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Constance Marten – latest: Body found in search for aristocrat’s newborn baby

A body has been found in the search for a newborn baby which went missing with an aristocrat and her partner in January.

Sussex Police confirmed the news at a press conference this evening.

The baby had not received any medical attention since being born in a car in Bolton on January 5.

Scouring 90 square miles of countryside, Metropolitan and Sussex Police had been using helicopters, sniffer dogs, thermal imaging cameras and drones in the search. Teams worked all hours, including overnight, Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford told reporters on Wednesday.

35-year-old Ms Marten comes from an aristocratic family with royal connections. A missing person operation was launched after the car she and her boyfriend Mark Gordon were travelling in was found abandoned and on fire at the edge of the M61 on January 5.

Ms Marten and Mr Gordon were originally arrested on February 28 on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter. The pair refused to tell police of the whereabouts of their two-month-old infant or if the baby had come to harm, leading police to fear for their welfare.

Key points

  • Police seek extension for detention of runaway aristocrat and partner

  • Parkland scoured in search for missing baby

  • Manslaughter arrests as police admit missing baby has likely come to harm

  • Couple could have given missing baby to third party, police say

  • Police find child ear muff in search for missing baby

Constance Marten: Police confirm body found in search for missing baby

19:12 , Eleanor Noyce

In a press conference held on Wednesday evening, Sussex Police have sadly confirmed that a body has been found in the search for Constance Marten and Mark Gordon’s missing baby.

Watch here:

Work on case expected to continue for ‘some time’, says Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford

19:10 , Eleanor Noyce

Speaking at Sussex Police headquarters, Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford told reporters: “It is my very sad duty to update this afternoon, police officers searching a wooded area close to where Constance and Mark Gordon were arrested, discovered the remains of a baby.

“A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.

“A crime scene is in place and work at the location is expected to continue for some time.

“This is an outcome that myself and that many officers who have been part of this search had hoped would not happen.

“I recognise the impact this news will have on many people who have been following this story closely and can assure them that we will do everything we possibly can to establish what has happened.”

The couple remain in custody, having been arrested on suspicion of child neglect and gross negligence manslaughter.

Announcement ‘heartbreaking’ for local community, says Chief Superintendent James Collis

19:08 , Eleanor Noyce

Chief Superintendent James Collis from Sussex Police said the announcement will be “heartbreaking” for the local community.

He said: “I would first and foremost like to extend my heartfelt condolences on behalf of Sussex Police to the wider family of the baby at this time.

“I understand that the conclusion of this search will be heartbreaking for the local community and the wider public who have been impacted by and so supportive of this search and the investigation from the outset.

“I would like to thank again the public, including the member of public whose information led to the arrests, the huge number of people who came forward with information and those that have volunteered to assist with the searches.

“We continue to support the Metropolitan Police as they conduct their investigation and also the wider community as we all come to terms with this tragedy.”

Body found in search for Constance Marten’s missing newborn baby, Sussex Police confirm

19:01 , Eleanor Noyce

A body has been found in the search for runaway aristocrat Constance Marten’s missing newborn baby.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out in due course, detectives say.

The 35-year-old and her partner Mark Gordon, 48, were arrested in Brighton on Monday night, following a more than seven-week search sparked by the discovery of their burnt-out car on the M61 near Bolton.

The couple were detained by Sussex Police after being spotted by a member of the public, prompting an intensive search for their baby, which was not with the couple.

My colleague Andy Gregory has more:

Body found in search for Constance Marten’s missing newborn baby

Sussex Police begin ‘significant' update on Constance Marten and Mark Gordon investigation

18:59 , Eleanor Noyce

Following a slight delay, the police update on the investigation into the whereabouts of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon’s two-month-old baby has started.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford and Chief Superintendent James Collis will now give statements.

Follow along as we provide live updates.

Sussex Police to give update on Constance Marten and Mark Gordon investigation

18:19 , Eleanor Noyce

Sussex Police is set to provide a significant update on the investigation at 18:30.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford and Chief Superintendent James Collis will give statements shortly.

On Tuesday 28 February, police confirmed the couple had been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter, with the search for their two-month-old continuing.

Follow for live updates.

Helicopters, cameras and drones used in baby search

17:10 , Jane Dalton

Detectives scouring 90 sq miles in the Brighton area say they are using helicopters, sniffer dogs, thermal imaging cameras and drones to search for the missing baby of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon.

Teams will continue to work in the coming days, including overnight, Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said.

