LONDON – British police were urgently searching for a two-month-old baby Tuesday after officers arrested the infant's mother and her boyfriend who had been missing since January.
Constance Marten, 35, and her boyfriend Mark Gordon, 48, a convicted sex offender, had been on the run since the baby was born in early January. They have been spotted around the country, and police said they sought to avoid being detected by paying for everything in cash and covering their faces when on CCTV.
Marten and Gordon were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter. They were initially arrested on suspicion of child neglect when they were detained late Monday in Brighton, southern England, after a tipoff from a member of the public.
The baby was not found with them and Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said police had to “consider the possibility that the baby has come to harm."
The couple remained in custody. Dozens of police officers, assisted with a helicopter and drones, were combing through a golf course, allotments and woodland Tuesday in search of the infant near where the couple were located.
Police searched for Marten and Gordon for weeks after a car they were travelling in was found abandoned and on fire on the side of a highway on Jan. 5.
Police believe Marten had given birth in or near the car just a day or two earlier, and officers said they were increasingly concerned for the family's welfare because neither Marten nor the baby had been seen by medical professionals.
Dozens of officers were involved in the search, and more than 600 hours of CCTV footage were reviewed.
Marten, who is from a wealthy, aristocratic British family, was reportedly a drama student when she met Gordon. He had served 20 years in prison in the United States after being convicted in Florida of kidnapping and sexual battery, according to U.S. law enforcement records. He was deported from the U.S. after his release.