Update from the Metropolitan Police:

Search for missing baby in Sussex – Full Investigation Update, Public Appeal & Timeline of events.

Officers are continuing extensive searches for the missing baby of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon after they were located in Brighton.

The pair were arrested in Stanmer Villas at around 21:30hrs on Monday, 27 February, after a member of the public saw them in a shop in Hollingbury Place.

They were initially arrested on suspicion of child neglect. They were later further arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter. They remain in custody at a police station in Sussex.

The baby was not with them and has not been found. The police helicopter, sniffer dogs, thermal imaging cameras and drones are being used to assist officers on the ground.

Over 200 officers from multiple units in the Met and Sussex are involved in the search.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said: “Throughout this investigation our key priority has been finding the baby, and we remain committed to that. There is a significant amount of police search activity in open spaces to the north of Brighton near to where the couple were arrested last night.

“Before the arrest, the last known sighting of the couple was in Newhaven on Wednesday, 8 January. I’m therefore appealing to members of the public between Brighton and Newhaven to report any potential sightings, or information about where they may have been sleeping. I’d also ask people living in these areas to report any suspicious behaviour or items found in their gardens, outbuildings and sheds, between then and now.

“Equally if you are out walking in these areas and you discover something you think we should know about, please don’t hesitate to contact us, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Support from the public is vital and we ask people to remain vigilant.

“We have received a large number of phone calls from members of the public during the investigation. I would like to thank everyone who has come forward with information to assist us, and especially the person who quickly called police last night after spotting Constance and Mark. Our colleagues from Sussex Police were on the scene within minutes to make the arrest. We are very grateful for the support they are providing.

Anyone with any sightings or information that could assist the search is asked to call the incident room on 0208 3453 865 or 999 with anything they believe may be significant.


The investigation started when officers were called to a car on fire on the hard-shoulder of the M61, near junction four (Farnworth, Bolton) at 18:33hrs on Thursday, 5 January. The occupants were not at the scene. It is believed most of their belongings were destroyed in the car fire.

Enquiries revealed that Constance and Mark were the occupants of the car and that Constance had very recently given birth, possibly one or two days before, and had not been assessed by medical professionals.

A missing person’s investigation was launched by Greater Manchester Police, who established that the family left the vehicle and the motorway safely – walking to the Anchor Lane bridge which links the Highfield and Little Hulton areas.

Officers believe they then travelled to Liverpool and then onwards to Harwich via a taxi at about 03:30hrs on Friday, 6 January.

Mark, Constance and a baby were seen by a member of the public in Harwich at about 09:00hrs on Saturday, 7 January. Officers also received a number of confirmed sightings of the family in Colchester on Friday, 6 January and Saturday, 7 January.

Subsequently, the investigation was handed over to Essex Police on Monday, 9 January.

Essex Police carried out a number of enquiries and reviewed hours of CCTV and were able to place the couple near East Ham Station between 10:30hrs and 12:30hrs on Saturday, 7 January. As this was the last confirmed sighting of the family at the time, the investigation was handed over to the Metropolitan Police Service on Thursday, 12 January.

Detectives then established that they took a taxi from East Ham, being dropped off in Whitechapel Road at 18:14hrs on Saturday, 7 January.
The couple were seen leaving the taxi with an orange carrier bag and a pram. They both had their heads and faces covered and Mark was wearing white plastic bags on his shoes, which he removed a short time later.

At 18:19hrs Mark went into Argos on Whitechapel Road, E1, and bought two big bags full of items, paying in cash, including a blue two-man tent, two sleeping bags and two pillows – which sparked fears they have been camping, including at times when the temperature plummeted to sub-zero.
They spent the next few hours walking along the Whitechapel Road area, where they tried to flag down three taxis but were refused. They then walked to the Brick Lane area.

At about 23:46hrs on Saturday, January 7 they then went to Flower and Dean Walk near Brick Lane where they dumped a number of items, including the pushchair. They then got a taxi to Haringey.
At 01:24hrs on Sunday, 8 January, they got in another taxi in Allison Road, Haringey, and travelled to Newhaven, where they were dropped off just outside the port at 04:56hrs.

They then walked to where the A259 crosses over the B2109. They were seen sheltering from the rain, under the overpass, at about 06:00hrs.

At around 06:15hrs on Sunday, 8 January, they walked along Cantercrow Hill into the fields beyond. They were carrying a number of bags and their blue tent, and officers believe they have been camping in the area subsequently, although given the time that’s passed they could have moved on some considerable distance.