Lockdown: The McCluskie home undergoes a complete search as worried friends and family await new
She was in hospital before Gemma's disappearance and neighbours fear the recent revelations will have an even greater impact on her health.
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: 'Their mother is very sick with brain cancer. She is in and out of hospital but was back in when Gemma disappeared.
'I can't think what this will do to her, it is absolutely sad, so surreal it is happening.'
Neighbour of 20 years John, who did not wish to reveal his full name, described Miss McCluskie as a ‘happy-go-lucky girl’ who had never boasted about her TV past.
He said: 'She didn’t deserve this. None of the family deserved this.
'I really don’t think her mum will recover from her disappearance and Tony’s arrest.
'We were totally shocked when she disappeared, it is so out of character. Now all this... shock doesn’t begin to describe it.'
The torso was found in Regent’s Canal on Tuesday afternoon. The discovery was made in a busy area of the canal packed with houseboats, close to the popular Broadway Market.
TV past: Gemma McCluskie with Dean Gaffney in Eastenders. She appeared in more than 30 episodes of the BBC soap
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