Police searching allotments (Getty Images)
Police searching allotments (Getty Images)

Watch: Constance Marten: Search for missing baby widens as police dogs called in

16:10 , Emily Atkinson

Constance Marten: The runaway heiress, her rapist partner and the aristocratic family rift

15:40 , Emily Atkinson

They abandoned their burning car on the hard shoulder of the M61 and fled – an aristocrat, a sex offender, and their baby, born just one or two days before. From the inferno near Bolton, thought to have destroyed all their belongings, they travelled first to Liverpool, then to Harwich in Essex, to Colchester and on to East Ham station in east London, over the course of two days.

They went on the run for more than a month, and on Tuesday 28 February police confirmed the couple had been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter – as the search for their baby continues.

Tom Ough has the story:

Constance Marten: The missing aristocrat, her rapist partner and the family rift

Police seek extension for detention of runaway aristocrat and partner

14:44 , Emily Atkinson

Detective Supt Lewis Basford said the Met has made an application for a 36-hour extension of the detention of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon has been made to Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

He added that detectives must now consider that the baby has come to serious harm.

Speaking at the scene in Newhaven he told reporters: “Detectives from the Met’s specialist crime comand are now leading enquring efforts to locate the baby.

“This is a hugely difficult and painstaking investigation covering a vast area of some 90 square miles. We’re using every resource at our disposal to find the baby.”

Inside Crichel House: The multi-million-pound family home where aristocrat Constance Marten grew up

14:13 , Emily Atkinson

Missing aristocrat Constance Marten has been detained with her partner Mark Gordon after 53 days on the run with their newborn baby, who remains missing.

As the police conduct an urgent search for the missing two-month-old infant, the pair have now been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross child negligence.

The case of the 35-year-old aristocrat makes for one of the more unusual police investigations. The former heiress to the multi-million pound Crichel House in Dorset, became estranged from her family after she began dating convicted sex offender Mr Gordon.

Thomas Kingsley has more:

Inside Crichel House, the family home where aristocrat Constance Marten grew up

Parkland scoured in search for missing baby

13:00 , Emily Atkinson

Groups of officers from the Metropolitan Police and London Search and Rescue conducted sweeps of Moulsecoomb Wild Park, looking under bushes and behind trees for Constance Marten’s baby.

The officers, some in police uniform, some in red coats, some in black clothing and others in orange hi-vis, used sticks to search through the undergrowth.

 (PA)
(PA)

At the start of each section of their searches, one officer shouted: “Are we ready? Look behind you, and let’s get going” before they walked in a line, scouring the area.

The search party would pause frequently to ensure each member had caught up with the rest of the line, before continuing to walk forwards.

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Watch: Moment police swoop in to arrest Constance Marten and Mark Gordon

12:30 , Emily Atkinson

12:00 , Emily Atkinson

Officers from London Search and Rescue could be seen in orange hi-vis jackets searching Moulsecoomb Wild Park – around a mile from where Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were arrested.

The officers, some wearing jackets indicating they were dog handlers, searched underneath sticks and logs close to where the area meets Hollingbury Golf Course.

A uniformed officer was seen standing guard at the entrance to the park, with dog walkers saying they saw police tape cordoning off parts of the woodland.

 (PA)
(PA)

11:30 , Emily Atkinson

Police have searched every shed at the Roedale Valley Allotments near where Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were arrested and will remain on site for some time, users have been told.

An entry on the allotments society Facebook page said officers had forced entry to outbuildings as the hunt for the two-month-old baby continues.

The site remains closed to users amid the massive search operation

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(PA)

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How Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were caught: A chance encounter outside a corner shop

11:00 , Emily Atkinson

Fifty-three days after going on the run with a newborn baby, missing aristocrat Constance Marten and her boyfriend Mark Gordon were finally caught – with help from a member of the public outside a corner shop.

The couple were recognised by a passer-by thanks to media appeals, and police swooped just six minutes later as they walked up a nearby Brighton street.

“Just after 9.30pm, yesterday [Monday] evening a member of the public – off the back of media reporting of images of the couple – sighted them outside of the Mulberrys convenience store on Hollingbury Place,” Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford told a press conference.

Our home affairs editor Lizzie Dearden has the details:

How Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were caught: A corner shop chance encounter

Watch: Drone footage shows police search for missing baby of Constance Marten

10:30 , Emily Atkinson

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon: Timeline of the missing couple’s disappearance

10:00 , Emily Atkinson

An aristocrat’s daughter and her sex offender partner are in police custody after being arrested in Brighton.

Constance Marten, 35, and her boyfriend Mark Gordon, 48, were located by officers from Sussex Police in Stanmer Villas, Brighton on Monday night after a member of the public reported seeing them shortly before 9.30pm.

However, their newborn baby is still missing and an urgent search operation is underway to find the infant who has not had any medical attention since the birth in early January.

