.