Police continue to question Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon and have asked for a 36-hour extension as the search for their baby continues. The couple were arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter on Tuesday (February 28) after being found in Brighton in the early hours.
In a statement read to the press on Wednesday (March 1), Det Supt Lewis Basford from the Metropolitan Police, which is now leading the investigation, said the search for the baby has been “hugely difficult and painstaking” amid fears the child may have come to “serious harm”.
According to the force, the search operation has covered 90 square miles, including in Newhaven and in areas east and north of Brighton. The police said they are using “every resource at our disposal” including a police helicopter, sniffer dogs and thermal imaging.
The couple were stopped several weeks after disappearing, with sightings reported in Liverpool, Essex and south London. A member of the public who had seen media reports of the couple dialled 999 after spotting them withdrawing cash from a convenience store in Hollingbury Place.
Police arrived around six minutes later before detaining Marten and Gordon at Stanmer Villas. Since then, hundreds of officers have been searching the surrounding area for the baby and a helicopter, sniffer dogs, thermal imaging cameras and drones have also been deployed.
The police added the support from the public has been vital so far, saying they are continuing to appeal to them. Det Supt Basford said: "Members of the public can help us by remaining vigilant" and reporting suspicious behaviour or items in gardens and sheds.
Police also encouraged people to let them know about anything they might see or find, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Det Supt Basford added that the last known sighting of the baby was in Newhaven on January 8. Members of the public can report any potential sightings to the Met’s incident room on 020 834565.
The search for Marten, 35, and Gordon, 48, began on January 5 after their car was found on fire and abandoned next to the M61 in Bolton. Inquiries revealed that Marten had given birth recently but had not been assessed by medical professionals.
Marten is from a wealthy aristocratic family but has lived an isolated life with Birmingham-born Gordon since she met him in 2016.