Frantic police search for runaway aristocrat Constance Marten’s’s missing baby enters its second day
Police are on a second day today on the hunt for the baby of an arrested aristocrat and her rapist lover who continue to refuse to tell police where their child is.
Hopes of finding the two-month-old alive are fading after Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were caught Monday night in Brighton after being on the run for 54 days.
The child was not with them and more than 200 police officers carried out frantic searches in the South Downs last night. Hundreds more will join them today.
The couple is being held on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence. Lewis Basford of the Metropolitan Police said it was possible the baby had been ‘harmed’ because the couple had refused to disclose its location despite being questioned for a ‘considerable time’.
Mark Gordon, 48, and Constance Marten, 35, had been missing for the past 54 days and were sleeping rough. They refuse to talk to the police about where their baby is
The couple, pictured on the left, were arrested Monday evening as Gordon apparently resisted for 40 minutes
The couple were heard arguing as they walked past Stanmer Villas just before 9.30pm on Monday evening, five minutes before they were arrested by Sussex police, exclusive footage obtained by MailOnline showed.
Constance was apparently in tears when police burst into Gulf Drive, yelling at them to “get off” her lover when he was detained, saying she was concerned about his mental health.
A witness claimed he struggled and took 40 minutes to be subdued. Another said he was very angry and shouted.
A member of the public, who had seen media reports about the couple, called 999 after seeing them withdraw money from a convenience store in Hollingbury Place shortly before 9.30pm.
Officers arrived six minutes later, with Marten and Gordon detained at nearby Stanmer Villas and arrested on suspicion of child neglect.
Since then, more than 200 officers have searched a seven-mile by 21-mile area for the baby, from where the pair were last seen to where they were arrested — including allotments and woods.
Superintendent Lewis Basford said police still hoped to find the child safe and sound, using a helicopter, sniffer dogs, thermal imaging cameras and drones.
However, Mr Basford confirmed that Marten and Gordon had been arrested again on suspicion of grossly negligent homicide and said police should consider the possibility that the baby had been ‘harmed’.
He said officers had not received any information about the child’s well-being or location since the pair were detained.
Police search teams at Roedale Valley Allotments, Brighton, where an urgent search is underway to find the missing baby
Mr Basford said: ‘We spent a considerable amount of time in detention facility with both Constance and Mark.
“At this point, we have not provided that information, which has now clearly led us to feel that the risk is becoming so great that we now need to consider the possibility that the baby was injured.
“I can now confirm that they have been further arrested on suspicion of grossly negligent homicide and remain in police custody in Sussex.
“The baby wasn’t with them and we haven’t found the baby yet.”
Police’s lengthy search for Marten, 35, and Gordon, 48, began on January 5 when their car was found ablaze next to the M61 in Bolton.
Inquiries revealed that Marten had recently given birth — possibly one or two days before the incident — and had not been evaluated by medical professionals.
Greater Manchester Police determined that the family had safely left the car and the motorway.
They used taxis to travel first to Liverpool, then to Harwich in Essex and then to East London, before arriving in Sussex on 8 January.
The pair avoided detection by paying cash only, hiding their faces from CCTV and often moving around at night or in the early hours of the morning.
Mr Basford said officers are reviewing footage shared online of Gordon seen with a cane before he was arrested, adding there was enough information to suggest the pair had spent most of their time in open spaces outside while evading the police.
He admitted the cold weather meant officers had to be open to the investigation and not “end up the way we’d like.”
The baby was born in early January and has not had any medical care since.
Mr Basford said police have not yet found any items Marten and Gordon bought in Argos on January 7, adding: ‘We would still say we are actively looking for it.’
Marten’s father said it was a huge relief that his daughter had been found, but that it was “deeply alarming” that her baby is still missing.
Napier Marten told the Independent that he loves his daughter but that it would have been “much better” if she and Gordon had turned themselves in sooner.
Coming from a wealthy aristocratic family, Marten was a promising drama student when she met Gordon in 2016.
Since then, the couple has lived in isolation and in September, as Marten’s pregnancy progressed, the couple began moving into rented flats.
Gordon served 20 years in prison in the US for rape and assault committed when he was 14.
It is not known if their baby was full term or has any health issues.
In an appeal a week ago, Shereen Nimmo, director of obstetrics for Barts Health NHS Trust, urged the couple to bring the baby in for a check-up.
She said: ‘You are putting your baby at risk by not having access to medical care, so it is very important that you see a midwife, doctor or other health care provider as soon as possible.
“Please do the right thing for your baby and go to the nearest care facility so that my caring colleagues can take care of you and your baby. We just want to help you.’
Anyone who may be able to assist in the search for the baby is urged to contact 999.