Constance Marten news – live: Missing aristocrat and sex offender ‘sleeping in tent with newborn’

Constance Marten news – live: Missing aristocrat and sex offender ‘sleeping in tent with newborn’

Missing aristocrat Constance Marten and her convicted sex offender partner are sleeping in a tent in sub-zero conditions with their baby, police believe.

Detectives are searching for Ms Marten and Mark Gordon, who are on the run and had been last seen in east London on 7 January.

Police say they are concerned about the welfare of the baby, who is thought to be only a few weeks old.

In an update in the case on Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police said it had obtained new information establishing that the couple went to an Argos in Whitechapel, east London at 6:19pm on Saturday, 7 January to buy camping gear.

Ms Marten’s father Napier previously launched an appeal calling for his estranged daughter to turn herself in.

In audio shared with The Independent, he said: “I want you to understand that you are much much loved whatever the circumstances. We are deeply concerned for your and your baby’s welfare”.

Key Points

  • Aristocrat ‘gave birth in car before disappearing with rapist'

  • Missing aristocrat’s partner raped neighbour armed with ‘garden shears’

  • ‘He’s a good boy’: Mark Gordon’s mother speaks out

  • Friend warned Constance Marten against love trap

  • Map plots sightings of missing couple

21:31 , Sam Rkaina

We’re pausing our live coverage for the day but keep checking independent.co.uk for the latest updates as the search for the family continues.

Constance Marten and partner have cash to live on, say police

Thursday 19 January 2023 00:00 , Liam James

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have a substantial amount of cash, allowing them to live off-grid, police have said.

The aristocrat’s daughter, the convicted rapist and their baby had no luggage with them after most of their belongings were destroyed in a car fire, and are using cash to pay for taxis and places to stay.

The couple are understood to have lived an isolated life since meeting in 2016, with then-drama student Ms Marten cutting off ties with family and friends.

Last September, they began moving around the country, renting AirBnBs for brief periods before going missing after abandoning their car on 5 January.

Newborn hasn’t been seen by doctor in weeks, say police in latest appeal

Thursday 19 January 2023 01:00 , Liam James

Police have stressed that Constance Marten and Mark Gordon’s newborn child has not been seen by a doctor in weeks, as officer issued their latest appeal for the missing family.

Metropolitan Police’s Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, who is leading the investigation, said: “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.

“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.

“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.”

DS Basford said the couple were last seen more than one week ago in East Ham in the London Borough of Newham.

Mother missing with newborn baby is part of aristocratic family with links to the Queen Mother

Thursday 19 January 2023 04:30 , Shweta Sharma

A mother missing with her partner and newborn baby belongs to an aristocratic family which used to own a sprawling country estate and has close links to the royal family.

Constance Marten, 35, is the granddaughter of Mary Anna Marten, a British Museum trustee whose godmother was the late Queen Mother, and who used to own the Crichel estate in Dorset.

Ms Marten, her partner Mark Gordon and their child were last seen on Thursday evening after their car broke down on the M61 motorway, at which point they left the road safely and walked towards Anchor Lane bridge, near Bolton.

Mother missing with newborn baby belongs to aristocratic family with royal links

Constance Marten was ‘promising actress’ and featured in Tatler magazine

Thursday 19 January 2023 05:00 , Liam James

Constance Marten was ‘promising actress’ and featured in Tatler magazine

A mother who is missing with her newborn baby and partner was a “talented actress”, according to friends (Thomas Kingsley writes).

The mother and baby belong to an aristocratic household that once possessed a sprawling country estate with links to the royal family, as revealed by The Independent.

As concern for the family grows, worried friends have spoken out about the former Tatler magazine babe of the month who enrolled at East 15 drama school in Essex before dropping out in 2016. Speaking to The Sunday Times, a former friend revealed that she had been a promising actress in her youth.

Mother missing with newborn baby was ‘talented actress’ and featured in Tatler

CCTV image released in search for missing couple with newborn baby

Thursday 19 January 2023 05:30 , Shweta Sharma

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Police searching for a missing couple and their newborn baby have released a CCTV image that is believed to be of the mother amid fears for their safety.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for Constance Marten to make contact and seek medical assistance.

Ms Marten, Mark Gordon and their child have been missing since their vehicle broke down near junction four of the M61, near Bolton, on Thursday.

CCTV image released in search for missing couple with newborn baby

Man missing with aristocrat’s daughter and their newborn is convicted rapist

Thursday 19 January 2023 06:00 , Liam James

The partner of a woman missing with a newborn baby is a convicted rapist who served 20 years in prison (Thomas Kingsley writes).

Mark Gordon and aristocrat’s daughter Constance Marten went missing with their newborn baby on 5 January, when they left their broken-down car on the M61 near Bolton. Police were alerted to the vehicle when it caught fire, destroying most of their possessions.

The Metropolitan Police has released a fresh appeal in the “high risk” search as officers fear the family could be anywhere in the UK.

Gordon is a registered sex offender who was jailed in the late 1980s in the US, after raping and assaulting a woman in her early twenties when he was 14 years old. He was put behind bars in Florida when he was 16 and served a 20-year sentence before being deported back to the UK in 2010.

The Independent previously revealed that Ms Marten is the granddaughter of Mary Anna Marten, a British Museum trustee whose godmother was the late Queen Mother, and who used to own the Crichel estate in Dorset.

Man missing with aristocrat’s daughter and newborn is convicted rapist

Mother missing with partner and newborn ‘spotted 200 miles from where they vanished’

Thursday 19 January 2023 06:30 , Shweta Sharma

A mother who has disappeared with her newborn baby and partner may have been spotted twice at sites more than 200 miles away from where they went missing three days ago, police say.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) believe Constance Marten may have been seen in Essex, firstly near to Harwich Port on Saturday at 9am and then in Colchester around an hour later.

Ms Marten, Mark Gordon and the child have been missing since their vehicle broke down near junction four of the M61, near Bolton, on Thursday evening.

Mother missing with partner and newborn ‘spotted 200 miles from where they vanished’

Couple missing with baby ‘have cash to stay off-grid’

Thursday 19 January 2023 07:15 , Shweta Sharma

A couple missing for 11 days with their newborn have a substantial amount of cash, allowing them to live off-grid, police have said.

Constance Marten, Mark Gordon and their baby have no luggage with them after most of their belongings were destroyed in a car fire, and are using cash to pay for taxis and places to stay.

Ms Marten comes from a wealthy aristocratic family, while Mr Gordon is a sex offender who served 20 years in US jail for rape and battery.

Police are worried for the newborn and say neither Ms Marten nor the baby have had medical attention since the birth.

Investigators said it is unusual for hotels to accept cash payments and appealed to staff at hotels or hostels where the couple may stay to come forward.

Estranged father of Constance Marten makes emotional appeal

Thursday 19 January 2023 07:33 , Jane Dalton

The aristocrat father of Constance Marten has made an emotional appeal telling her to turn herself in to the police.

Napier Marten, a film and music producer, urged his daughter Constance - who is missing with her sex offender partner Mark Gordon - to take herself and the child to safety as soon as possible.

Appealing to his daughter, Mr Marten said: “I want you to understand that you are much much loved whatever the circumstances. We are deeply concerned for your and your baby’s welfare”.

Mr Marten, 63, told The Independent he had known about Gordon’s criminal conviction for some time and had lived with the family “in great concern”.

Read more below:

‘Beyond painful’: Dad of runaway aristocrat pleads with daughter to turn herself in

What are police saying about case?

