Constance Marten: Police arrest aristocrat and partner, but search for missing baby continues

London (CNN) British police have arrested an aristocrat and her partner after the couple went missing with their newborn baby in early January, but the search for the infant continues.

A member of the public spotted Constance Marten, 35, and Mark Gordon, 48, in Brighton, southern England, on Monday evening, police said on Tuesday.

The couple were arrested at the scene on suspicion of neglect, police said. They remain in custody.

Their baby, who police believe was born possibly one to two days before it disappeared without receiving medical attention, is still missing and an “urgent search operation” is underway.

“Efforts are underway to try and locate the baby,” a spokesperson for Britain’s Metropolitan Police service told CNN on Tuesday. “Anyone with information, we would ask them to call in if they have anything they think can help.”

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.

In a renewed appeal for information last week, Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford of the Met’s East Area Command said more than 630 hours of security camera footage had been reviewed and police had received more than 350 calls from the public.

Basford said: “I would like to emphasize that we are not doing this and putting so much resources and effort into finding the family just to be difficult or to interfere. We have a genuine concern for the health and well-being of the baby, and Constance and Mark, and it’s our duty to make sure they’re okay.”

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.

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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