Detectives searching for a couple who went missing with their newborn baby after abandoning their car on the side of a motorway believe the child may have been born in the vehicle.
Constance Marten, 35, and convicted sex offender Mark Gordon, 48, were spotted walking away from the broken-down car on the M61 near Bolton on 5 January.
Police believe their baby may have been born inside the vehicle and would have been no more than two days old at the time of the breakdown.
It is also believed that most of the couple’s belongings were destroyed when their abandoned vehicle set alight, due to a mechanical issue.
Image: CCTV of the couple at East Ham station. Pic:Met Police After leaving the vehicle, the pair are believed to have travelled by taxi to Liverpool before moving on to Essex and then London.
They are understood to have a substantial amount of cash and are thought to be using it to pay for taxis and Airbnb accommodation in order to live off-grid, according to police.
Gordon was convicted of rape and battery assault committed in the late 1980s and served some 20 years in a Florida prison in the US.
Upon release and deportation to the UK in 2010, Gordon was listed on the sex offender’s register.
Ms Marten comes from a wealthy aristocratic family.
Detectives are increasingly concerned for the baby’s health and say no medical professional has assessed the child or the mother during her pregnancy.
“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,” said Detective Superintended Lewis Basford, leading the investigation.
Image: A woman believed to be Constance Marten seen near Harwich Port in Essex. Pic: GMP “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.
“This is a complex investigation with officers from across the Met continuing to work around the clock to find Constance, Mark and their baby.
“There is nothing to suggest that any of them have come to any sort of intentional harm – we just need to ensure they are okay, especially the baby, and do not require any medical assistance for any underlying issues.
Where have the couple been spotted?
Missing couple spotted on CCTV in London
“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.”
Around 100 Metropolitan Police officers are involved in the investigation and are being supported by specialist resources from the National Crime Agency.
They have examined 223 hours of CCTV footage in their search for the missing family.
Greater Manchester Police, working alongside Essex Police, released CCTV showing someone they believed to be Ms Marten in a red shawl outside Harwich Port, Essex, at 9am on Saturday 7 January.
The couple are also believed to have been spotted in Colchester.
The Metropolitan Police shared CCTV showing Ms Marten, with a red shawl around her head, and Mr Gordon, with his head lowered and wearing a beanie hat, at East Ham station in Newham, east London, on the same day.
Police believe the couple, who were at the station sometime between 11.45am and 12.30pm, took a taxi from Essex.