Thursday 19 January 2023 08:41 , Matt Mathers

The Metropolitan Police is appealing for information about the whereabouts of Ms Marten and her partner Mark Gordon, who were last seen in London more than a week ago.

The force said “officers are growing increasingly concerned” about the welfare of Ms Marten, who recently gave birth to a boy, whose safety is the Met’s “priority”.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, who is leading the investigation, said: “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.

“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.

“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.”

What do we know so far? Timeline

Thursday 19 January 2023 09:41 , Matt Mathers

  • At 18.33hrs on Thursday, 5 January, officers were called to a car on fire on the hard-shoulder of the M61, near junction four (Farnworth, Bolton). However, 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 persons 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 9am 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, the investigation was handed over to the Metropolitan Police Service on Thursday, 12 January.

‘They could be anywhere in the UK'

Thursday 19 January 2023 10:41 , Matt Mathers

Commenting further on the case, Detective Superintendent Basford described the investigation as “complex”, adding the couple could be “anywhere in the UK”.

He said: “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.

“The last confirmed sighting of them was more than a week ago in East Ham – they could now be anywhere in the UK, which is why it is vital that members of the public continue to contact us with any suspected sightings.

The assistance you’ve provided so far has been invaluable. Please don’t forget about Constance, Mark and the baby – if you see them or think you have seen them then please contact us as a matter of urgency.”

When did couple meet?

Thursday 19 January 2023 11:09 , Matt Mathers

Ms Marten is said to have met her partner in 2016 and they are understood to have lived an isolated life ever since.

After meeting Gordon, Ms Marten cut off contact with her family and friends.

Last September, they began moving around the country, renting AirBnBs for brief periods.

They have been missing for some two weeks.

What has aristocrat’s father said?

Thursday 19 January 2023 11:56 , Matt Mathers

The aristocrat father of Constance Marten has made an emotional appeal telling her to turn herself in to the police.

In audio shared exclusively with The Independent, Napier Marten said: “Darling Constance even though we remain estranged at the moment, I stand by, as I have always done and as the family has always done, to do whatever is necessary for your safe return to us.

“I want you to understand that you are much much loved whatever the circumstances. We are deeply concerned for your and your baby’s welfare”.

“I beseech you to find a way to turn yourself and your wee one in to the police as soon as possible, so you and he or she can be protected. Only then can a process of healing and recovery begin, however long it may take, however difficult it may be.

“I would like you to understand that the family will do all that is needed for your wellbeing. And I also wish you to understand you are much much loved whatever the circumstances.

“We are deeply concerned for your and your baby’s welfare.”

‘I’m very concerned’

Thursday 19 January 2023 13:46 , Matt Mathers

Mark Gordon’s mother Sylvia said she is “very concerned” for the safety of her son and his partner.

She told the Daily Mail: “I am very concerned. I love my son. He is a good boy so I don’t know what this is all about.

“I am worried for all of them. I am thinking, I wonder if someone kidnapped them?”

Who is Napier Marten? Father who made emotional appeal for daughter missing with baby

Thursday 19 January 2023 14:15 , Matt Mathers

The aristocratic Marten family has dominated headlines in recent weeks after 35-year-old Constance Marten, her newborn baby and partner, a convicted rapist, became the subject of a “high risk” missing person investigation.

Napier Marten urged his daughter Constance to take herself and the child to safety as soon as possible.

My colleague Thomas Kingsley reports:

Who is Napier Marten? Father who made emotional appeal for daughter missing with baby

ICYMI: Key points

Thursday 19 January 2023 15:15 , Matt Mathers

Here are the key points from the case of Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon

  • At 18.33hrs on Thursday, 5 January, officers were called to a car on fire on the hard-shoulder of the M61, near junction four (Farnworth, Bolton). However, 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 persons 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 9am 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.

ICYMI: ‘I’m very concerned’, says Gordon’s mother

Thursday 19 January 2023 16:30 , Matt Mathers

Mark Gordon’s mother Sylvia said she is “very concerned” for the safety of her son and his partner.

She told the Daily Mail: “I am very concerned. I love my son. He is a good boy so I don’t know what this is all about.

“I am worried for all of them. I am thinking, I wonder if someone kidnapped them?”

In depth: The runaway heiress and the rift at the heart of British democracy

Thursday 19 January 2023 17:30 , Liam James

Tom Ough investigates the disappearance causing a stir in high places: They abandoned their burning car on the hard shoulder of the M61 and fled – an aristocrat, a sex offender, and their baby, born just one or two days before. From the inferno near Bolton, thought to have destroyed all their belongings, they travelled first to Liverpool, then to Harwich in Essex, to Colchester and on to East Ham station in east London, over the course of two days.

That blurry CCTV footage from 7 January is the last confirmed sighting of 35-year-old Constance Marten, the heiress’s face wrapped in a red scarf, her baby swaddled inside her coat. Alongside her is 48-year-old convicted rapist Mark Gordon, his head covered and bowed away from the camera. Police, concerned for the health of the baby, have been searching for the couple, but they are thought to have with them a large amount of cash, allowing them to stay off the grid.

So just how did Marten, whose father was a page to Elizabeth II, go from gracing the pages of society bible Tatler to being on the run with a man who, after burgling and raping a woman as a teenager, spent 20 years imprisoned in Florida before being deported to Britain?

The runaway heiress, her rapist partner and the aristocratic family rift

Constance Marten’s father appeals to missing daughter

Thursday 19 January 2023 18:00 , Liam James

“I beseech you to find a way to turn yourself and your wee one in to the police as soon as possible so you and he or she can be protected. Only then can a process of healing and recovery begin, however long it may take, however difficult it may be,” Napier Marten had these word for his estranged daughter Constance and her newborn child.

Constance Marten: Map plots sightings of missing couple

Thursday 19 January 2023 18:45 , Liam James

The Independent has plotted a map with the locations where Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have been seen since police reported them missing.

The last known sighting of the couple was on 7 January in East Ham, London, two days after they abandoned their burnt-out car on the side of the M61 near Bolton, more than 200 miles away.

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have travelled more than 200 miles across England and could be anywhere in the UK (The Independent)
Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have travelled more than 200 miles across England and could be anywhere in the UK (The Independent)

Friend of Constance Marten ‘warned’ her about falling in love with dangerous men

Thursday 19 January 2023 19:30 , Liam James

A friend of Constance Marten has claimed she previously warned the missing mother about the type of men she “falls in love with” but that she “doesn’t listen to anyone”.

Noisette Tahoun, who worked at the same film production company as Ms Marten in Cairo, Egypt, in 2010, said she was “not shocked” when she found out that the 35-year-old had been reported missing.

Speaking to The Independent, Ms Tahoun said: “I was not shocked when I heard she was missing. I know when she falls in love she goes anywhere with the person she loves.

“I’ve given her advice about it ... I’ve warned her to take care of the people she gets close to.”

Friend of Constance Marten ‘warned’ her about falling in love with dangerous men

ICYMI: Constance Marten was ‘promising actress’ and featured in Tatler magazine

Thursday 19 January 2023 20:30 , Matt Mathers

Constance Marten was a “talented actress”, according to friends.

The mother and baby belong to an aristocratic household that once possessed a sprawling country estate with links to the royal family, as revealed by The Independent.

As concern for the family grows, worried friends have spoken out about the former Tatler magazine babe of the month who enrolled at East 15 drama school in Essex before dropping out in 2016. Speaking to The Sunday Times, a former friend revealed that she had been a promising actress in her youth.