Thomas Kingsley reports:

Missing couple Constance Marten and Mark Gordon’s time on the run

Search for missing baby continues

09:30 , Emily Atkinson

The search for Constance Marten’s baby continued on Wednesday as a heavy police presence remained at the scene near Stanmer Villas, Brighton.

A red search dogs van was seen making its way into the adjoining Golf Drive, which leads to the allotments that have been a focus of the police search since Marten and her partner Mark Gordon were arrested on Monday evening.

A number of marked police vehicles were stationed along Golf Drive and a uniformed officer stood guard at the bottom of the road.

 (PA)
(PA)

Watch: Police search woods for missing baby

09:00 , Emily Atkinson

CCTV shows moments before police swoop to arrest Constance Marten and rapist partner

08:30 , Emily Atkinson

Surveillance footage from a doorbell CCTV camera revealed the activities of aristocrat Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon moments before the couple was arrested on Monday night.

The pair could be seen walking past houses at 9.25pm, shortly before they were taken into custody by police in Brighton. In the footage, they both have hoods on and are seemingly carrying bags, as they briskly walked past. Gordon can also be seen carrying a long stick in his hand, apart from the bags.

A member of the public, who had seen media reports about the couple, phoned 999 after seeing them withdraw cash from a convenience store in Hollingbury Place shortly before 9.30pm.

Namita Singh has this story:

CCTV shows moments before police swoop to arrest Constance Marten and rapist partner

Risk to baby ‘as high as it’s been’ after missing couple found

08:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Detectives attempting to find Constance Marten’s baby have said the risk to the infant’s welfare is “as high as it’s been in the investigation” as they search the Sussex undergrowth.

Since the pair was arrested, more than 200 police officers have been engaged in the search for the two-month-old baby, using sticks to wade through bushes in woodland near Stanmer Villas and Golf Drive.

The infant was born in early January and has had no medical attention since then, with his or her parents sleeping rough in freezing temperatures much of the time.

Read more here.

Risk to baby ‘as high as it’s been’ after missing couple found

Constance Marten ‘yelled at police’ during arrest

07:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Aristocrat Constance Marten yelled at police to “get off” boyfriend Mark Gordon as he was restrained, eyewitnesses said.

The couple was recognised by a passer-by thanks to media appeals, and police swooped just six minutes later as they walked up a nearby Brighton street.

One witness told The Sun: “The call came in from a member of the public who spotted them and thought they recognised the media appeals.

“He was apparently walking in front of her, which he has been in the other photos where they’ve been spotted. They just looked odd at that time of night.”

The witness continued: “Originally it was one police car who spotted them, then when they realised who it was the rest of them all very quickly turned up.

“He was restrained for a while on the floor and to begin with was very animated. He was screaming and shouting. She was yelling at them to get off him.

“She was in tears and also got arrested a bit further down the street.”

Watch: Police ask public to search their gardens for missing baby

07:00 , Emily Atkinson

Police find child’s ear muffs near arrest site

06:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Police officers have recovered a pair of pink child’s ear muffs while searching for the missing baby of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon.

The couple was caught and arrested in Brighton after a tip-off from the public. They were found without the baby and police believe the couple left their infant out in the open.

Photos released from the scene in Brighton show officers placing a pair of childs’ ear muffs in an evidence bag - though it is unclear whether they belong to their newborn.

Read more here.

Constance Marten: Police find child’s ear muffs near arrest site

UK police search for infant after missing couple arrested

06:00 , Emily Atkinson

British police said Tuesday they have launched a major search for a two-month-old baby after officers arrested the infant’s mother and her boyfriend who had been missing since January.

Constance Marten, 35, and her boyfriend Mark Gordon, 48, a convicted sex offender, had been on the run since the baby was born in early January. They have been spotted around the country, and police said they sought to avoid being detected by paying for everything in cash and covering their faces when on CCTV.

Marten and Gordon were arrested on suspicion of child neglect late Monday in Brighton in southern England after a tipoff from a member of the public. The baby was not with them, and police launched an urgent search operation in the area.

UK police search for infant after missing couple arrested

How Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were caught

05:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Fifty-three days after going on the run with a newborn baby, missing aristocrat Constance Marten and her boyfriend Mark Gordon were finally caught – with help from a member of the public outside a corner shop.

The couple was recognised by a passer-by thanks to media appeals, and police swooped just six minutes later as they walked up a nearby Brighton street.

“Just after 9.30pm, yesterday [Monday] evening a member of the public – off the back of media reporting of images of the couple – sighted them outside of the Mulberrys convenience store on Hollingbury Place,” Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said.

“They saw the couple withdrawing cash and dialled 999. The time between that call being registered and police arriving at the scene was six minutes.”

