Police fear aristocrat’s baby was ‘dead for several weeks’
A BABY whose mother is believed to be runaway aristocrat Constance Marten had been dead for ‘several weeks’ before it was found yards from a footpath, police said yesterday.
The newborn – thought to be the child of Marten, 35, and her partner Mark Gordon, 48 – was discovered close to allotments and a row of houses in Brighton on Wednesday.
Nearby residents said a horrified member of the public made the grim discovery and informed police.
A source said the location was a fiveminute walk from where the couple were arrested on Monday and an area not searched by police. Marten and Gordon, who went on the run for 53 days, were last night charged with gross negligence manslaughter, concealing the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice.
The Metropolitan Police, who are investigating jointly with the Sussex force, said it was ‘too early’ to provide a specific date for the baby’s death, but it was ‘several weeks’ ago.
Laying flowers close to where the child was found, Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said police could not confirm the gender. He added: ‘Based on inquiries we’ve carried out so far, we believe sadly the baby may have been dead for some time.’ It may be several days before a cause of death is established. Due to the age of the child, a specialist paediatric pathologist will carry out a postmortem examination – but there are only a handful in the UK.
Yesterday residents brought floral tributes and toys to the area. A note read: ‘RIP little darling. Am so traumatised. I should have followed your cries. I will never forget.’
The discovery of the body ended a nationwide hunt that began when Marten and Gordon vanished two months ago. Their car was found on fire by the side of a motorway near Bolton.
Officers believe Marten gave birth in the back of the vehicle. There were later reported sightings in Liverpool, Essex, London and Sussex.
Marten, whose family has links to the royals, grew up in a stately home. She became estranged from her relatives after meeting Gordon in 2016.