'I love her dearly': Father of Constance Marten 'immensely relieved' she's been found but fears grow for missing baby

28 February 2023, 12:52 | Updated: 1 March 2023, 06:35

Constance Marten&squot;s father says he is "immensely relieved" she has been found
Constance Marten's father says he is "immensely relieved" she has been found. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Will Taylor

Constance Marten's father has described his "immense relief" she has been found – but said it is tempered by the fact her baby is still missing.

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The 35-year-old aristocrat – whose family has links with the royals – vanished with Mark Gordon, a convicted rapist who spent 20 years in an American jail.

They were finally tracked down and arrested after two months on the run, having been seen with a newborn baby who had not yet been looked at by a doctor.

So far, Marten and Gordon, 48, have not cooperated with police or told them what has happened to the baby.

Read more: Police scour woods and allotments for aristocrat's baby as arrested couple refuse to reveal location of child

Read more: How the 54-day hunt for missing aristocrat Constance Marten and her sex offender partner unfolded

Ms Marten's father Napier Marten said: "It is an immense relief to know my beloved daughter Constance has been found, tempered by the very alarming news her baby has yet to be found.

"For whatever reasons she and her partner went on the run, the consequences of their actions have increased many fold. It would have been far better if they had handed themselves in earlier."

Mr Marten said he was glad his daughter has been found
Mr Marten said he was glad his daughter has been found. Picture: Social media
Police are scrambling to find the couple's baby
Police are scrambling to find the couple's baby. Picture: Alamy

Thanking the Met for its "dogged investigation", he told The Independent: "When the time comes, I am longing to see Constance to reassure her that, whatever the weather, I love her dearly and will support her as best I can through the difficult weeks and months here on in."

The couple was being held in a street in Brighton while officers search a "vast" area of woodland and allotments in the town.

They were found by Sussex Police officers after a member of the public tipped them off on Monday evening.

A pair of tiny pink earmuffs have been found
A pair of tiny pink earmuffs have been found. Picture: Alamy

Read more: Transgender rapist Isla Bryson jailed for eight years for attacking two women while a man

They had been missing since January 5, after their car was found burning on the M61 near Bolton. It is thought they have travelled the country in a taxi.

A pair of pink earmuffs have been found at Roedale Valley Allotments as police desperately try to find a trace of the missing infant. Temperatures plunged to -1C overnight.

"It is a vast area. We are looking at the local vicinity to where the couple were arrested last night," the Met's Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said.

Constance Marten has been found but her infant is still missing
Constance Marten has been found but her infant is still missing. Picture: Social media

"At this time we've got no information from the inquiries we've had since the arrest that are leading us to any locations where the baby is.

"We're certainly working on the premise that the arrest location was close to open land and the couple moving towards that land and that's why we're focusing heavily on where we are right now.

"They [Marten and Gordon] have been arrested on suspicion of child neglect and there is a search for the baby.

Gordon had been missing with Ms Marten since early January
Gordon had been missing with Ms Marten since early January. Picture: Metropolitan Police

"We are looking at open land, outbuildings where they may have placed the baby while they were in the local area before we arrested them."

Ms Marten, whose wealthy aristocratic family has had members serve the royals, met Gordon in 2016. They have since lived an isolated life, moving between rental flats.

Gordon was jailed for two decades in the US for rape and battery when he was 14.

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