Police search for Constance Marten's's missing baby continues

Frantic police search for runaway aristocrat’s missing baby enters its second day: Hopes of finding the two-month-old child alive fade as arrested mother and her boyfriend refuse to tell officers where infant is

  • Hundreds of police officers are in Brighton hunting for the vulnerable newborn

Police are today spending a second day hunting for the baby of an arrested aristocrat and her rapist lover who are continuing to refuse to tell police where their child is.

Hopes of finding the two-month-old infant alive are fading after Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were caught in Brighton on Monday night following 54 days on the run.

The child was not with them and more than 200 police were last night conducting frantic searches across the South Downs. Hundreds more are expected to join them today. 

The couple have been detained on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter. Lewis Basford of the Metropolitan Police said it was possible the baby had ‘come to harm’ because the couple had refused to reveal its location despite being questioned for a ‘significant period of time’. 

Mark Gordon, 48, and Constance Marten, 35, had been missing for the past 54 days, sleeping rough. They are refusing to speak to police about where their baby is

The couple, pictured on the left, were arrested on Monday night with Gordon apparently resisting for 40 minutes

The couple were heard having a row as they walked along Stanmer Villas at just before 9.30pm on Monday night, five minutes before they were arrested by Sussex Police, exclusive footage obtained by MailOnline showed. 

Constance was apparently tearful when police swooped in Golf Drive and yelled at them to ‘get off’ her lover when he was restrained, saying she was worried about his mental health. 

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: CCTV shows Constance Marten and rapist lover in heated row without their baby moments before arrest 


One witness claimed he struggled and took 40 minutes to be subdued. Another said he was very angry and was shouting.

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.

Officers arrived six minutes later, with Marten and Gordon being detained at nearby Stanmer Villas and arrested on suspicion of child neglect.

Since then, more than 200 officers have been searching an area of seven miles by 13 miles for the baby, from where the couple were last sighted to where they were arrested – including allotments and woodland.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said police still hoped to find the child safe and well, with a helicopter, sniffer dogs, thermal imaging cameras and drones being used in the search.

However, confirming Marten and Gordon had been re-arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter, Mr Basford said police had to consider the possibility the baby had ‘come to harm’.

He said officers had received no information about the welfare or location of the child since the pair were detained.

Police search teams in Roedale Valley Allotments, Brighton, where an urgent search operation is underway to find the missing baby

Mr Basford said: ‘We have had a significant period of time in custody facility with both Constance and Mark.

‘At this time we have not furthered that information, which has now obviously led to the position where we feel that the risk is getting so great that we now have to consider the possibility that the baby has come to harm.

‘I can now confirm that they have been further arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter and that they remain in custody at police stations in Sussex.

‘The baby was not with them and we have not found the baby as yet.’

The lengthy police search for Marten, 35, and Gordon, 48, began on January 5 when their car was found on fire abandoned next to the M61 in Bolton.

Inquiries revealed Marten had given birth recently – possibly one or two days before the incident – and had not been assessed by medical professionals.

Greater Manchester Police established the family had left the car and the motorway safely.

They used taxis to first travel to Liverpool, then Harwich in Essex, and on to east London, before arriving in Sussex on January 8.

The couple avoided detection by only making payments in cash, hiding their faces on CCTV and often moving around at night or in the early hours of the morning.

Mr Basford said officers are looking into footage shared online of Gordon seen with a stick before he was arrested, adding that there was sufficient intelligence to suggest the pair had spent most of their time in outdoor open spaces while avoiding police.

He conceded the cold weather meant that officers had to be open to the investigation not ‘ending in the way we would like’.

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

Mr Basford said police are yet to locate items bought by Marten and Gordon at Argos on January 7, adding: ‘We would still say we are actively looking for those.’

Marten’s father said it was a huge relief that his daughter had been found but it was ‘very alarming’ that her baby remains missing.

Napier Marten told the Independent he loves his daughter but it would have been ‘far better’ if she and Gordon had handed themselves in earlier.

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

Since then the couple have led an isolated life and, in September, as Marten’s pregnancy progressed, 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.

In an appeal a week ago, Shereen Nimmo, director of midwifery for Barts Health NHS Trust, urged the couple to bring the baby in for checks.

She said: ‘You’re putting your baby at risk by not accessing medical care, so it’s really important that you come and see a midwife, doctor or another healthcare professional as soon as possible.

‘Please do the right thing for your baby and go to your nearest healthcare facility so my caring colleagues can take care of you and your baby. All we want to do is help you.’

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

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