Missing Aristocrat Constance Marten, Baby Could Be Sleeping in Tent: Cops

A missing British aristocrat and her sex offender partner may be putting their newborn baby’s life in danger by sleeping in a tent in freezing weather and hiding in the homeless community, U.K. law enforcement said Tuesday.

Constance “Toots” Marten, 35, whose family have ties to the British royals, was last seen with her lover, Mark Gordon, 48, and their baby in London on Jan. 7. A missing person’s case was launched after police in Manchester, northwest England, found their abandoned car burning by a highway two days earlier. Investigators believe their baby may have been born in the car just one or two days before the fire.

Now police are doubling down on their calls for help in finding the trio amid fears that the newborn infant—who has not received any medical care since birth—may be sleeping in a tent during bitterly cold weather. Temperatures in some parts of London fell below 17 degrees on Monday, the coldest night in the English capital for over a decade.

Gordon—a sex offender who served a 20-year sentence in Florida after raping a woman when he was just 14 in the 1980s—was seen on security camera footage entering a shop in London to buy a tent, two sleeping bags, and two pillows on Jan. 7. Police say this is the last official sighting of Gordon— a British citizen who was deported back to the U.K. in 2010—or Marten or her baby.

“We are extremely concerned that a newborn baby— less than a week old at the time on 7 January—has been exposed to sub-freezing cold temperatures if Mark and Constance have been camping out somewhere as our evidence suggests,” Scotland Yard’s Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, who is leading the investigation, said in a news release. “No child, especially a tiny, newborn baby, should be forced to endure such dangerous, potentially life-threatening, conditions.”

Basford said officers were working to piece together the family’s movements but admitted they could be “absolutely anywhere” in Britain. “It could be that they are trying to blend in with homeless communities, either here in London or further afield, or they could be camping in more rural or wooded areas,” he added.

Marten met Gordon while she was studying drama in 2016 and slowly cut off ties with her family. Her grandmother, Mary Anna Marten, was a goddaughter of the queen mother and her father, Napier Marten, was a former page to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Despite Constance Marten distancing herself from her relatives, her father has directly appealed for her to hand herself in to police.

“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,” Napier Marten said last week. “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.”

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