Couple further arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter over missing baby

A couple arrested on suspicion of child neglect after their baby remains missing, have been further arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter.

Police also say the couple are "not cooperating" in giving them the information they need to locate the child.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford from the Metropolitan Police said: "Throughout our investigation the key priority has been finding the baby, and we remain committed to that."

Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon were arrested on Monday in Brighton on suspicion of child neglect after several weeks avoiding the police.

Mr Basford added: "We've had significant periods of time in the custody facility with both Constance and Mark.

"At this time we have no further information which has led us 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."

  • Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford says the priority is finding the baby

A very significant police operation has been underway with 200 police officers from the Metropolitan police, Sussex Police and partners in Surrey.

Officers have been searching through an allotment and undergrowth near to where the couple were arrested on Monday night (27 February).

Drones, helicopters and search dogs have been deployed to help officers on the ground with locating the child.

Police say the couple were living outdoors before they were found.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were living outdoors before they were found.

He said: “Working hypothesis still remains that we believe them to have been in the open land and open areas, that is why our focus and our search is where it is.

"We are conscious to the fact that there are outbuildings, it’s a vast amount of land.

He added: “From the initial assessments we have, which links in to our rationale and reason for why we are doing open land searches, is because upon locating the couple, and arresting the couple, there is significant intelligence information that brings us to a hypothesis that they have been spending a significant time outdoors."

Police in Roedale Valley Allotments, Brighton, where an urgent search operation is underway to find the missing baby of Constance Marten. Credit: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire/PA Images

The couple had been spotted by a member of the public at a convenience store shortly before 9.30pm on Monday (27 February). They were then arrested by officers from Sussex Police in Stanmer Villas, Brighton within six minutes of getting a 999 call.

Chief Superintendent James Collis of Sussex Police said: "The public can expect to see an increased police presence in the area as well as a dedicated response to any information from the public.

"We have an extensive search area and will be in this community for some time."

Members of the public in Brighton and Newhaven are being urged to call 999 if they saw anything suspicious that could help with the police investigation.

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