Lizzie Dearden reports.

How Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were caught: A corner shop chance encounter

CCTV shows Constance Marten and Mark Gordon moments before arrest

04:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Surveillance footage shows aristocrat Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon moments before their arrest on 27 February.

The pair can be seen walking past a house at 9.25pm before being taken into custody by police in Brighton.

The duo has since been further arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter, with fears growing over their missing baby.

Watch here.

CCTV shows Constance Marten and Mark Gordon moments before arrest

Who is Napier Marten? Father who made emotional appeal for daughter missing with baby

04:00 , Emily Atkinson

The aristocratic Marten family has dominated headlines in recent weeks after 35-year-old Constance Marten, her newborn baby and partner, a convicted rapist, became the subject of a “high risk” missing person investigation.

Napier Marten had urged his daughter Constance to take herself and the child to safety as soon as possible.

Appealing to his daughter in January, Mr Marten said: “I want you to understand that you are much much loved whatever the circumstances. We are deeply concerned for your and your baby’s welfare”.

Who is Napier Marten? Thomas Kingsley has more:

Who is Napier Marten? Father who made emotional appeal for daughter missing with baby

Watch: Police search woods for missing baby

03:00 , Emily Atkinson

ICYMI | Constance Marten and Mark Gordon arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter

02:00 , Emily Atkinson

A missing aristocrat and her partner have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter as a major search continues for their missing baby.

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have refused to tell police where the two-month-old infant is, or if the baby has come to harm, since being arrested after a member of the public spotted them outside a Brighton corner shop.

As hundreds of police officers started to comb a 91-square mile corridor of open land where the child could have been abandoned, Ms Marten’s father told The Independent his relief at the news she had been found safe was tempered by the “very alarming” concerns about her child.

Lizzie Dearden and Andy Gregory report:

Constance Marten and partner arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter

Latest pictures from the scene as search for missing baby continues

01:00 , Emily Atkinson

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(PA)
 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)
 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Police search compost bins in major operation to find Constance Marten’s baby

00:00 , Emily Atkinson

Police are searching compost bins and open land in a major operation to find Constance Marten‘s missing baby.

The runaway aristocrat and her partner, Mark Gordon, are in police custody after being arrested in Brighton on suspicion of child neglect on Monday (27 February).

They had been travelling around the UK by taxi since their car was found burning on the M61 in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on 5 January.

The whereabouts of the child, who was born last month, is unknown.

Police search compost bins in major operation to find Constance Marten’s baby

Mapped: What we know about the couple’s runaway journey

Tuesday 28 February 2023 23:00 , Emily Atkinson

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(Datawrapper)

Constance Marten: The runaway heiress, her rapist partner and the aristocratic family rift

Tuesday 28 February 2023 22:00 , Emily Atkinson

hey abandoned their burning car on the hard shoulder of the M61 and fled – an aristocrat, a sex offender, and their baby, born just one or two days before. From the inferno near Bolton, thought to have destroyed all their belongings, they travelled first to Liverpool, then to Harwich in Essex, to Colchester and on to East Ham station in east London, over the course of two days.

They went on the run for more than a month, and on Tuesday 28 February police confirmed the couple had been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter – as the search for their baby continues.

Tom Ough reports:

Constance Marten: The missing aristocrat, her rapist partner and the family rift

ICYMI | Napier Marten: My immense relief she’s been found — and my fears for her missing baby

Tuesday 28 February 2023 20:45 , Emily Atkinson

The father of runaway aristocrat Constance Marten has spoken of his “immense relief” that his daughter has been found but said he was extremely worried about her newborn baby, who is still missing .

Napier Marten, who issued two heartfelt pleas while his daughter was on the run with her convicted rapist partner, told The Independent that “whatever the weather, I love her dearly and will support her best I can”.

But he added that it would have been “far better if they had handed themselves in earlier”.

Constance Marten’s father relief she’s been found — and his fears for missing baby

Constance Marten: Police swarm Brighton in search for missing baby

Tuesday 28 February 2023 20:15 , Emily Atkinson

Risk to baby ‘as high as it’s been’ after missing couple found

Tuesday 28 February 2023 19:45 , Emily Atkinson

Detectives attempting to find Constance Marten’s baby have said the risk to the infant’s welfare is “as high as it’s been in the investigation” as they search the Sussex undergrowth.

The aristocrat and her partner Mark Gordon were arrested in Brighton on Monday on suspicion of child neglect after several weeks avoiding the police, but the child was not seen with them.

The couple were detained after a 999 call by a member of the public who had seen media reports about the pair.

