Detectives are treating the disappearance of missing oil executive Carole Waugh as a murder inquiry and have arrested a suspect.
Miss Waugh, 50, originally from Durham, has not been seen by her family since mid-April and concerns grew for her after a fraudster tried to sell her central London flat by posing as her brother.
A 47-year-old man was arrested at Luton Airport on Tuesday night on suspicion of kidnap and conspiracy to defraud, and was further arrested on suspicion of murder.
Detective Chief Inspector John McFarlane said yesterday: "Information has been received which has progressed this inquiry and we are now treating Carole's disappearance as a murder investigation. I am unable to go into further detail about the nature of the new information at this time; however, we now believe that Carole has not been seen alive since April 16. Since that time, significant plundering of her estate has taken place to the value of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
"In addition to a number of fraudulent transactions associated with Carole's bank account, there are also a number of her personal possessions that currently cannot be located. Today I am releasing images of items of Cartier jewellery, identical to that worn by Carole, which are amongst items missing from her personal possessions."
The missing items are a Cartier ring, a white gold bracelet, a yellow gold bracelet and a yellow gold necklace, which are all in the same style. "Carole wore the jewellery regularly and I appeal to anyone may have been offered such jewellery or has any knowledge of its whereabouts to contact us with information," said Mr McFarlane. "Anyone with information that can assist this investigation is urged to contact the incident room at Sutton on 020 8721 4205; if you wish to remain anonymous please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
On Wednesday night the suspect remained in custody at a south London police station.
Ms Waugh, of Harrowby Street, central London, was reported missing by her family on May 7 and had never gone missing before. The last believed sighting of her was thought to be in central London three days earlier - but this was unconfirmed.
To date, a total of 10 people have been arrested in connection with the investigation.
Detectives said Ms Waugh, who previously lived in Libya, had met men through a variety of internet sites including dating websites and were investigating the possibility that she might have been an escort.