Who are Constance Marten and Mark Gordon: Everything we know about couple missing with newborn

Thursday 19 January 2023 21:30 , Liam James

Thomas Kingsley goes over what we know so far about the missing couple:

Who are Constance Marten and Mark Gordon: Everything we know about missing couple

Who is Napier Marten? Aristocrat father of missing woman

Thursday 19 January 2023 23:00 , Liam James

Napier Marten today publicly appealed for his missing daughter Constance to go to the police.

In a voice message shared with The Independent he said: “Darling Constance, even though we remain estranged at the moment, I stand by, as I have always done and as the family has always done, to do whatever is necessary for your safe return to us.”

Mr Marten, a film and music producer, has roots in Britain’s upper classes. He is the son of Mary Anna Marten, a British Museum trustee whose godmother was the late Queen Mother, and who used to own the Crichel estate in Dorset.

His father, Toby Marten, a lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy, had close links to the royal family, attending the Brownies pack at Buckingham Palace alongside Princess Margaret in her youth.

When Constance was nine, Mr Napier had what was described as an “awakening”. He later told how a voice in his head had told him to discard the £115m family fortune, shave his head and fly to Australia. He later lived in a lorry and trained in head massage, giving the family’s noted Crichel Estate to his son to sell.

Napier Marten and Crichel House, his boyhood estate (Geograph/Supplied)
Napier Marten and Crichel House, his boyhood estate (Geograph/Supplied)

Mark Gordon’s mother speaks out: ‘He is a good boy'

Friday 20 January 2023 00:00 , Liam James

Mark Gordon’s mother Sylvia said she is “very concerned” for the safety of her son and his partner.

She told the Daily Mail: “I am very concerned. I love my son. He is a good boy so I don’t know what this is all about.”

Mr Gordon has been missing with partner Constance Marten and their newbord child since 5 January.

It recently emerged that Mr Gordon is a convicted rapist who spent 20 years in jail in the US.

Mark Gordon in a mugshot for his Florida arrest (Florida Department of Law Enforcement)
Mark Gordon in a mugshot for his Florida arrest (Florida Department of Law Enforcement)

Constance Marten: The ‘It’ girls aristocrat links

Friday 20 January 2023 01:00 , Liam James

Andy Gregory walks through the roots of Constance Marten, the aristocrat’s daughter missing with her child:

Constance Marten, 35, is the granddaughter of Mary Anna Marten, a British Museum trustee whose godmother was the late Queen Mother, and who used to own the Crichel estate in Dorset.

Her grandparents were Toby Marten, a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, and his wife Mary Anna, who had close links to the royal family, attending the Brownies pack at Buckingham Palace alongside Princess Margaret in her youth.

A notable archaeologist, Ms Marten was awarded an OBE in 1980 and appointed High Sheriff of Dorset nine years later. She was also made a trustee of the British Museum and travelled widely in aid of her profession, making frequent trips to Iran and 30 visits to Russia.

The late couple and their family lived at the vast Crichel House – used as the backdrop for several period dramas, including Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow – the ownership of which in the wake of the Second World War became the centre of a notorious political scandal.

They were survived by five daughters and one son, Napier Marten, who was a Page to Queen Elizabeth II. In 1996 he took a voyage of spiritual discovery in Australia, later returning to work as a tree surgeon near Crichel House.

Couple know how to avoid authorities, say police

Friday 20 January 2023 02:00 , Liam James

Police investigating the disappearance of Constance Marten, Mark Gordon and their newborn baby said the couple appears to know how to evade authorities, making the search harder.

Officers believe they could be anywhere in the UK and are appealing to the public to come forward with any information that may help find them.

Investigators said it is unusual for hotels to accept cash payments and appealed to staff at hotels or hostels where the couple may stay to come forward.

Latest missing poster from Met Police (PA)
Latest missing poster from Met Police (PA)

Constance Marten and partner have cash to live on, say police

Friday 20 January 2023 03:00 , Liam James

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have a substantial amount of cash, allowing them to live off-grid, police have said.

The aristocrat’s daughter, the convicted rapist and their baby had no luggage with them after most of their belongings were destroyed in a car fire, and are using cash to pay for taxis and places to stay.

The couple are understood to have lived an isolated life since meeting in 2016, with then-drama student Ms Marten cutting off ties with family and friends.

Last September, they began moving around the country, renting AirBnBs for brief periods before going missing after abandoning their car on 5 January.

Search for Constance Marten involves 200 police officers

Friday 20 January 2023 04:00 , Liam James

More than 200 police officers are involved in the search for Constance Marten, her partner Mark Gordon and their newborn child.

Metropolitan Police said officers had scoured more than 200 hours of CCTV footage so far.

The missing couple appear to know how to evade authorities, making the search more difficult, police said.

It recently emerged that Mr Gordon is a convicted rapist who had been jailed in the US.

The last confirmed sighting of the pair was on 7 January, two days after their disappearance, on CCTV at London’s East Ham station.

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon in East Ham (Met Police)
Constance Marten and Mark Gordon in East Ham (Met Police)

Constance Marten: Map plots sightings of missing couple

Friday 20 January 2023 05:00 , Liam James

The Independent has plotted a map with the locations where Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have been seen since police reported them missing.

The last known sighting of the couple was on 7 January in East Ham, London, two days after they abandoned their burnt-out car on the side of the M61 near Bolton, more than 200 miles away.

 (The Independent)
(The Independent)

Friend of Constance Marten ‘warned’ her about falling in love with dangerous men

Friday 20 January 2023 06:00 , Liam James

A friend of Constance Marten has claimed she previously warned the missing mother about the type of men she “falls in love with” but that she “doesn’t listen to anyone” (Thomas Kingsley writes).

Noisette Tahoun, who worked at the same film production company as Ms Marten in Cairo, Egypt, in 2010, said she was “not shocked” when she found out that the 35-year-old had been reported missing.

Speaking to The Independent, Ms Tahoun said: “I was not shocked when I heard she was missing. I know when she falls in love she goes anywhere with the person she loves.

“I’ve given her advice about it ... I’ve warned her to take care of the people she gets close to.”

Friend of Constance Marten ‘warned’ her about falling in love with dangerous men

In depth: The runaway heiress and the rift at the heart of British democracy

Friday 20 January 2023 07:00 , Liam James

Tom Ough investigates the disappearance causing a stir in high places: They abandoned their burning car on the hard shoulder of the M61 and fled – an aristocrat, a sex offender, and their baby, born just one or two days before. From the inferno near Bolton, thought to have destroyed all their belongings, they travelled first to Liverpool, then to Harwich in Essex, to Colchester and on to East Ham station in east London, over the course of two days.

That blurry CCTV footage from 7 January is the last confirmed sighting of 35-year-old Constance Marten, the heiress’s face wrapped in a red scarf, her baby swaddled inside her coat. Alongside her is 48-year-old convicted rapist Mark Gordon, his head covered and bowed away from the camera. Police, concerned for the health of the baby, have been searching for the couple, but they are thought to have with them a large amount of cash, allowing them to stay off the grid.

So just how did Marten, whose father was a page to Elizabeth II, go from gracing the pages of society bible Tatler to being on the run with a man who, after burgling and raping a woman as a teenager, spent 20 years imprisoned in Florida before being deported to Britain?