Read our report in full here:

Risk to baby ‘as high as it’s been’ after missing couple found

12 key facts about the disappearance of runaway aristocrat Constance Marten

Tuesday 28 February 2023 19:15 , Emily Atkinson

On 5 January, aristocrat Constance Marten, her sex offender partner Mark Gordon and their newborn baby went missing, abandoning a broken-down car, which was later found in flames, on the M61 near Bolton.

The couple were found in Brighton by Sussex Police officers on Monday night, but their baby remains missing.

Kate Plummer and Andy Gregory run through 12 key facts about the case:

12 key facts about the disappearance of runaway aristocrat Constance Marten

Met’s latest statement on search for runaway aristocrat’s missing baby in full

Tuesday 28 February 2023 18:45 , Emily Atkinson

Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said: “Throughout this investigation our key priority has been finding the baby, and we remain committed to that. There is a significant amount of police search activity in open spaces to the north of Brighton near to where the couple were arrested last night.

“Before the arrest, the last known sighting of the couple was in Newhaven on Wednesday, 8 January.. I’m therefore appealing to members of the public between Brighton and Newhaven to report any potential sightings, or information about where they may have been sleeping. I’d also ask people living in these areas to report any suspicious behaviour or items found in their gardens, outbuildings and sheds, between then and now.

“Equally if you are out walking in these areas and you discover something you think we should know about, please don’t hesitate to contact us, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Support from the public is vital and we ask people to remain vigilant.

“We have received a large number of phone calls from members of the public during the investigation. I would like to thank everyone who has come forward with information to assist us, and especially the person who quickly called police last night after spotting Constance and Mark. Our colleagues from Sussex Police were on the scene within minutes to make the arrest. We are very grateful for the support they are providing.

Anyone with any sightings or information that could assist the search is asked to call the incident room on 0208 3453 865 or 999 with anything they believe may be significant.

Watch: Constance Marten and Mark Gordon arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter

Tuesday 28 February 2023 18:15 , Emily Atkinson

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon ‘were living outdoors before they were found'

Tuesday 28 February 2023 17:45 , Emily Atkinson

Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were living outdoors before they were found.

He told reporters: “Working hypothesis still remains that we believe them to have been in the open land and open areas, that is why our focus and our search is where it is.

“We are conscious to the fact that there are outbuildings, it’s a vast amount of land.”

He added: “I’m quite happy to confirm from the initial assessments we have, which links in to our rationale and reason for why we are doing open land searches, is because upon locating the couple, and arresting the couple, there is significant intelligence information that brings us to a hypothesis that they have been spending a significant time outdoors.

“Living in the countryside and obviously the vast land here in Sussex.”

How Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were caught: A chance encounter outside a corner shop

Tuesday 28 February 2023 17:15 , Emily Atkinson

Fifty-three days after going on the run with a newborn baby, missing aristocrat Constance Marten and her boyfriend Mark Gordon were finally caught - with help from a member of the public outside a corner shop.

The couple were recognised by a passer-by thanks to media appeals, and police swooped just six minutes later as they walked up a nearby Brighton street.

“Just after 9.30pm, yesterday [Monday] evening a member of the public - off the back of media reporting of images of the couple - sighted them outside of the Mulberrys convenience store on Hollingbury Place,” Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, told a press conference.

Our home affairs editor Lizzie Dearden has the details:

How Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were caught: A corner shop chance encounter

Manslaughter arrests as police admit missing baby has likely come to harm

Tuesday 28 February 2023 16:50 , Emily Atkinson

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have been further arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter, police have said.

Speaking to reporters in Brighton, detective superintendent Lewis Basford also said that the risk to the couple’s missing baby was getting “so great” that officers “have to consider the baby has come to harm.”

“We must retain that hope that the baby is found safe and well. However as time progresses, with the weather closing in as it is and the impact the cold would have on a baby, the risk is getting higher and this may not end in the way that we like,” he said.

Mapped: What we know about Constance Marten and Mark Gordon’s runaway journey

Tuesday 28 February 2023 16:45 , Emily Atkinson

More than seven weeks after their burning car was found abandoned at the roadside near Bolton, Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon have been arrested on England’s south coast.

The couple had spent weeks living off-grid in an apparent attempt to evade authorities concerned for the welfare of their newborn baby, which is yet to be found.

The couple, aged 35 and 48 respectively, were apprehended in Brighton’s Stanmer Villas on Monday night, police said, and a large-scale search is under way for their baby, the sex of which is not yet known.

Andy Gregory reports:

Mapped: What we know about Constance Marten and Mark Gordon’s runaway journey

Risk to baby ‘as high as it’s been’, say police

Tuesday 28 February 2023 16:17 , Emily Atkinson

Detectives attempting to find Constance Marten’s baby have said the risk to the infant’s welfare is “as high as it’s been in the investigation” as they search the Sussex undergrowth.

