UK: Deported Broward sex offender, girlfriend charged after remains of baby found

Police officers work in an urgent search operation to find the missing baby of Constance Marten, who has not had any medical attention since birth in early January, in Roedale Valley Allotments, in Brighton, Tuesday Feb. 28, 2023. Ms Marten and her partner Mark Gordon are in police custody after being arrested in Brighton. (Jordan Pettitt/PA via AP) (Jordan Pettitt, PA)

LONDON – British police said they found the remains of a 2-month old baby Wednesday after officers arrested the infant’s mother and her boyfriend, who vanished after the child was born in early January.

Constance Marten, 35, and her boyfriend Mark Gordon, 48, a convicted sex offender, had crisscrossed England to avoid authorities, police said. Investigators suspect the pair used large amounts of cash to live off the grid, traveling around the country by taxi, covering their faces when near closed circuit cameras and moving frequently, often after dark.

Gordon served 20 years in prison after being convicted of kidnapping and sexual battery in Broward County in 1990, according to U.S. law enforcement records.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement continues to list him as a registered sex offender in South Florida. He was deported from the U.S. after his release.

They were detained Monday in Brighton, southern England, after a tip came from a member of the public. The baby was not with them.

This handout combination photo provided by the Metropolitan Police on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023 shows Mark Gordon and Constance Marten. British police said Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, they have launched a major search for a two-month-old baby after officers arrested the infant's mother and her boyfriend who had been missing since January. Aristocrat Constance Marten, 35, and her boyfriend Mark Gordon, 48, a convicted sex offender, had been on the run since their baby was born in early January. (Metropolitan Police via AP) (AP)

The couple were initially arrested on suspicion of child neglect, and the grounds were upgraded Tuesday to suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter.

Police had expressed concern that serious harm had come to the baby. Dozens of police officers, assisted with a helicopter and drones, searched for the child in woodland and open areas near where Marten and Gordon were detained.

Detective Superintendent James Collis said Wednesday’s news would be “heartbreaking” for the local community.

Police launched a national search for Marten and Gordon after a car in which they were traveling was found in flames on a roadside on Jan. 5.

Police think Marten gave birth in or near the car a day or two earlier. In the weeks before she and Gordon surfaced, officers said they were concerned for the family’s welfare because neither Marten nor the baby had received medical care.

Marten, who is from a wealthy, aristocratic British family, was reportedly a drama student when she met Gordon.

About the Authors:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.