Gemma McCluskie played Kerry Skinner in EastEnders

A severed head has been discovered in the canal where the limbless torso of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie was found floating in March.

A member of the public alerted police to the grisly find in Hackney's Regent's Canal at around 1.15pm yesterday.

Gemma, 29 - who played Kerry Skinner in 30 episodes of the BBC soap in 2001 - went missing after attending the opening of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel 6 months ago.

She was last seen returning to the Bethnal Green home she shared with her brother and mother Pauline, who Gemma is believed to have been acting as a carer for.

Gemma's brother Tony McCluskie, 35, is currently on remand waiting to stand trial accused of her murder.

'Officers will not speculate on the fact that it may be related to the Gemma McCluskie case,' a Scotland Yard spokesman tells MailOnline.

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Anna Duff