Senior investigating officer detective superintendent Lewis Basford said police were making assessments on the baby’s welfare “on the hour, by the hour”.

He said nothing significant has been found, including items such as a tent bought at Argos on January 7, adding: “We would still say we are actively looking for those.”

Mr Basford told reporters: “We have got nobody who has actually physically seen the baby.

“We’re still in a position where we hold hope that the baby is safe and well.

“We agree that the risk is extremely high - probably as high as it’s been in the investigation.

“Clearly, as it’s fast moving, we’re making assessments on the hour, by the hour, as to what our hypotheses are around the ongoing welfare of the baby.”

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon could have given missing baby to third party, police say

Tuesday 28 February 2023 15:38 , Emily Atkinson

Police have indicated that Constance Marten and Mark Gordon could have entrusted a third party with their missing baby.

Giving an update on the search this afternoon, senior investigating officer Det Supt Lewis Basford suggested the couple may have offered their “cash reserves” to a likeminded or non-law abiding individual in exchange for them protecting their baby.

“Whilst we’re still in the position, we hold hope the baby is safe and we agree that the risk is extremely high,” he told reporters.

Asked if Ms Marten and Mr Gordon may have given the baby to someone else, he responsed: “Our main line of enquiry is that they were in custody of the baby and at no point have we seen in the short period of CCTV we have that they allowed others to have the baby.

But he added: “The rationale for the [£10,000] reward is because we cannot rule out that along that journey they have taken they have found someone likeminded or does not conform to law enforcement aims of trying to protect that baby and may have used the cash reserves we know they had to offer it for safe lodging.”

Couple have not given ‘any further information’ on whereabouts and condition of baby

Tuesday 28 February 2023 15:30 , Emily Atkinson

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have not given “any further information” during interviews with police about whereabouts or condition of their missing baby, senior investigating officer Det Supt Lewis Basford said.

“We have no additional information or intelligence that has taken us to a position where we are able to find the baby,” he told reporters.

Det Supt Basford said the couple had travelled “significant distances on foot” and police are “actively still engaged in an open land search to find the baby.”

He went on to urge the public to be vigilant in open land and outbuildings in South Downs between Brighton and Newhaven, where the family were last caught on CCTV in January.

The last sighting was on 8 January, when they were seen walking along Cantercrow Hill in Newhaven into some fields, where they were believed to have set up camp.

Police ‘working against clock’ in search for baby

Tuesday 28 February 2023 15:20 , Emily Atkinson

Police say they are working against the clock to find the missing baby of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon amid threat of freezing temperatures.

Giving an update to reporters on the search this afterrnon, senior investigating officer Det Supt Lewis Basford said: “Just after 9.30pm yesterday evening a member of the public - off the back of media reporting of images of the couple - sighted them outside of the Mulberrys convenience store on Hollingbury Place”

Mr Basford said they saw the couple withdrawing cash and called 999.

Sussex Police arrived within six minutes and arrested the couple as they were walking up nearby Stanmer Villas, he explained. They were both described as “heavily clothed for outdoor activity.”

Det Supt Basford said the baby wasn’t with them and they haven’t yet found their tent or the items they got from the Argos in Whitechapel.

He said: “While there is still hope to find the baby we are continuing as time passes to be against the clock in terms of the risk posed with the climate, the weather conditions and the freezing temperatures we have had overnight.”

Watch: Drone footage shows police search for missing baby of Constance Marten

Tuesday 28 February 2023 14:54 , Emily Atkinson

Tuesday 28 February 2023 13:50 , Emily Atkinson

A large police presence remains at the scene where missing aristocrat Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon were arrested.

Two uniformed officers could be seen guarding the entrance to Golf Drive from Stanmer Villas, while teams used sticks to search bushes in the nearby woodland.

At the other end of Golf Drive, a number of marked police vans from both the Met and Sussex Police were parked by allotments, where more officers appeared to be searching the area.

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(PA)

Police drawing up strategy for huge search operation for baby

Tuesday 28 February 2023 13:10 , Lizzie Dearden

Police are drawing up a strategy for the huge search operation to find the two-month-old baby feared to have been abandoned by missing aristocrat Constance Marten and her sex offender boyfriend Mark Gordon.

The couple were arrested on Monday night in Stanmer Villas, on the outskirts of Brighton, and are being held on suspicion on child neglect.The Independent understands that the police search has initially worked outwards from the location of their arrest, with officers combing allotments a short walk away.

On Monday morning, police wearing gloves and using search tools were methodically working through plants and undergrowth at the Roedale Valley Allotments.

