Constance Marten and Mark Gordon: Police fear the baby will be “seriously harmed”

  • By Rachel Russell
  • BBC news


Officers from London Search and Rescue (LONSAR) search the area of ​​Wild Park Local Nature Reserve in Brighton on Wednesday

The police fear that a baby at the center of a massive search operation has been “seriously injured”.

A 90 square kilometer plot in Brighton is being searched by hundreds of officers.

The police have asked for more time to question Constance Marten and Mark Gordon, who were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of grossly negligent murder.

A search for the pair began in January after their car was found on fire on the M61 near Bolton.

Police say Marten had recently given birth and believe the baby may have been born in the back of the vehicle, without a midwife or medical attention.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Det Supt Lewis Basford of the Metropolitan Police said a major search using drones, sniffer dogs and thermal cameras was underway.

Earlier on Wednesday, officers from London Search and Rescue searched Moulsecoomb Wild Park, around a mile from Stanmer Villas in Brighton where the pair were arrested.

Officers searched under sticks and logs near where the area meets Hollingbury Golf Course.

A uniformed officer was also seen at the entrance to the park.


Police and search and rescue officers are working together in the search for the missing baby

The parcel and the golf course were searched on Tuesday. A Facebook group for the Roedale Valley allotments was told that police had broken into every shed in the area in their search for the baby.

Marten (35) and Gordon – a convicted rapist and registered sex offender – were held on Monday after a member of the public saw them and called the police.

They were initially detained on suspicion of neglect, but were subsequently arrested on suspicion of grossly negligent murder.

People charged with the offense can face up to 18 years in prison if found guilty of a death caused by negligent conduct.

This is different from wrongful death, where the prison sentence can be up to 24 years if someone can be proven to have done something illegal or dangerous that unintentionally caused the death.

The couple remains in custody, but police said they have not released any further information about the condition or whereabouts of the child.

Police do not know the gender of the baby.


Constance Marten and Mark Gordon disappeared with a newborn baby more than seven weeks ago

In a statement released by police on Tuesday, Supt Lewis Basford urged the public to help with the search and report potential sightings in Brighton and Newhaven.

He said: “I would also ask people living in these areas to report any suspicious behavior or objects found in their gardens, outbuildings and sheds between then and now.

“If you’re out and about in these areas and spot something you think we should know about, please don’t hesitate to contact us, no matter how insignificant it may seem.”

A car belonging to Marten and Gordon, 48, was found on fire on the side of the M61 in Bolton on January 5.

After their car was found on fire, police said the family left the scene and traveled to Liverpool, Essex, London and East Sussex.

They appeared to have covered their faces when in public, traveled at night and used cash to buy supplies, to avoid detection.

Their home is in Eltham, in south-east London, but they have lived a nomadic life since last September – when Marten first started showing signs of pregnancy.

video caption,

Watch: CCTV shows missing baby couple moments before arrest

Police have not ruled out that someone may be looking after the baby – although they added that this was unlikely.

Det Supt Lewis Basford said the risk to the baby – who is now believed to be about two months old – increased as time went on, particularly while the weather was cold.

He said that the police must now “be open to the fact that this may not end the way we want”.

Police previously said that Martens’ inherited wealth may have allowed the couple to be at large for an extended period.

She has a privileged background, having lived in a stately home growing up.

She was estranged from her family after meeting 48-year-old Gordon at drama school in 2016.

They believe the baby was alive at the time of the last previous sighting of the family in Newhaven, but little more is known about the family’s movements in the weeks since.

After the pair were found on Monday, Martens’ estranged father Napier Marten told the Independent he felt “huge relief”, although this was “tempered by the very alarming news (her) baby has yet to be found.”

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