The family of an Inverness police officer, have made a heartfelt tribute as the missing person investigation launched after his disappearance , has become a murder inquiry.
Human remains thought to be those of missing Inverness cop Gordon Semple have still yet to be formally identified due to the condition in which they were found.
Gordon, 59, originally from Inverness, was reported missing by his “extremely concerned” partner after a meeting at the Shangri-La hotel in the Shard skyscraper on in London on Friday.
Speaking outside New Scotland Yard, commander Alison Newcombe from the territorial police unit read the following statement: “A man arrested on suspicion of murder remains in custody and is being questioned by detectives.
“They have been leading the search to find PC Gordon Semple.
“This is obviously a significant development and we have informed his family and colleagues.
“He was reported missing on April 1 and we have been working very hard to try and find him.
“Yesterday afternoon we were called by a member of the public to an address on the Peabody Estate on Southwark Street.
“At that address, a man was arrested and human remains were discovered.
“Due to the condition of those remains it will take some time to establish cause of death and for formal identification to take place.
“At this point I do not wish to speculate on what has happened.
“Yesterday a forensic search was started at the address and it is ongoing.
“It will take some time for us to complete that work. It is a vital search for evidence.
“I would like to thank the local residents for their patience and support.
“Local officers are put on patrol to talk to residents and reassure them.
“If there is anyone who can help us with out investigation I would ask you to get in touch ask tell us what you know.
“My thoughts are with Gordon’s family and friends at this time of personal tragedy and I would ask that they are give the space and privacy they need come to terms with this development.
“This is a very sad day London’s police. There are many officers who have served with Gordon over his 30-year career who feel his loss.”
The anti-social behaviour officer was then spotted on CCTV in nearby Great Guildford Street at 3pm before disappearing.
A murder investigation was launched on Wednesday and divers searched the river Thames on Thursday.
But just after 1pm on Thursday, officers were called to a flat on the Peabody Estate in Herne Hill, south London, where “human remains” were found.
In a statement on Thursday evening, 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.”
On the Facebook group set up to publicise the search, his family posted the Met Police’s statement and wrote: “It is with great sadness we post the following link.
“Gordon’s family would like to thank everyone for their support throughout this difficult time.
“Your support and help to find Gordon has been overwhelming.
“He was a loved partner, brother, uncle and friend to many .
“The Family request that their privacy be respected at this sad time.”