They sit on the edge of a golf course, which runs into a nature reserve and then into the South Downs National Park.

Officers are understood to be drawing up a strategy for an effective search of the huge area, which Ms Marten and Gordon are believed to have travelled through on foot.

Investigators are working to retrace their steps, but the pair went to lengths to disguise their movements and were last seen 10 miles away in Newhaven.

The couple have been avoiding police since the infant was born in early January, moving around the country, paying for everything in cash and covering their faces when on CCTV.

Ms Marten, 35, and Gordon, 48, have also used taxis since their car was found burning on the M61 in Bolton, Greater Manchester - moving onwards to Liverpool, then to Harwich in Essex, then to east London and finally Sussex.

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford earlier told BBC Breakfast he was seeking to find a shelter or “location for where they may have been holed up” in recent days.

“The arrest location was close to open land and the couple were moving towards that land,” he added. “That’s why we are focusing heavily on where we are right now. We know that they travel, we know they travel long distances.”

He has urged people in Brighton, Newhaven and areas between to be “vigilant” in open land and outbuildings.

Police find child ear muff in search for missing baby

Tuesday 28 February 2023 12:46 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Police have found a pair of child ear muffs in the search for the missing baby of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon.

The ear muffs were found in Roedale Valley Allotments, Brighton.

Officers are urgently searching for the baby who has not had any medical attention since its birth in January this year.

 (PA)
(PA)

In pictures: Police search for missing baby in Brighton woods

Tuesday 28 February 2023 12:09 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Police search teams in Roedale Valley Allotments, Brighton, where an urgent search operation is underway to find the missing baby of Constance Marten, who has not had any medical attention since birth in January

 (PA)
(PA)
 (PA)
(PA)

Constance Marten’s father: My immense relief she’s been found - and my fears for her missing baby

Tuesday 28 February 2023 11:47 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The father of runaway aristocrat Constance Marten has spoken of his relief that she has been found but added it would have been “far better if they had handed themselves in earlier”.

Napier Marten, who has issued two heartfelt pleas for her return, told The Independent that “whatever the weather, I love her dearly and will support her best I can”.

But he added that he was extremely worried about her newborn child who has not been found and is the subject of a huge search by police.

Martha McHardy reports:

Constance Marten’s father relief she’s been found - and his fears for missing baby

Watch: Police search woods for missing baby

Tuesday 28 February 2023 10:25 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Police are searching the woods in northern Brighton for the missing baby of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon.

Couple have not told police where missing baby is as residents asked to check gardens

Tuesday 28 February 2023 09:58 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

DSI Lewis Bashford from the Met Police revealed that the couple have not told them, where the baby is or even its gender.

He said: “They [Marten and Gordon] have been arrested on suspicion of child neglect and there is a search for the baby. We are looking at open land, outbuildings where they may have placed the baby while they were in the local area before we arrested them.”

He added: “We’ve got to keep the hope that maybe they have allowed somebody else to care for the baby who thinks they are doing some good on behalf of the couple but as we know, as the temperature drops and the longer the baby goes without parents the risks are high.”

Metropolitan and Sussex police forces searching ‘vast area’ for missing baby

Tuesday 28 February 2023 09:48 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A huge search is under way for a two-month-old baby after missing aristocrat Constance Marten and her sex offender boyfriend Mark Gordon were arrested in Brighton.

The couple have been avoiding police since the infant was born in early January, moving around the country, paying for everything in cash and covering their faces when on CCTV.

They were finally arrested at around 9.30pm on Monday by officers from Sussex Police in Stanmer Villas, Brighton, after a tip-off from a member of the public, but the baby was not with them.

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford told BBC Breakfast that officers from the Metropolitan and Sussex police forces are searching a huge area of land to try to find the infant.

The couple are known to have travelled long distances during the time they have been missing and the BBC reported they were seen in Newhaven a few days ago.

Mr Basford said: “It is a vast area and at present we are looking in the local vicinity to where the couple were arrested last night, seeking a shelter or location for where they may have been holed up and hopefully where the baby is present.

“The arrest location was close to open land and the couple were moving towards that land. And that’s why we are focusing heavily on where we are right now.

“We know that they travel, we know they travel long distances.

“My plea to the members of the public here in Brighton and crossing over towards Newhaven is please be vigilant in the open land where you are, in the outbuildings that you may have on your own property, and assist us in that way by being vigilant.”

Constance Marten: Police swarm Brighton in search for missing baby

Tuesday 28 February 2023 08:48 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Police are sweeping Brighton this morning in their efforts to locate Constance Marten‘s baby after she was found without the infant.

The runaway aristocrat and her boyfriend, a convicted sex offender, were arrested after they were located in Brighton alone.