The runaway heiress, her rapist partner and the aristocratic family rift

Gordon was armed with garden shears when carried out rape - report

Friday 20 January 2023 08:11 , Matt Mathers

The boyfriend of missing aristocrat Constance Marten raped one of his neighbours armed with a pair of garden shears during a hostage situation when he was a teenager.

Mark Gordon, who is on the run in the UK with Ms Marten and their newborn baby, carried out the attack in Florida in 1989, aged 14, and was later jailed for 20 years.

The 48-year-old was born in Birmingham, West Midlands, but he, his mother and his half-siblings moved to the US when he was still a child in 1989.

He committed the offence in April of that year. Gordon armed himself with garden shears and a kitchen knife, then attacked his neighbour in a four-and-a-half-hour ordeal which saw him take her hostage and sexually assault her, the Daily Mail reports.

Two young children were sleeping in the room next door at the time of the attack, the paper said.

Friend of Constance Marten ‘warned’ her about falling in love with dangerous men

Friday 20 January 2023 09:11 , Matt Mathers

A friend of Constance Marten has claimed she previously warned the missing mother about the type of men she “falls in love with” but that she “doesn’t listen to anyone”.

Noisette Tahoun, who worked at the same film production company as Ms Marten in Cairo, Egypt, in 2010, said she was “not shocked” when she found out that the 35-year-old had been reported missing.

Speaking to The Independent, Ms Tahoun said she had told the heiress to “take care of the people she gets close to”.

My colleague Thomas Kingsley reports:

Friend of Constance Marten ‘warned’ her about falling in love with dangerous men

Gordon broke into victim’s house through her bathroom window

Friday 20 January 2023 09:42 , Matt Mathers

Mark Gordon broke into his victim’s house through her bathroom window, it has emerged.

He then found a pair of her stockings and used them as a face mask before carrying out his attack.

Once he encountered the woman he ordered her into the bedroom while still armed.

He then ordered her to undress before sexually assaulting and raping her, the Daily Mail reports.

ICYMI: Key points

Friday 20 January 2023 10:15 , Matt Mathers

Here are the key points from the case of Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon

  • At 18.33hrs on Thursday, 5 January, officers were called to a car on fire on the hard-shoulder of the M61, near junction four (Farnworth, Bolton). However, 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 persons 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 9am 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.

Aristocrat’s boyfriend convicted of six charges

Friday 20 January 2023 10:45 , Matt Mathers

After carrying out his attack in Flordia, Mark Gordon was found guilty of six charges in total.

They include one count of armed kidnapping, four separate counts of armed sexual battery and one count of burglary with a deadly weapon.

He was convicted on all charges.

Constance Marten: The runaway heiress, her convicted rapist partner and the painful rift at the heart of British aristocracy

Friday 20 January 2023 11:40 , Matt Mathers

Her upbringing had all the trappings of high society, so how did Constance Marten come to be on the run for weeks on end with a sex offender 13 years her senior? Tom Ough reports

The runaway heiress, her rapist partner and the aristocratic family rift

Listen: Come home darling, father urges Constance Marten

Friday 20 January 2023 12:26 , Matt Mathers

The estranged father of Constance Marten has made an emotional plea to his daughter, asking her to return home.

Napier Marten urged the runaway aristocrat - who has been missing with partner Mark Gordon and their newborn since 5 January - to turn herself into the police so she and her baby “can be protected”.

“I also wish you to understand you are much, much loved, whatever the circumstances,” Mr Marten said.

“To see you so vulnerable again is testing in the extreme.”

You can listen to the full audio here:

Listen: Father of runaway aristocrat makes emotional plea to missing daughter

Who is Napier Marten? Father who made emotional appeal for daughter missing with baby

Friday 20 January 2023 12:58 , Matt Mathers

The aristocratic Marten family has dominated headlines in recent weeks after 35-year-old Constance Marten, her newborn baby and partner, a convicted rapist, became the subject of a “high risk” missing person investigation.

Napier Marten urged his daughter Constance to take herself and the child to safety as soon as possible.

But who is Napier? My colleague Thomas Kinglsey reports:

Who is Napier Marten? Father who made emotional appeal for daughter missing with baby

ICYMI: Friend of Constance Marten ‘warned’ her about falling in love with dangerous men

Friday 20 January 2023 13:24 , Matt Mathers

A friend of Constance Marten has claimed she previously warned the missing mother about the type of men she “falls in love with” but that she “doesn’t listen to anyone”.

Noisette Tahoun, who worked at the same film production company as Ms Marten in Cairo, Egypt, in 2010, said she was “not shocked” when she found out that the 35-year-old had been reported missing.

Speaking to The Independent, Ms Tahoun said she had told the heiress to “take care of the people she gets close to”.

My colleague Thomas Kinglsey reports:

Friend of Constance Marten ‘warned’ her about falling in love with dangerous men

ICYMI: Gordon broke into victim’s house through her bathroom window

Friday 20 January 2023 14:04 , Matt Mathers

Mark Gordon broke into his victim’s house through her bathroom window, it has emerged.

He then found a pair of her stockings and used them as a face mask before carrying out his attack.

Once he encountered the woman he ordered her into the bedroom while still armed.

He then ordered her to undress before sexually assaulting and raping her, the Daily Mail reports.

ICYMI: Constance Marten - the ‘It’ girls aristocrat links

Friday 20 January 2023 14:30 , Matt Mathers

Andy Gregory walks through the roots of Constance Marten, the aristocrat’s daughter missing with her child:

Constance Marten, 35, is the granddaughter of Mary Anna Marten, a British Museum trustee whose godmother was the late Queen Mother, and who used to own the Crichel estate in Dorset.

Her grandparents were Toby Marten, a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, and his wife Mary Anna, who had close links to the royal family, attending the Brownies pack at Buckingham Palace alongside Princess Margaret in her youth.

A notable archaeologist, Ms Marten was awarded an OBE in 1980 and appointed High Sheriff of Dorset nine years later. She was also made a trustee of the British Museum and travelled widely in aid of her profession, making frequent trips to Iran and 30 visits to Russia.

The late couple and their family lived at the vast Crichel House – used as the backdrop for several period dramas, including Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow – the ownership of which in the wake of the Second World War became the centre of a notorious political scandal.

They were survived by five daughters and one son, Napier Marten, who was a Page to Queen Elizabeth II. In 1996 he took a voyage of spiritual discovery in Australia, later returning to work as a tree surgeon near Crichel House.

Here’s how Constance Marten and Mark Gordon are evading detection

Friday 20 January 2023 14:37 , Matt Mathers

I have spent decades tracking down wanted people – even those who had evaded the police for years, writes investigative reporter Mark Williams-Thomas.

Read his full article here:

Opinion: Here’s how Constance Marten and Mark Gordon are evading detection

Timeline of missing aristocrat daughter’s movements as family with newborn travel 200 miles in a day

Friday 20 January 2023 16:30 , Matt Mathers

n aristocrat’s daughter, her sex offender partner and their newborn baby are still missing, two weeks after they disappeared.

Constance Marten, 35, and Mark Gordon, 48, were travelling on the M61 when their car broke down near Bolton on 5 January.

A missing persons 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.

My colleague Thomas Kingsley reports:

Timeline of missing aristocrat daughter’s movements as family travel 200 miles in day

Constance Marten: The runaway heiress, her convicted rapist partner and the painful rift at the heart of British aristocracy

Friday 20 January 2023 18:00 , Eleanor Noyce

They abandoned their burning car on the hard shoulder of the M61 and fled – an aristocrat, a sex offender, and their baby, born just one or two days before. From the inferno near Bolton, thought to have destroyed all their belongings, they travelled first to Liverpool, then to Harwich in Essex, to Colchester and on to East Ham station in east London, over the course of two days.

