Stench leads to body of missing police officer in London

The decomposed remains of missing police officer Gordon Semple were discovered after a neighbour alerted Scotland Yard to a “smell of death” coming from a housing estate flat.

The body of PC Semple, 59, was found at a property in Southwark, south London, on Thursday and a 49-year-old suspect was arrested at the same address.

The officer’s brother, Ronnie Semple, said in a statement his death left the world of his family and his partner Gary “a worse place”.

A man whose brother lives upstairs from the flat where the body was found confronted the person living at the property about the stench, and said the occupant had put scented candles outside his door to disguise it.

Martin Harris said the door was answered by a Mediterranean-looking man wearing blue Speedo-type swimming trunks and glasses, who was “as cool as a cucumber”.

Mr Harris told the Telegraph: “I asked him what the terrible smell was and he apologised and said he was cooking.”

Still concerned, he contacted police.

The officer, who had been with the police for 30 years, left his home in Greenhithe, Dartford, to go to work in Westminster last Friday.

Officers are continuing a “vital search for evidence” at the scene which will take “some time” to complete, Scotland Yard said.


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