Officials have expressed concern for the health of the baby amid increasingly chilly conditions.

Searches are focused in the area where the couple was found, according to Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford.

This footage shows the early morning scene as officers work to find the newborn.

Constance Marten: Police swarm Brighton in search for missing baby

ICYMI- ‘Beyond painful’: Estranged father of runaway aristocrat pleads with daughter to turn herself in

Tuesday 28 February 2023 08:10 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

In case you missed it...

Napier Marten, a film and music producer, previously urged his daughter Constance to take herself and the child to safety as soon as possible via The Independent.

Mark Gordon, the partner of Ms Marten, was jailed in the late 1980s in Florida, US, after raping and assaulting a woman when he was 14. After serving a 20-year sentence he was deported back to the UK in 2010, it emerged on Wednesday.

Appealing to his daughter, Mr Marten said: “I want you to understand that you are much much loved whatever the circumstances. We are deeply concerned for your and your baby’s welfare”.

Read our story here:

‘Beyond painful’: Dad of runaway aristocrat pleads with daughter to turn herself in

Who are Constance Marten and Mark Gordon?

Tuesday 28 February 2023 07:40 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Constance Marten, who is from a wealthy aristocratic family, was a promising drama student when she first met Mark Gordon in 2016.

Since then the couple have led an isolated life, and in September, when Miss Marten was well into her pregnancy, began moving around rental flats.

Gordon served 20 years in prison in the US for rape and battery committed when he was 14.

It is unknown if their baby was full-term or has any health issues.

Anyone who may be able to assist in the search for the couple’s baby is urged to contact 999.

 (Metropolitan police)
(Metropolitan police)

ICYMI: Full details of Constance Marten’s rapist boyfriend’s violent sex crimes

Tuesday 28 February 2023 07:15 , Namita Singh

Harrowing details of the crimes committed by convicted sex offender Mark Gordon, who went missing with an aristocrat and their newborn baby, have been revealed in court documents obtained by The Independent.

Mark Gordon, the partner of Ms Marten, was jailed in the late 1980s in Florida, US, after raping and assaulting a woman when he was 14 years old. After serving a 20-year sentence, he was deported back to the UK in 2010.

The Independent has obtained 23 pages of confidential US court documents that reveal how the 48-year-old, who was born in Birmingham, UK, carried out his violent attack on his neighbour as a Florida teenager more than three decades ago.

Report:

Convicted rapist Mark Gordon’s sex crimes revealed

ICYMI: Runaway aristocrat’s father calls for inquiry into Nigerian cult

Tuesday 28 February 2023 06:45 , Namita Singh

Constance Marten’s estranged father has called for the police to investigate her links with a Nigerian cult church following claims that she was allegedly “brainwashed” there.

In an appeal, Napier Marten has urged officers to probe Ms Marten’s time at the Synagogue, Church of All Nations in Lagos, where she lived for six months under the rule of TB Joshua, a “phoney prophet” who is alleged to have abused his “disciples”.

His plea came after The Independent spoke to a former member of the church who claims that those who lived at the church were damaged by the experience.

My colleague Thomas Kingsley has more:

Missing aristocrat’s father calls for inquiry into cult where she was ‘brainwashed’

ICYMI: Inside cult linked to Constance Marten

Tuesday 28 February 2023 06:15 , Namita Singh

Constance Marten, held by the police along with her partner Mark Gordon on Monday, may have been brainwashed at a Nigerian church where “disciples” were allegedly abused by the group’s self-proclaimed prophet, said a social worker helping the “victims”.

The aristocrat, who was on the run since early January, is said to have been left confused and traumatised after spending six months at the Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in Lagos, where she would have been forced to undergo “intense” work running the church while living in dormitories alongside some 100 other disciples, many of whom are thought to be British nationals.

On one occasion, the 35-year-old was apparently forced to eat the leftovers of the church’s “prophet” and controversial leader, TB Joshua.

Another time, she was placed in social exile – the customary punishment for disciples who were not “focused enough” on the church leader, or who spoke about their former lives.

Read the details in this report:

Abuse at the hands of ‘phoney prophet’: Inside cult linked to Constance Marten

In video: Missing aristocrat Constance Marten and partner Mark Gordon in police custody

Tuesday 28 February 2023 05:45 , Namita Singh

Urgent search for missing baby, police seek public support

Tuesday 28 February 2023 05:15 , Namita Singh

The Metropolitan Police have sought support from the public as they continue to search for the month-old baby of aristocrat Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon.

“The baby is still missing and we are working with [Sussex Police] to carry out an urgent search of the area,” tweeted the Met Police.

“Please call 999 with any information.”