Mother of sex offender missing with aristocrat’s daughter claims they ‘married in secret’

Mother of sex offender missing with aristocrat’s daughter claims they ‘married in secret’ and says her son is a ‘good boy’ as she suggests the couple and their newborn were ‘kidnapped’

  • Constance Marten, 35, is missing with newborn baby and partner Mark Gordon
  • Pair first spotted in Lancashire shortly after leaving car bought six days earlier
  • Gordon is a sex offender with previous convictions for kidnapping in the US 

The mother of a sex offender who is missing with an aristocrat’s daughter has claimed they ‘married in secret’ and says her son is a ‘good boy’.

Constance Marten, 35, is currently missing with her partner Mark Gordon, who attacked a woman in America when he was 14 and served 20 years in jail. 

Last night, his mother Sylvia, 83, claimed the pair had secretly married ‘some time ago’ after Ms Marten became pregnant.

She said: ‘I am very concerned. I love my son. He is a good boy so I don’t know what this is all about.

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

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 

A mugshot from 2010 of Gordon published by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement

A mugshot from 2010 of Gordon published by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement

‘I am worried for all of them. I am thinking, I wonder if someone kidnapped them?’

Gordon was born in Birmingham, West Midlands, but he, his mother and his half-siblings moved to the US when he was young. 

It comes after film producer Napier Marten issued a plea to his estranged daughter Constance to get herself and the 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.’

Ms Marten has now been missing for nearly two weeks. 

Yesterday the 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.

Constance Marten, pictured on the right, at Mist Mag party in 2013 with two other women

Constance Marten, pictured on the right, at Mist Mag party in 2013 with two other women

Constance Marten - pictured again at the 2013 party - has been missing for two weeks

Constance Marten – pictured again at the 2013 party – has been missing for two weeks 

Constance Marten's social media presence showed a creative side in her early years

Constance Marten’s social media presence showed a creative side in her early years

The car the pair were driving broke down and caught fire, as seen in this picture from police

The car the pair were driving broke down and caught fire, as seen in this picture from police

Police released this picture of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon outside East Ham station at around 11.45am on January 7

Police released this picture of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon outside East Ham station at around 11.45am on January 7

They have no luggage with them after most of their belongings were destroyed in the car fire, and they are using money to pay for taxis.

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

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.

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.

Constance Marten - whose nickname was Toots - comes from an aristocratic family

Constance Marten – whose nickname was Toots – comes from an aristocratic family

Missing mother was society darling

Privately educated, the 35-year-old hails from an aristocratic family with links to the royals.

When she was 21, she featured in society magazine Tatler as its ‘Babe of the Month’.

Posing in 2009 for a Q&A-type feature, Ms Marten described her favourite place as being on top of the Matterhorn, which she had recently climbed.

Asked what her best party had been, she answered: ‘Viscount Cranbourne’s party in Dorset – the theme was the Feast of Bacchus.’

She added that her party trick was ‘crunching a Coke can between my shoulder blades’ like ‘a human recycling machine’ and that her future plans included getting a tattoo of a tortoise on the bottom of her foot.

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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.

Gordon’s conviction relates to a Florida attack on a woman in her early 20s when he was 14.

Ms Marten is the granddaughter of Mary Anna Marten, whose godmother was the late Queen mother.

The family used to own the Crichel estate in Dorset.

Privately educated, the 35-year-old hails from an aristocratic family with links to the royals. 

When she was 21, she featured in society magazine Tatler as its ‘Babe of the Month’.

Posing in 2009 for a Q&A-type feature, Ms Marten described her favourite place as being on top of the Matterhorn, which she had recently climbed.

Asked what her best party had been, she answered: ‘Viscount Cranbourne’s party in Dorset – the theme was the Feast of Bacchus.’

She added that her party trick was ‘crunching a Coke can between my shoulder blades’ like ‘a human recycling machine’ and that her future plans included getting a tattoo of a tortoise on the bottom of her foot.

After her car broke down on the M61 near Bolton last week, Ms Marten is believed to have been spotted wrapped in red blanket in Harwich Port, Essex on Saturday at 9am

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

Constance's ancestors: George Marten with wife Mary and daughters Victoria, Charlotte and Georgina

Constance’s ancestors: George Marten with wife Mary and daughters Victoria, Charlotte and Georgina 

Her family’s £100million Dorset estate included a Grade I-listed mansion, four villages, a cricket club and a lake, while her brother’s wedding to a society jewellery designer last summer was featured on the website of fashion bible Vogue.

She is known by the nickname ‘Toots’, and attended private St Mary’s School in Shaftesbury, after which she is understood to have studied Arabic and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Leeds.

She then trained as a journalist and photographer. She is the granddaughter of Toby Marten, a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy and equerry to George VI, and his wife Mary Anna, who had close links to the Royal Family, attending the Brownies pack at Buckingham Palace alongside Princess Margaret in her youth.

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