When police finally caught up with Arthur Simpson-Kent, who is accused of killing British actress Sian Blake and their two young kids, in Ghana, he was found crouching between two rocks clutching a knife. He didn’t wield it, however, and was handcuffed in his hiding place.
Now Simpson-Kent, 48, is awaiting extradition back to England. He’d reportedly been hiding out overseas since mid-December, and now it appears as though the former model-turned-hairdresser had spent his holidays in Ghana, the Independent reported.
He reportedly arrived in the African nation on December 19. The body of Sian Blake, 43, and her two sons with Arthur — Zachary, 8, and Amon, 4 — hadn’t been seen since December 13. After investigators questioned him on December 16, he took off, and an international manhunt commenced.
Three weeks after they were reported missing, Sian and her sons’ bodies were discovered in the garden of her home in Erith, Kent. According to autopsies, all three died of neck and head injuries. The London Evening Standard reported that the bodies had been buried in the backyard.
An internal investigation by a watchdog group has also begun, since it took Scotland Yard nearly a month to find Sian Blake dead at her home. An investigation first began after law enforcement was contacted by an anti-child abuse charity.
Now, police are piecing together the last month of Simpson-Kent’s life, which seems to have been spent in apparent ease and bliss over the holiday season.
Sian Blake’s partner arrived in Busua in mid-December and spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve there. A British expat who runs a café in the remote town told the authorities of his whereabouts, but Ghanaian and British police reportedly moved on the tip as quickly as they could. Karole Ainoo described Arthur as “very gently spoken, very well-mannered” and “enjoying himself” over the holidays. She learned who he was from social media reports.
Alternately, a local and party promoter named Ebenezer Felix Bentum described the man as “down” to African media.
“He was not happy and did not look happy. Like he had a lot on his mind. He didn’t even pay attention to what I was saying.”
According to District Police Commander Samuel Osei, he left his hotel on Friday because he “knew we would be coming for him.” Then, on Saturday, at a popular but apparently remote beach near the capital of Accra, 10 armed officers were seen descending on the beach; locals pointed out the hiding Simpson-Kent.
Back in England, Sian Blake’s grieving family is relieved but stunned. Sister Ava said that Sian had planned to officially leave her boyfriend over Christmas and that the relationship had already ended. Blake had hesitated to make it final because she didn’t want to kick him out on the street, People reported.
Sian Blake had a motor neurone disease, which affected her brain and spinal cord. In her last days, neighbors thought she’d looked rather frail.
Now that her alleged killer is in custody in Accra, Ava said the one thing that she can’t get over is that Simpson-Kent would be capable of killing his own kids.
“My sister, I can understand up to a point. Maybe there was an argument – this is what I would like to believe – and maybe she has fallen and hit her head and he panicked. I could accept that and still not like it. I don’t know how my nephews died. But the fact he could kill his own two children is beyond belief. That is something I’ll never understand.”
British police are working to apply for his extradition back into the country “in due course.” Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn praised the work of authorities in Ghana to bring the case to a close.
[Photo by Christian Thompson/AP]