Rapist partner of aristocrat missing with their newborn ‘unable to leave the country’

Previous reports suggest the pair could already be overseas

Emily Atkinson
Tuesday 24 January 2023 19:51 GMT
Constance Marten: Hunt for missing aristocrat and baby after her partner found to be convicted rapist

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 hours of CCTV, in addition to enlisting support from the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Mark Gordon and Constance Marten went missing at the start of January

Speaking to The Independent on Monday, ex-Greater Manchester Police chief constable Sir Peter Fahy said the amount of resources behind the case and involvement of the NCA suggests the family could already be overseas.

But a source close to Ms Marten has told The Independent that Gordon does not have a passport so is unlikely to have left the country.

Registered sex offender Gordon, 48, grew up in Florida where he was convicted of attacking and raping a woman in the 1980s at 14 years old.

Born in Birmingham, he served two decades in prison before being deported back to the UK in 2010.

Fresh concerns for the fugitive mother and her baby, believed to be just weeks old, were raised earlier on Tuesday as officers suggested they had been sleeping in a tent in sub-zero temperatures.

Gordon is a convicted sex offender who served 20 years in prison in the US

The Met released a series of new CCTV images of Ms Marten and Gordon, who were seen purchasing a tent at Argos in Whitechapel, east London, just two days after they went missing.

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

“No child, especially a tiny, newborn baby, should be forced to endure such dangerous, potentially life-threatening, conditions.”

CCTV images show the couple being dropped off in Whitechapel, east London

He went on to suggest that the pair may be attempting to “blend in with homeless communities, either here in London or further afield, or they could be camping in more rural or wooded areas”.

The pair has been connected to Wales, Leeds, Sheffield and Bolton. The last place they lived was in the North of England area dating back to September where they stayed in Airbnbs for one to two nights.

Constance Marten and Mark Gordon have travelled more than 200 miles across England

It is unclear how Ms Marten and Gordon met, though the couple is understood to have lived an isolated life since meeting in 2016.

Last week, Mr Marten’s father Napier issued an emotional appeal asking his daughter to turn herself in to the police so that she and her baby “can be protected”.

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