Runaway aristocrat ‘gave birth in car after hiding pregnancy from family for five months’: Police search continues for mother who went missing with her rapist partner and their newborn two weeks after abandoning vehicle
- Constance Marten gave birth in the back of a car, investigation sources claim
- She and sex offender Mark Gordon have been missing since early January
- The ‘secretly married’ couple reportedly tried to her pregnancy for five months
A mother who disappeared two weeks ago with her convicted sex offender boyfriend had given birth to their child in the back of a car, it has been revealed.
Emergency personnel found placenta and other signs of childbirth in the back seat of the car that Constance Marten and Mark Gordon abandoned on the M61, sources close to the investigation told The Daily Telegraph.
Investigators found the car, which had been on fire, on January 5. They believe Ms Marten, 35, had given birth one or two days earlier and did not receive necessary medical attention.
Ms Marten and Gordon, 48, went missing after having reportedly concealed her pregnancy for five months. His mother has alleged the pair secretly got married after learning she was expecting.
Constance Marten, 35, gave birth in the back of a car, just one or two days before it caught on fire and was abandoned on the side of the M61
Emergency personnel found placenta and other signs of childbirth in the back seat of the car that Constance Marten and Mark Gordon (pictured) had been travelling in. Pictured: The couple captured on CCTV as they arrive in London on or around January 13
Police believe Ms Marten, who comes from an aristocratic family, went to great lengths to conceal the birth of her child. They are worried for the newborn.
The couple are understood to have lived an isolated life since meeting in 2016 in London, with then-drama student Ms Marten cutting off ties with family and friends.
It is not clear how they met, but Gordon is believed to have lived locally to her and worked as a labourer. Last September, they began moving around the country, renting AirBnBs for brief periods.
On January 5, they were on the M61 when their car broke down and caught fire near junction four at Farnworth, Bolton.
Detectives do not believe the couple intentionally set fire to the car, which had been bought with cash shortly before it was found. They suspect the vehicle had suffered a mechanical failure.
The couple then walked to Anchor Lane Bridge, where they took a taxi to Liverpool before getting another to Harwich, Essex.
They were seen around Colchester on Friday January 6 and Saturday 7, when they took another taxi to East Ham Station in Newham, London.
Each time Ms Marten and Mr Gordon 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.
They also suspect the couple lost most of their belongings in the car fire.
Te Metropolitan Police, who are leading the search to find the pair and newborn, said they have a substantial amount of cash on them from a multi-million trust fund that permits them to live off-grid.
The car the pair were driving broke down and caught fire, as seen in this picture from police
Ms Marten and her partner Mark Gordon have been missing since January 5 after their car broke down and caught fire on the M61. The pair were seen leaving the motorway on foot with their newborn
After her car broke down on the M61 near Bolton on Thursday evening, Ms Marten is believed to have been spotted wrapped in red blanket in Harwich Port, Essex on Saturday at 9am
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 January 7.
Yesterday it was revealed that Gordon is a registered sex offender who was jailed for 20 years in the US for a vicious sex attack in which he took a neighbour hostage when he was aged just 14.
Gordon was born in Birmingham, West Midlands, but he, his mother and his half-siblings moved to the US when he was still a child in 1989.
In April of that year, aged just 14, Gordon armed himself with garden shears and a kitchen knife, then attacked his neighbour in a four-and-a-half-hour ordeal in which he took her hostage and sexually assaulted her.
Two young children were sleeping in the room next door at the time of the attack, documents show.
US court records describe how Gordon is said to have broken in through the woman’s bathroom window, before finding a pair of her stockings which he used as a makeshift mask to cover his face.
Once he had encountered his victim, the documents state: ‘The suspect ordered the victim back into the bedroom and while still armed, demanded that the victim undress.’
He then sexually assaulted and raped the victim.
There were a total of six charges against Gordon relating to the April 29 attack: one count of armed kidnapping, four separate counts of armed sexual battery and one count of burglary with a deadly weapon. He was convicted on all charges.
Gordon’s 83-year-old mother Sylvia insisted her son is a ‘good boy’ and claimed he secretly married Ms Marten, adding she ‘does not know what all this is about’.
‘I am very concerned. I love my son. He is a good boy so I don’t know what this is all about,’ she said.
‘I am worried for all of them. I am thinking, I wonder if someone kidnapped them?’
A mugshot from 2010 of Gordon published by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Constance Marten, pictured on the right, at Mist Mag party in 2013 with two other women
Napier Marten (pictured), is Constance’s father and was a pageboy to Queen Elizabeth II before giving up his £115million fortune after an ‘epiphany’ that told him to flee his ‘materialistic’ life
Her remarks come after film producer Napier Marten issued a plea to his estranged daughter Constance to get herself and her child to safety.
Mr Marten, son of Mary Anna Marten, whose godmother was the late Queen mother, told the Independent: ‘Darling Constance, even though we remain estranged at the moment, I stand by, as I have always done and as the family has always done, to do whatever is necessary for your safe return to us.
‘I beseech you to find a way to turn yourself and your wee one in to the police as soon as possible, so you and he or she can be protected.
‘Only then can a process of healing and recovery begin, however long it may take, however difficult it may be.
‘We are deeply concerned for your and your baby’s welfare. I would like you to understand that the family will do all that is needed for your wellbeing.
‘And I also wish you to understand you are much, much loved whatever the circumstances.’