A senior midwife has issued an appeal to a missing aristocrat who vanished more than a month ago with her convicted sex offender boyfriend and their newborn baby.
Constance Marten, 35, and her partner Mark Gordon, 48, have been travelling around the UK by taxi since their car was found burning on the M61 in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on January 5.
Authorities believe the couple have been sleeping rough in a blue tent, and fear for the safety of the baby who has not had any medical attention since birth in early January.
It is unknown if the baby was full-term or has any health issues, which is why officers want to find the family.
Shereen Nimmo, director of midwifery for Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “Constance, my name is Shereen and I’m here to speak to you as a midwife and a mother. I am not here to judge you but here to help you and your baby.
“I know that you really love your baby, and I know what an exciting and worrying time being a mum can be. And I want to make sure that you and your baby are OK and get the care you need.
“After you have a baby, midwives are there to check you are recovering physically and emotionally and adjusting to caring for your newborn.
“We check your baby is feeding properly and putting on weight, and they have screening tests to make sure their heart, hearing, hips and eye sight all look OK.
“We also check for some rare conditions and put care plans in place to support them if needed.
“You’re putting your baby at risk by not accessing medical care, so it’s really important that you come and see a midwife, doctor or another healthcare professional as soon as possible.
“Babies need a safe, warm environment and all new mums are given information about safe sleeping for their baby to prevent sudden infant death syndrome.
“We know the safest place for your baby to sleep is in a cot in the same room as you. Sleeping with your baby in an unsafe environment puts them at risk.
“We’re worried that without access to midwifery and medical care, your baby might not be getting the best start in life that we know you want for them.
“Please do the right thing for your baby and go to your nearest healthcare facility so my caring colleagues can take care of you and your baby. All we want to do is help you.”
The missing couple have so far avoided being traced by the police by moving around frequently and keeping their faces covered in CCTV images.
Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said around 50 officers are working on the case at any one time and more than 630 hours of CCTV has been viewed.
“All calls, I would say, have added something to the investigation,” he said.
But Mr Basford said the risk “only increases day by day” when there is no further confirmed sightings, adding that he is appealing to the couple to think of the baby.
A £10,000 reward is on offer for information that leads to them being found safe.
Investigators said that in the months before they vanished they built up a significant amount of cash and used it to pay for places to stay and taxis around the country.
Mr Basford said police believe the cash would have lasted the couple well into February.
“However we also know that to keep warm and keep under a roof and keep that baby safe that at some point they’ve had to reach out or seek some sort of lodgings away from the tent that they did use on the 8th when they were seen heading into the fields in Newhaven,” he said.
The detective said there are concerns that the money they have will be running out and he is calling on the couple to do “the right thing” and come forward to seek the medical attention required.
The couple travelled from Bolton to Liverpool, then to Harwich in Essex, then to east London and then to Newhaven in Sussex, where they were seen near the ferry port on January 8.
In an update earlier this month, the Metropolitan Police said they believed the family may be camping in Sussex.
But now it is thought that while there is nothing to suggest they have gone abroad, they could be anywhere in the whole of the UK.
Mr Basford said: “We know from their movements from the 5th to the 8th of January that they’ve been across the United Kingdom, and I think now, six weeks on, my plea to members of the public is they could be anywhere within the United Kingdom, in any town, in any city, so really it’s for everybody that’s watching this, the appeal, to just have a look, think, be visual, and any information or intelligence you may have to come forward and contact the police wherever you might be.”
Miss Marten, who is from a wealthy aristocratic family, was a promising drama student when she first met Mr Gordon in 2016.
Since then the couple have led an isolated life, and in September, when Miss Marten was well into her pregnancy, began moving around rental flats.
Gordon served 20 years in prison in the US for rape and battery committed when he was 14.