A man has been arrested by detectives searching for a police officer who went missing while on duty after “human remains” were found in a south London flat.

The 49-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murdering PC Gordon Semple, 59.

PC Semple who was in plain clothes was reported missing by his partner seven days ago after he failed to return home from his beat.

The “happy-go-lucky” Met Police officer disappeared after a meeting at the five-star Shangri La hotel in The Shard skyscraper, which is next to London Bridge.

The Met’s murder squad took over the investigation on Thursday and divers searched the river for him but found no evidence.

But this afternoon police were called to a flat on a housing estate near to where their colleague was last seen.

They are carrying out a forensic search but are unable to make a formal identification.

A post mortem is due to be carried out

Today Scotland Yard said: “Detectives searching for missing Westminster officer Gordon Semple, have this afternoon, Thursday, 7 April, begun a forensic search of a property in Southwark.

“A 49-year-old man was arrested at the address on suspicion of murder and is in police custody.

“This is obviously a significant development, and we have informed Gordon’s family.

“We are unable to make formal identification at this stage, but this is devastating news for all those involved in the search for Gordon.

“His family are being supported by specially trained officers and his colleagues have been briefed.

“Police were called at 1.07pm today, Thursday, 7 April, to an address on the Peabody Estate, Southwark Street, Southwark.

“Officers attended the address where human remains were discovered.

“Our work at that scene is crucial to ensure we capture all available evidence and this may take some time.

“At this stage we will not speculate any further on what may have happened or possible motive.

“A post-mortem will be held in due course, and until that has taken place we will not speculate on the cause of death.”

Gordon, from Greenhithe, Kent, was in plain-clothes, wearing brown shoes, dark trousers and a lilac shirt, at the time of his disappearance.

His niece, Kerry Nicholas, 28, of Inverness, Scotland, previously said: “We are very concerned, it’s very out-of-character for Gordon not to get in touch with anybody.

“He had been at a meeting in the Shangri La. He’s very outgoing, sociable and friendly. He’s a happy-go-lucky kind of guy.”

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