Missing aristocrat Constance Marten and her sex offender boyfriend could already be overseas with their newborn baby, a former police chief has warned.
The force said it has used more than 100 officers and has trawled through more than 223 CCTV hours in the investigation, in addition to enlisting support from the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Former Greater Manchester Police chief constable Sir Peter Fahy said while there are some “unusual” elements of the investigation, the amount of resources behind the search in addition to the involvement of the NCA suggests the family could already be overseas.
“The NCA has the network of officers in foreign embassies so anything to do with foreign liaison goes through the NCA,” Sir Peter told The Independent.
He added: “It does sound unusual, it doesn’t like they’ve gone to the NCA and got more officers, it sounds like it might be getting international links and getting information from other police forces. Given the passage of time, there may be some concern they’ve been able to get abroad.
“There are weaknesses in our system through some of the ports, getting to Ireland and stuff like that, it makes it easier for people to flee. The passage of time gone and their not being discovered in this country despite all the efforts is a concern.
Sir Peter explained that given the criminal background of Gordon and the vulnerability of the baby, the search is particularly high risk but there could be elements of Constance and Mark’s background that are not being revealed to the public which also determines the risk.
Responding to complaints that more resources have been placed behind the investigation for the missing aristocrat, Sir Peter said missing person cases are initially assessed on the risk of an individual harming themselves which will determine the facilities implemented with the search.
“Clearly the mother sounds like she’s vulnerable then you have this guy he’s a sex offender as well,” Sir Peter said.
“So in terms of missing people apart from someone who left a suicide note, it would be very very high risk which would justify a high level of resources to trace.”
Birmingham-born Mark Gordon, the partner of Ms Marten and who is 13 years her senior, was jailed in the late 1980s in Florida, US, after raping and assaulting a woman in her early 20s when he was 14. After serving a 20-year sentence he was deported back to the UK in 2010.
The couple are understood to have lived an isolated life since meeting in 2016, with Ms Marten cutting off ties with family and friends.
Police are concerned for the health of the baby and are searching for Ms Marten, Mr Gordon, and the child.
Detective superintendent Basford of the Metropolitan Police who is leading the investigation 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.”
Constance’s father Napier Martin launched an emotional appeal via The Indpendent asking his daughter to turn herself in to the police so that she and her baby “can be protected.”
Anyone who has information on the family’s whereabouts should call the incident room on 020 7175 0785.
Alternatively, information can be reported 100 per cent anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They never ask for personal details and they do not trace your device.