That blurry CCTV footage from 7 January is the last confirmed sighting of 35-year-old Constance Marten, the heiress’s face wrapped in a red scarf, her baby swaddled inside her coat. Alongside her is 48-year-old convicted rapist Mark Gordon, his head covered and bowed away from the camera. Police, concerned for the health of the baby, have been searching for the couple, but they are thought to have with them a large amount of cash, allowing them to stay off the grid.

Her upbringing had all the trappings of high society, so how did Constance Marten come to be on the run for weeks on end with a sex offender 13 years her senior? Tom Ough reports:

The runaway heiress, her rapist partner and the aristocratic family rift

Here’s how Constance Marten and Mark Gordon are evading detection

Friday 20 January 2023 19:00 , Eleanor Noyce

Runaway heiress Constance Marten and her partner, Mark Gordon, have been at the centre of a nationwide police hunt for the last two weeks. We don’t yet know why Marten and Gordon have chosen to go on the run – or how long they’ll manage to evade detection. But after decades of experience in tracking down wanted people, I can tell you some of the ways I believe they have managed to go “off-grid”.

As each day goes by, we are learning more and more about their lives. We know they are wanted not only because of concerns for the welfare of their newborn son, but because of Constance herself – who may not have been seen by medical professionals since his birth.

Such haste to get from the north to the south of England suggests they had already identified a place to lie low and hide. But how are they both managing to stay hidden? Here are some key ways:

Opinion: Here’s how Constance Marten and Mark Gordon are evading detection

Who is Napier Marten? Father who made emotional appeal for daughter missing with baby

Friday 20 January 2023 20:00 , Eleanor Noyce

The aristocratic Marten family has dominated headlines in recent weeks after 35-year-old Constance Marten, her newborn baby and partner, a convicted rapist, became the subject of a “high risk” missing person investigation.

Napier Marten urged his daughter Constance to take herself and the child to safety as soon as possible.

Appealing to his daughter, Mr Marten said: “I want you to understand that you are much much loved whatever the circumstances. We are deeply concerned for your and your baby’s welfare”.

But who is Napier Marten? Thomas Kingsley reports:

Who is Napier Marten? Father who made emotional appeal for daughter missing with baby

Timeline of missing aristocrat daughter’s movements as family with newborn travel 200 miles in a day

Friday 20 January 2023 21:00 , Eleanor Noyce

An aristocrat’s daughter, her sex offender partner and their newborn baby are still missing, two weeks after they disappeared.

Constance Marten, 35, and Mark Gordon, 48, were travelling on the M61 when their car broke down near Bolton on 5 January.

A missing persons 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.

Below is a timeline of all their known movements since their disappearance:

Timeline of missing aristocrat daughter’s movements as family travel 200 miles in day

Who are Constance Marten and Mark Gordon: Everything we know about couple missing with newborn

Friday 20 January 2023 22:00 , Eleanor Noyce

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have been missing now for two weeks with their newborn baby prompting an emotional plea from her aristocrat father.

Napier Marten, a film and music producer, urged his daughter Constance to take herself and the child to safety as soon as possible.

Police are desperately trying to find the mother, her baby and Mark Gordon after their car burst into flames on the M61 in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on 5 January.

Mark Gordon, the partner of Ms Marten, was jailed in the late 1980s in Florida, US, after raping and assaulting a woman when he was 14. After serving a 20-year sentence he was deported back to the UK in 2010, it emerged on Wednesday.

Despite several confirmed sightings in two cities hundreds of miles apart, the trio remain missing, with the police warning they could be anywhere in the UK.

Who are Constance Marten and Mark Gordon? Thomas Kingsley has more:

Who are Constance Marten and Mark Gordon: Everything we know about missing couple

Sex offender missing with aristocrat’s daughter ‘raped neighbour while armed with garden shears’

Friday 20 January 2023 23:00 , Eleanor Noyce

A sex offender missing with an aristocrat’s daughter raped his victim while armed with “garden shears”.

Court documents reportedly reveal that Mark Gordon, when aged just 14, armed himself with garden shears and a kitchen knife, then attacked his neighbour in a four-and-a-half-hour ordeal which saw him take her hostage and sexually assault her.

The papers, seen by the Daily Mail, say the victim’s “two small children were sleeping in their bedroom” at the time of the attack in April 1989.

Gordon, who is missing with his partner Constance Marten and their newborn baby, was later jailed in Florida for rape and battery. After serving a 20-year sentence he was deported back to the UK in 2010.

Thomas Kingsley reports:

Sex offender missing with baby ‘raped neighbour while armed with garden shears’

Friday 20 January 2023 23:30 , Eleanor Noyce

We’re pausing our live coverage of this story for the evening. For the latest updates, visit https://www.independent.co.uk/.

Aristocrat ‘gave birth in car before disappearing with rapist'

Saturday 21 January 2023 07:37 , Emily Atkinson

A missing aristocrat who disappeared with her rapist boyfriend gave birth to their child in the back of their car, it has been alleged.

Constance Marten, 35, and her partner Mark Gordon, 48, a convicted sex offender, went missing two weeks ago after reportedly concealing her pregnancy for five months.

Their car was found abandoned and on fire on the M61 near Bolton on 5 January.

Ms Marten was later seen on CCTV carrying the baby as the family made their way to Liverpool, Harwich, Colchester and then east London.

Sources close to the investigation, involving three separate police forces, told The Daily Telegraph that emergency service staff called to the car fire noticed a placenta in the back seat.

Map shows movements of missing aristocrat and rapist partner

Saturday 21 January 2023 08:10 , Emily Atkinson

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have travelled more than 200 miles across England and could be anywhere in the UK.

Below is a map, made by my colleague Thomas Kingsley, tracing their known movements:

 (The Independent)
(The Independent)

Friend of Constance Marten ‘warned’ her about falling in love with dangerous men

Saturday 21 January 2023 08:40 , Emily Atkinson

A friend of Constance Marten has claimed she previously warned the missing mother about the type of men she “falls in love with” but that she “doesn’t listen to anyone”.

Noisette Tahoun, who worked at the same film production company as Ms Marten in Cairo, Egypt, in 2010, said she was “not shocked” when she found out that the 35-year-old had been reported missing.

Speaking to The Independent, Ms Tahoun said she had told the heiress to “take care of the people she gets close to”.

Thomas Kingsley reports:

Friend of Constance Marten ‘warned’ her about falling in love with dangerous men

Watch: Constance Marten: Hunt for missing aristocrat and baby after her partner found to be convicted rapist

Saturday 21 January 2023 09:10 , Emily Atkinson

Missing aristocrat Constance Marten gave birth in back seat of car left burning on motorway

Saturday 21 January 2023 10:10 , Emily Atkinson

An aristocratic mother currently on the run with her newborn baby and partner gave birth to their child in the back of a car they later left burning on a motorway, detectives believe.

Police have been searching for Constance Marten and Mark Gordon, a convicted rapist, ever since the couple abandoned their car on the hard shoulder of the M56, just a few miles from Bolton, more than a fortnight ago.

My colleague Andy Gregory reports:

Missing aristocrat gave birth in back seat of car left burning on motorway

Watch: Father of runaway aristocrat makes emotional plea to missing daughter

Saturday 21 January 2023 11:10 , Emily Atkinson

In case you missed it, Constance Marten’s estranged father has appealed via The Independent for his daughter to present herself to police “as soon as possible”.

