Torso is identified as missing EastEnder

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A torso found floating in a canal in London was that of the missing former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie, detectives have confirmed.

The actress was murdered and dumped in the waterway after attending a high-profile hospital opening ceremony, officers said yesterday.

Police are stepping up their appeal for information after tests confirmed the remains pulled from London’s Regent’s Canal was of the missing woman.

Her 35-year-old brother Tony remains in police custody for questioning, a source confirmed. It is understood the actress shared a flat with him in Bethnal Green, East London.

Officers are reviewing CCTV footage of her attending the opening of the new £650m Royal London Hospital, in Whitechapel, east London, last Thursday.

Detective Superintendent Fiona Mallon, who is leading the Scotland Yard 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.

“We also 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.”

The 29-year-old was reported missing to police two days after going missing and her limbless torso was found when a member of the public reported a suspicious object floating close to Hackney’s famous Broadway Market.

Police divers are still searching for the remaining body parts.

Her BlackBerry mobile phone, which had a white case, has not been recovered.

The actress played Kerry Skinner in the BBC soap 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.