Constance Marten and Mark Gordon: infant’s remains found in search for missing baby
An infant’s remains have been found in the search for the baby of aristocrat Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon
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Police have discovered the remains of a baby in an East Sussex nature reserve on Wednesday afternoon, not far from where missing couple Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were tracked down on Monday night.
Aristocrat Marten and her sex offender boyfriend Gordon were further arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter on Tuesday afternoon, after an overnight police search for their missing baby. The couple had been avoiding police since the infant was born in early January, moving around the country, paying for everything in cash and covering their faces when on CCTV.
Miss Marten, 35, and Mr Gordon, 48, had not been seen since their car was found burning on the M61 in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on 5 January. The couple were finally found after being spotted by a member of the public in the Stanmer Villas, Brighton on Monday (27 February) shortly before 9.30pm.
On Wednesday evening, Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said officers searching a wooded area had discovered the body of a baby. A crime scene is in place, and work at the location is expected to continue for some time. “We’ll do everything we possibly can to establish what has happened.”
Marten and Gordon remained in custody, he said. He urged the media and members of the public to avoid any speculation online
Chief Superintendent James Collis, of the Sussex Police, thanked the public, and a “huge number” who came forward with information or volunteered to help with the search effort. “I understand that the conclusion of this search will be heartbreaking for the local community and the wider public,” he said.
More than 200 police were involved in the search effort, much of it in Moulsecoomb Wild Park. Mr Basford earlier said police were using “every resource” at their disposal in the search. Metropolitan and Sussex police utilised helicopters, sniffer dogs, thermal imaging cameras and drones, and teams worked throughout the night, he said.
He said it was, “a hugely difficult and painstaking search operation, covering a vast area of some 90 square miles”. On Wednesday, investigators were granted an extra 36 hours to question the pair, who were being held on suspicion of child neglect and gross negligence manslaughter.
On Wednesday morning, reporters at the scene said officers from London Search and Rescue could be seen in orange hi-vis jackets searching the park – around a mile from where Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were arrested.
The officers, some wearing jackets indicating they were dog handlers, searched underneath sticks and logs close to where the area meets Hollingbury Golf Course. A uniformed officer was seen standing guard at the entrance to the park, with dog walkers saying they saw police tape cordoning off parts of the woodland.
At the start of each section of their searches, one officer shouted: “Are we ready? Look behind you, and let’s get going” before they walked in a line, scouring the area. The search party would pause frequently to ensure each member had caught up with the rest of the line, before continuing to walk forwards.
Police had also searched every shed at the Roedale Valley Allotments near where Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were arrested and would remain on site for some time, users were told. An entry on the allotments society Facebook page said officers had forced entry to outbuildings as the hunt for the missing baby continued.