Listen to his plea in full:

Crichel House: What do we know about the Dorset estate once home to Constance Marten?

Saturday 21 January 2023 12:10 , Emily Atkinson

Constance Marten is directly descended from the 3rd and last Baron Allington and once lived in the £34 million country house in Dorset.

The ownership of Crichel House – used as the backdrop for several period dramas, including Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow – became the centre of a notorious political scandal in the wake of the Second World War.

In 2013 Napier Marten, Ms Marten’s father, sold the house and a portion of the land to the American billionaire Richard Chilton.

A glimpse of Crichel House’s grand exterior can be seen in this image:

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Voices: ‘Here’s how Constance Marten and Mark Gordon are evading detection'

Saturday 21 January 2023 13:10 , Emily Atkinson

Such haste to get from the north to the south of England suggests they had already identified a place to lie low and hide. But how are they both managing to stay hidden? Mark Williams-Thomas takes a look at some key ways:

Opinion: Here’s how Constance Marten and Mark Gordon are evading detection

Everything we know about couple missing with newborn

Saturday 21 January 2023 14:10 , Emily Atkinson

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have been missing now for two weeks with their newborn baby prompting an emotional plea from her aristocrat father.

Napier Marten, a film and music producer, urged his daughter Constance to take herself and the child to safety as soon as possible.

Police are desperately trying to find the mother, her baby and Mark Gordon after their car burst into flames on the M61 in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on 5 January.

Thomas Kingsley has the details:

Who are Constance Marten and Mark Gordon: Everything we know about missing couple

Constance Marten: The runaway heiress, her rapist partner and the aristocratic family rift

Saturday 21 January 2023 15:00 , Emily Atkinson

Just how did Marten, whose father was a page to Elizabeth II, go from gracing the pages of society bible Tatler to being on the run with a man who, after burgling and raping a woman as a teenager, spent 20 years imprisoned in Florida before being deported to Britain?

Tom Ough reports:

The runaway heiress, her rapist partner and the aristocratic family rift

ICYMI: Key points

Saturday 21 January 2023 16:00 , Emily Atkinson

Here are the key points, compiled by my colleague Matt Mathers, from the case of Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon

  • At 18.33hrs on Thursday, 5 January, officers were called to a car on fire on the hard-shoulder of the M61, near junction four (Farnworth, Bolton). However, 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 persons 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 9am 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.

Mark Gordon’s mother speaks out: ‘He is a good boy’

Saturday 21 January 2023 17:00 , Emily Atkinson

Mark Gordon’s mother Sylvia said she is “very concerned” for the safety of her son and his partner.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, she said: “I am very concerned. I love my son. He is a good boy so I don’t know what this is all about.”

Mr Gordon has been missing with partner Constance Marten and their child, believed to be just weeks old, since 5 January.

It recently emerged that Mr Gordon is a convicted rapist who spent 20 years in jail in the US.

Who are Constance Marten and Mark Gordon: Everything we know about couple missing with newborn

Saturday 21 January 2023 18:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have been missing now for two weeks with their newborn baby prompting an emotional plea from her aristocrat father.

Napier Marten, a film and music producer, urged his daughter Constance to take herself and the child to safety as soon as possible.

Police are desperately trying to find the mother, her baby and Mark Gordon after their car burst into flames on the M61 in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on 5 January.

Mark Gordon, the partner of Ms Marten, was jailed in the late 1980s in Florida, US, after raping and assaulting a woman when he was 14. After serving a 20-year sentence he was deported back to the UK in 2010, it emerged on Wednesday.

Who are Constance Marten and Mark Gordon: Everything we know about missing couple

Missing aristocrat Constance Marten gave birth in back seat of car left burning on motorway

Saturday 21 January 2023 19:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

An aristocratic mother currently on the run with her newborn baby and partner gave birth to their child in the back of a car they later left burning on a motorway, detectives believe.

Police have been searching for Constance Marten and Mark Gordon, a convicted rapist, ever since the couple abandoned their car on the hard shoulder of the M56, just a few miles from Bolton, more than a fortnight ago.

The 35-year-old mother and her baby are not believed to have been checked over by medical professionals since she gave birth just days prior to their disappearance, and her estranged father has appealed via The Independent for Ms Marten to present herself to police “as soon as possible”.

Andy Gregory reports:

Missing aristocrat gave birth in back seat of car left burning on motorway

Friend of Constance Marten ‘warned’ her about falling in love with dangerous men

Saturday 21 January 2023 20:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A friend of Constance Marten has claimed she previously warned the missing mother about the type of men she “falls in love with” but that she “doesn’t listen to anyone”.

Noisette Tahoun, who worked at the same film production company as Ms Marten in Cairo, Egypt, in 2010, said she was “not shocked” when she found out that the 35-year-old had been reported missing.

Speaking to The Independent, Ms Tahoun said she had told the heiress to “take care of the people she gets close to”.

“I was not shocked when I heard she was missing,” Ms Tahoun said.

“I know when she falls in love she goes anywhere with the person she loves.

Thomas Kingsley reports:

Friend of Constance Marten ‘warned’ her about falling in love with dangerous men

Timeline of missing aristocrat daughter’s movements as family with newborn travel 200 miles in a day

Saturday 21 January 2023 21:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Constance Marten, 35, and Mark Gordon, 48, were travelling on the M61 when their car broke down near Bolton on 5 January.

A missing persons 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.

In total, the couple have travelled more than 200 miles across the UK in 48 hours with their last sighting being in Newham, east London on 7 January.

Below is a timeline compiled by Thomas Kingsley of all their known movements since their disappearance:

Timeline of missing aristocrat daughter’s movements as family travel 200 miles in day

Who is Napier Marten? Father who made emotional appeal for daughter missing with baby

Saturday 21 January 2023 22:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The aristocratic Marten family has dominated headlines in recent weeks after 35-year-old Constance Marten, her newborn baby and partner, a convicted rapist, became the subject of a “high risk” missing person investigation.

Napier Marten urged his daughter Constance to take herself and the child to safety as soon as possible.

Appealing to his daughter, Mr Marten said: “I want you to understand that you are much much loved whatever the circumstances. We are deeply concerned for your and your baby’s welfare”.

Thomas Kingsley has more:

Who is Napier Marten? Father who made emotional appeal for daughter missing with baby

Missing aristocrat Constance Marten gave birth in back seat of car left burning on motorway

Saturday 21 January 2023 23:02 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

An aristocratic mother currently on the run with her newborn baby and partner gave birth to their child in the back of a car they later left burning on a motorway, detectives believe.

Police have been searching for Constance Marten and Mark Gordon, a convicted rapist, ever since the couple abandoned their car on the hard shoulder of the M56, just a few miles from Bolton, more than a fortnight ago.

The 35-year-old mother and her baby are not believed to have been checked over by medical professionals since she gave birth just days prior to their disappearance, and her estranged father has appealed via The Independent for Ms Marten to present herself to police “as soon as possible”.

Missing aristocrat gave birth in back seat of car left burning on motorway

Map shows known movements of missing aristocrat and convicted rapist partner

Sunday 22 January 2023 00:01 , Daniel Reast

Police have been searching for the missing aristocrat Constance Marten and Mark Gordon, a convicted rapist, after the couple left their car on the hard shoulder of the M56 near Bolton a fortnight ago.

They have travelled over 200 miles across England and could now be anywhere in the UK.

