Man who went missing with woman and new baby is a sex offender who spent 20 years in jail

  • Police say Constance Marten nor her newborn have had medical attention since the birth, as Sejal KariaI reports

A man who went missing with a woman and their newborn 11 days ago is a registered sex offender who served 20 years in a US jail for rape and battery.

Constance Marten, Mark Gordon and their baby were seen on 5 January on the M61 when their car broke down and caught fire near Bolton.

Police are worried for the newborn and say neither Ms Marten nor the baby have had medical attention since the birth.

The couple have a substantial amount of cash, allowing them to live off-grid, police said.

They have no luggage with them after most of their belongings were destroyed in a car fire, and are using cash to pay for taxis and places to stay.

Ms Marten, 35, comes from a wealthy aristocratic family and the couple are understood to have lived an isolated life since meeting in 2016, with then-drama student Ms Marten cutting off ties with family and friends.

Last September, they began moving around the country, renting AirBnBs for brief periods.

Constance Marten was seen in Harwich in Essex in this CCTV image released by police. Credit: Essex Police

After abandoning their car, the couple walked to Anchor Lane Bridge, where they got a taxi to Liverpool before getting another to Harwich, Essex.

They were seen around Colchester on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 January, when they took another taxi to East Ham Station in Newham, London, and were last seen.

Each time Ms Marten and Mr Gordon, 48, are seen on CCTV, they are covering their faces or looking away, and have kept the baby covered up.

Investigators say the couple appear to know how to evade authorities – making the search for them harder.

Police believe they could be anywhere in the UK and are appealing to the public to come forward with any information that may help find them.

Some 200 officers are working on the search and have scoured through more than 200 hours of CCTV footage since the pair were last seen on 7 January.

Detectives said it is unusual for hotels to accept cash payments and appealed to staff at hotels or hostels where the couple may stay to come forward.

According to a criminal record seen by ITV News, Mr Gordon was convicted of kidnapping and sexual battery while in Florida.

The 48-year-old was eventually deported from the US.

Ms Marten grew up in Crichel House, a Dorset estate, as part of an eminent family who had links to the Royals.

According to the Sunday Times, her grandmother was a playmate of Princess Margaret, while her father Napier Marten was a page to Queen Elizabeth.

The newspaper reported that the family put the Dorset estate on the market in 2010 for £100 million, before its sale to an American buyer.Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, who is leading the investigation, said: “It has now almost been two weeks since Mark and Constance’s car broke down on the M61 near Bolton and they have been on the move all that time with a newborn baby.

“As far as we are aware, neither Constance nor the baby have received medical attention since it was born. Our priority is to ensure the baby, and indeed both Constance and Mark, are safe and well.

“Once again, I appeal directly to you Constance and Mark. Please do the right thing for your baby and get in touch with us so that we know that you are all doing okay.”

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