Constance Marten arrested: Police think “baby dead for a while”

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Constance Marten: “We know there are many unanswered questions”

Police questioning Constance Marten and Mark Gordon say they believe the baby whose remains were found in woodland may have been dead “for some time”.

There are “many unanswered questions” and investigators have yet to confirm the baby’s gender.

Marten (35) and Gordon (48) have been arrested on suspicion of grossly negligent homicide and are still in custody.

The case has now been handed over to the police watchdog.

An autopsy has not yet been carried out, and the police have not formally established the child’s identity.

Marten and Gordon – a convicted sex offender – were remanded in custody in Brighton on Monday following a 53-day search, which began when their car was found on fire at the side of a motorway near Bolton on January 5.

The remains of a baby were found Wednesday in wooded areas near where the couple were arrested, following a massive search involving hundreds of officers.

Supt Lewis Basford of the Metropolitan Police said the case would be looked at by the Independent Office for Police Conduct because the baby had died during the missing persons investigation.

Investigators need “time and space to establish more details about the circumstances surrounding this tragic death”, he said.


Police officers at a set of allotments in Brighton on Thursday, near where the remains of a baby were found

He added that it was “too early to give a specific date” for when the baby may have died, and said investigators are “really devastated by this result”.

The police were given an extra 36 hours to question the couple on Wednesday afternoon.

The fingertip search, carried out in near-freezing temperatures, extended east of Brighton to Newhaven, north of the city center to a nature reserve and on to the South Downs.

Witnesses told the BBC they had seen teams searching through thick brambles, allotment gardens and rubbish bins, while people living in the area were asked to look out for anything unusual.

Earlier on Thursday, officers were seen combing the area near where the remains were found.

Police cars and a forensics tent were stationed in a residential street, close to a wooded area popular with dog walkers, which had been closed off as part of the investigation.

Ch Supt James Collis, of Sussex Police, said operations around Brighton will be reduced as the investigation has reached a “new phase”.


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

Floral tributes have been left near people living in the area, who police said had “overwhelmed” them with support and offers of help.

Marten and Gordon’s disappearance sparked a national search and sightings were reported in Liverpool, Essex and London, mainly limited to short clips of CCTV footage.

Police believe they were sleeping outdoors in a tent and living off the grid, leading to fears for the child’s health in winter temperatures.

The last confirmed sighting of the pair before their arrest was in Newhaven on 8 January. Their baby was with them and alive at the time, police said earlier.

Marten has a privileged background and lived in a stately home when she grew up. She became estranged from her family in 2016 after meeting Gordon at drama school.

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