In case you missed it, below is a map, produced by our reporterThomas Kingsley, tracing their movements in England over the last fortnight:

Detectives believe the 35-year-old mother gave birth in the back of the car, which was left burning on the motorway (The Independent)
Detectives believe the 35-year-old mother gave birth in the back of the car, which was left burning on the motorway (The Independent)

Sunday 22 January 2023 00:30 , Daniel Reast

We’re pausing our live coverage of this story for the evening. For the latest updates, visit https://www.independent.co.uk/

Sunday 22 January 2023 07:58 , Andy Gregory

Good morning, I’ll be resuming live updates on the blog this morning as police continue to search for Constance Marten and Mark Gordon, who are on the run with their newborn baby.

Car left burning on motorway paid for in cash days earlier, detectives believe

Sunday 22 January 2023 08:09 , Andy Gregory

It emerged yesterday that the couple used cash to buy for the car which was left burning on the M61 near Bolton days later, according to detectives.

They are believed by police to have taken a large amount of cash with them, likely in an effort to evade authorities.

Car abandoned by couple likely broke down, say police

Sunday 22 January 2023 09:06 , Andy Gregory

Detectives believe that the couple’s car is likely to have suffered a mechanical failure, rather than have been deliberately set on fire, The Independent understands.

Its abandonment on the M61 near Bolton saw police first announce the search for the couple and their newborn, with officers understood to have discovered placenta and signs of childbirth on the back seat.

Many of the couple’s belongings are thought to have been destroyed in the fire attended by officers on the hard shoulder near Bolton more than a fortnight ago.

‘You don’t need to vanish’: Former colleague urges Constance Marten to contact her loved ones

Sunday 22 January 2023 10:04 , Andy Gregory

A friend who worked with Constance Marten in Egypt has urged her to contact her loved ones saying: “You need to stay in touch with everyone who loves you and not be distanced. You don’t need to vanish.”

Noisette Tahoun, who worked at the same film production company as Ms Marten in Cairo in 2010, told The Independent that she had previously warned the missing mother “to take care of the people she gets close to”.

My colleague Thomas Kingsley has the full report.

Constance’s father once journeyed to Australia after ‘awakening'

Sunday 22 January 2023 11:34 , Andy Gregory

When she was nine, Constance Marten’s father had what was described as an “awakening”, writes Tom Ough.

Napier Marten later told how a voice in his head had told him to discard his £115m family fortune, shave his head and fly to Australia. He followed its bidding and, having duly shaved his head, had an out-of-body experience while standing on a cliff-top with a group of Aboriginal Australians.

“Everything in my life materially was a completely empty shell,” he said. He lived in a lorry and trained in head massage, later returning to the UK and working as a tree surgeon.

Report: The runaway heiress, her rapist partner and the aristocratic family rift

Sunday 22 January 2023 13:15 , Andy Gregory

How did Constance Marten, whose father was a page to Elizabeth II, go from gracing the pages of society bible Tatler to being on the run with a man who, after burgling and raping a woman as a teenager, spent 20 years imprisoned in Florida before being deported to Britain?

Tom Ough has this comprehensive report:

The runaway heiress, her rapist partner and the aristocratic family rift

Napier Marten ‘deeply concerned’ for welfare of his estranged daughter and her newborn

Sunday 22 January 2023 14:14 , Andy Gregory

Earlier this week, Constance’s estranged father Napier Marten issued an appeal for her to come out of hiding.

“Darling Constance even though we remain estranged at the moment, I stand by, as I have always done and as the family has always done, to do whatever is necessary for your safe return to us,” Mr Marten said in an appeal issued through The Independent.

“I beseech you to find a way to turn yourself and your wee one in to the police as soon as possible, so you and he or she can be protected. Only then can a process of healing and recovery begin, however long it may take, however difficult it may be.

“I would like you to understand that the family will do all that is needed for your wellbeing. And I also wish you to understand you are much much loved whatever the circumstances. We are deeply concerned for your and your baby’s welfare.”

Constance Marten is ‘very good actress’, friend says

Sunday 22 January 2023 16:14 , Andy Gregory

Constance Marten is a “very good actress” and “could have gone far” but lost interest in drama, according to a friend who told the Sunday Times that she was shocked when the heiress dropped out of a course at the East 15 drama school in Essex in 2016.

Constance, known to friends as “Toots”, is understood to have studied Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Leeds before completing an NCTJ journalism qualification.

My colleague Thomas Kingsley has the full report:

Who are Constance Marten and Mark Gordon: Everything we know about missing couple

Crichel Down: The notorious political scandal involving Constance’s grandparents

Sunday 22 January 2023 16:59 , Andy Gregory

Constance Marten, who is known by the nickname Toots, is the granddaughter of Mary Anna Marten, who previously owned the Crichel estate in Dorset and was the goddaughter of the late Queen Mother, The Independent previously revealed.

Crichel is one of the most magnificent Georgian mansions in England, set in rolling Dorset farmland and used as the backdrop for several period dramas, including Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow.

However, its the ownership in the wake of the Second World War became the centre of a notorious political scandal.

In what became known as the Crichel Down affair, part of the estate was requisitioned by the government in 1938 for bombing practice by the Royal Air Force, with a purchase price of just over £12,000.

After a promise in parliament from Winston Churchill that the land would be returned to its owners after the war was broken, and the purchase price vastly inflated by the government, the couple challenged the government and a public inquiry was launched.

The Martens defeated the government, winning back their land and effectively forcing agriculture minister Sir Thomas Dugdale’s resignation over the scandal – which is still held up as a landmark case in ministerial accountability and landowners’ rights.

Constance Marten ‘brainwashed’ by cult

Sunday 22 January 2023 17:35 , Lucy Skoulding

Constance Marten was reportedly ‘brainwashed’ by a cult in Nigeria before she met her rapist boyfriend, Mark Gordon, who is a convicted sex offender.

The Daily Mail reports that Ms Marten was left traumatised by Nigerian evangelical church leader, TB Joshua, according to a friend.

It is believed she spent around six months working for the controversial pastor in Nigeria, becoming one of his ‘disciples’ as they are called, around the time she went to university.

Constance Marten appeared ‘traumatised’ on return to UK

Sunday 22 January 2023 19:00 , Lucy Skoulding

Ms Marten seemed to be ‘traumatised’ when she came back to the UK after spending time in Nigeria.

It is thought she was ‘brainwashed’ while working for controversial pastor T B Joshua, a family friend has told the Daily Mail.

The friend believes Ms Marten fell under the influence of her rapist boyfriend, Mark Gordon. He served 20 years in a US prison for raping and kidnapping a woman in 1989.

Cult that Constance Marten was ‘brainwashed’ by

Sunday 22 January 2023 20:00 , Lucy Skoulding

According to the Daily Mail, Constance Marten was ‘brainwashed’ by a cult while working for pastor T B Joshua in Nigeria.

Joshua’s teachings have attracted thousands of followers. Among them are top politicians and sports stars in Latin America and Africa.

Joshua died in June 2021, at the age of 57.

He was known as ‘the prophet’ and claimed he could heal sick people through the ‘supernatural power of God bringing health to the human flesh’.

Constance Marten was ‘darker’ after working for controversial pastor

Sunday 22 January 2023 21:00 , Lucy Skoulding

A friend has described Constance Marten as ‘darker’ when she got back from working for the controversial pastor TB Joshua.

The friend told the Daily Mail: “She was not the same person when she came back. She always used to be wild, but also happy, kind and buoyant.

