Napier Marten’s ignored plea as daughter Constance arrested and baby missing
The aristocrat father whose estranged daughter disappeared with her sex offender partner and baby last month made an emotional plea for her to return - but it was ignored.
Now Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon have been arrested in Brighton but her baby is still missing.
In an exclusive recording with The Indepedent on 19 January, two weeks after his daughter vanished, Napier Marten spoke directly to his daughter Constance Marten when he said: “I want you to understand that you are much much loved whatever the circumstances.”
He added: “We are deeply concerned for your and your baby’s welfare”.
Mr Marten shared his desperate plea after revealing that he had known about Gordon’s criminal conviction for some time - but the plea has not been answered.
Prior to being arrested in the Sussex city on Monday night, Ms Marten was last seen with Gordon at East Ham station in London on 7 January.
Gordon and Ms Marten went missing on 5 January, when their baby was thought to have been only one or two days old, abandoning their broken-down car on the M61 near Bolton.
Most of their possessions were destroyed when the vehicle caught fire but they have a substantial amount of cash, allowing them to live off-grid, police said.
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.
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”.
Urging his daughter to return safely with his grandchild, Mr 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 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.”
Mr Marten, a former Page to the late Queen, went on: “The past eight years have been beyond painful for all the family as well as your friends, as they must have been for you. And to see you so vulnerable again is testing in the extreme.
“I would like to extend my gratitude to the police for all their endeavours in bringing this tragic episode to a swift and safe conclusion and appeal to you, please Constance, find the courage to present yourself to the police as soon as possible.”
Ms 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.
Crichel is one of the most magnificent Georgian mansions in England, set in rolling Dorset farmland and was offered for sale for £98m. It has been bought by an American financier.
The pair hailed a taxi to Liverpool before taking another taxi to Harwich in Essex, arriving just after midnight on Friday 6 January.
Police said they were also in Colchester before taking a taxi to East Ham station, where they were last seen on Saturday 7 January.
The pair were located by officers from Sussex Police in Stanmer Villas, Brighton on Monday night after a member of the public reported seeing them shortly before 9.30pm.
Metropolitan Police said an urgent search operation is underway to find their baby, who has not had any medical attention since the birth in early January.
It is unknown if their baby was full-term or has any health issues.