Constance Marten and Mark Gordon: Baby’s body found in wooded area near where couple were arrested

(CNN) The body of a baby has been found in a wooded area in southern England, close to where aristocrat Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon were arrested earlier this week over concerns for the child’s welfare, British authorities said on Wednesday.

“It is my very sad duty to update that this afternoon officers searching a wooded area near where Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were arrested discovered the remains of a baby,” said Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford of the Met’s Eastern Area Command. a statement on Wednesday.

“A post-mortem examination will be held in due course,” the statement continued.

Marten (35) and Gordon (48) were arrested earlier this week after disappearing at the beginning of January. They were believed to be traveling with a newborn.

On Tuesday, London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement that the couple had been “initially arrested on suspicion of child neglect” but were later “further arrested on suspicion of grossly negligent homicide.”

Police helicopters, sniffer dogs, thermal cameras and drones were used to help more than 200 officers on the ground in the search for the baby, after the couple were spotted on Monday in Brighton, southern England, and arrested.

A crime scene has now been established around the infant remains, where work is expected to “continue for some time,” Basford said.

“This is an outcome that I and the many officers who have been part of the search would have hoped would not happen,” he said. “I recognize the impact this news will have on the many people who have followed this story closely and can assure them that we will do everything we can to establish what has happened.”

Been applying since January

The search for the couple and the newborn began in early January, when police launched several appeals and offered a £10,000 ($12,090) reward for information leading to their discovery.

Marten is the daughter of the aristocrat Napier Marten, a film and music producer. In an audio appeal to his daughter, published by British news outlet The Independent last month, Napier Marten said Constance was “much, very much loved, whatever the circumstances,” adding that the family was “deeply concerned” for her and her child’s welfare.

“Dear Constance, although we remain estranged for the moment, I stand ready, as I always have and as the family always have, to do whatever is necessary for your safe return to us.

“I am asking you to find a way to report yourself and your little one (little one) to the police as soon as possible so that you and he or she can be protected. Only then can a process of healing and recovery begin, wherever however long it may be. take, however difficult it may be,” he added.

In a renewed appeal for information last week, Basford said more than 630 hours of security camera footage had been reviewed and police had received more than 350 calls from the public.

He explained at the time that they “didn’t do this and put so much resources and effort into finding the family just to be difficult or to interfere,” but explained that the police “have a genuine concern for the health and well-being of the baby, and Constance and Mark, and it is our duty to make sure they are well.”

Time line

On January 5, police investigations identified Marten and Gordon as passengers in a car that had caught fire on a motorway in the north-west town of Bolton, England.

The couple were not at the scene and most of their belongings were destroyed in the fire, according to police, who launched a missing persons investigation.

Several confirmed sightings of the pair by members of the public were reported in the days following their disappearance.

The couple and their baby had left the motorway safely and police used surveillance and security camera footage to trace their movements through various UK cities and towns.

On January 7, the pair were seen in London with their faces covered, leaving a taxi with an orange carrier bag and a pram.

Using cash, they paid for various items, including a two-man tent, two sleeping bags and two pillows, leading investigators to fear they had been camping or sleeping rough, during a time of cold temperatures.

The pair dumped the cart and other items later that day before continuing their journey.

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