“She was darker when she came back and she found things more difficult.”

She also reportedly described T B Joshua as a “God-like figure”.

The friend added that the experience “changed her” and it was “scary” to see Ms Marten in that way.

Constance Marten is missing with her newborn and partner Mark Gordon (GMP/PA) (PA Wire)
Constance Marten is missing with her newborn and partner Mark Gordon (GMP/PA) (PA Wire)

Constance Marten ‘found relationships hard'

Sunday 22 January 2023 22:00 , Lucy Skoulding

A family friend of Constance Marten, who is the granddaughter of Mary Anna Marten, who previously owned the Crichel estate in Dorset and was the goddaughter of the late Queen Mother, said the missing Ms Marten found relationships “difficult”.

The friend told the Daily Mail that this appeared to get even worse after she returned from Nigeria, where she had worked for a controversial pastor for around six months. The friend said Ms Marten came back “totally f***ed”.

She added that even though Ms Marten remained “exuberant” she “found relationships very hard” and was “more rebellious” when she returned.

Constance Marten was planning ‘expose’ of controversial pastor

Sunday 22 January 2023 23:00 , Lucy Skoulding

Missing Constance Marten was reportedly planning a “television expose” of a controversial pastor who it is believed she was ‘traumatised’ by while working for him in Nigeria.

Ms Marten started working as a senior researcher for international news channel Al Jazeera in 2012, and was planning to do the expose on TB Joshua and his techniques, according to a family friend, who spoke to the Daily Mail.

This is also supported by Ms Marten’s LinkedIn, which says: “Pitched an idea for a documentary about a religious cult in Nigeria.

“Tracked down former members of the sect, in the UK, Nigeria, Ghana and S. Africa, in order to gather solid first-hand information.”

Aristocrat mother on the run with rapist partner was ‘brainwashed’ by Nigerian preacher, friend claims

Monday 23 January 2023 01:03 , Holly Bancroft

An aristocrat mother who is on the run with her baby and rapist partner was allegedly “brainwashed” by an encounter with a controversial Nigerian preacher, a friend has claimed.

Constance Marten, 35, and Mark Gordon, 48, disappeared two weeks ago and are currently being sought by the police.

Now a friend of Ms Marten has claimed that the aristocrat was left traumatised by a six month long encounter with a controversial Nigerian preacher T.B. Joshua.

The latest revelation, first reported by Mail Online, sheds new light on the remarkable story of Ms Marten.

Read the full story here:

Aristocrat mother on the run was ‘brainwashed’ by Nigerian preacher, friend claims

Couple may be sleeping in tent, police say

12:38 , Matt Mathers

Missing aristocrat Constance Marten and her convicted sex offender partner are sleeping in a tent in sub-zero conditions with their baby, police believe.

Detectives are searching for Ms Marten and Mark Gordon, who are on the run and last seen in east London on 5 January. Police say they are concerned about the welfare of the baby, who is thought to be only a few weeks old.

In an update in the case on Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police said that had obtained new information establishing that the couple went to an Argos in Whitechapel, east London at 6:19pm on Saturday, 7 January to buy camping gear.

What have police said about latest sighting?

13:03 , Matt Mathers

The team of officers working around the clock to trace Constance Marten, 35, Mark Gordon, 48, and their newborn baby, have established that they went into Argos on Whitechapel Road, E1, at 18:19hrs on Saturday, 7 January to buy camping gear.

Mark went in alone and bought two big bags full of items, paying in cash, including a blue two-man tent, two sleeping bags and two pillows. He left the store at 18:40hrs.

My colleague Thomas Kingsley has more details:

New pictures released in search for Constance Marten missing with rapist and baby

Couple were refused by three taxis after purchasing tent

13:23 , Andy Gregory

The family unsucccessfully attempted to flag down three black taxis after purchasing a tent at an Argos in Whitechapel, London, police have said.

After Mark Gordon left the store at 6:40pm on 7 January, the couple then spent slightly more than three hours walking around the Whitechapel Road area, where they were refused by three taxis they tried to flag down.

They then left the area on foot and were last seen walking along Brick Lane, towards Bethnal Green Road, at 10pm, police said.

When was last official sighting of the family?

13:44 , Andy Gregory

The last official sighting of the family was on London’s Brick Lane at 10pm on 7 January, police have said.

They were seen walking towards Bethnal Green Road after purchasing two bags full of camping gear from an Argos in Whitechapel.

Mark is often seen walking alone ahead of Constance and the baby, police said.

New pictures released in search for missing family

14:04 , Andy Gregory

The Metropolitan Police have released new CCTV images of the missing family, when they were last officially sighted in London’s Whitechapel and Brick Lane areas.

The family was spotted in an East London street on 7 January (Metropolitan Police)
The family was spotted in an East London street on 7 January (Metropolitan Police)
The couple’s last confirmed sighting is 7 January (Met Police)
The couple’s last confirmed sighting is 7 January (Met Police)

My colleague Thomas Kingsley has more details here:

New pictures released in search for Constance Marten missing with rapist and baby

Re-cap: who are Constance Marten and Mark Gordon?

14:35 , Matt Mathers

The Independent revealed that Ms Marten is directly descended from the 3rd and last Baron Allington and once lived in the £34 million Crichel country house in Dorset.

Writing on her Facebook page, the 35-year-old said she enjoys “naked picnics, siestas amid hay bales and tractor scoops.”

My colleague Thomas Kingsley reports:

Who are Constance Marten and Mark Gordon: Everything we know about missing couple

Constance Marten: The runaway heiress, her rapist partner and the aristocratic family rift

15:07 , Matt Mathers

Her upbringing had all the trappings of high society, so how did Constance Marten come to be on the run for weeks on end with a sex offender 13 years her senior? Tom Ough reports:

The runaway heiress, her rapist partner and the aristocratic family rift

ICYMI: Revealed: Full details of Constance Marten’s rapist boyfriend’s violent sex crimes

16:30 , Matt Mathers

Harrowing details of the crimes committed by convicted sex offender Mark Gordon, who is missing with an aristocrat and their newborn baby, have been revealed in court documents obtained by The Independent.

Mark Gordon, the partner of Ms Marten, was jailed in the late 1980s in Florida, US, after raping and assaulting a woman when he was 14 years old. After serving a 20-year sentence, he was deported back to the UK in 2010.

My colleague Thomas Kingsley has more details below:

Convicted rapist Mark Gordon’s sex crimes revealed

Rapist partner ‘unable to leave the country’

17:59 , Sam Rkaina

A rapist who has gone missing with his aristocrat partner and their newborn cannot leave the UK, it is understood – casting doubt over claims the pair could have fled overseas.

Police are looking for Mark Gordon, Constance Marten and their child after they abandoned their car on the M61 in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on 5 January.

More than 100 officers have been involved in the search, sifting through more than 220 CCTV hours, in addition to enlisting support from the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Click here for the full story

 (Metropolitan Police)
(Metropolitan Police)

Concerns for newborn as freezing temperatures continue

19:18 , Sam Rkaina

Earlier today police raised concerns about the missing couple’s newborn given the cold temperatures gripping the UK.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, who is leading the investigation, said: “We are extremely concerned that a newborn baby - less than a week old at the time on January 7 - has been exposed to sub-freezing cold temperatures if Mark and Constance have been camping out somewhere as our evidence suggests.”

Tonight’s forecast is again for very low temperatures, hitting zero in the south west and 2C in London and the south east overnight.

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website