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

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A woman on the run with her newborn baby and partner gave birth to her child on the back seat of a car they later left burning on a motorway, detectives believe.

Police have been searching for Constance Marten, 35, and Mark Gordon, 48, a convicted rapist, 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 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”.

It has now emerged that first responders found a placenta in the back seat of the car, which was discovered by police on 5 January.

Sources connected to the investigation – which has so far involved three police forces, hundreds of miles apart – said that emergency service staff who attended the car fire spotted signs of childbirth in the back seat.

A police image of the car on fire on the M56

Many of their belongings were destroyed in the blaze, after which the family appear to have fled on foot, before travelling hundreds of miles by taxi from Liverpool to Harwich, in Essex, police enquiries suggest.

Ms Marten is since thought to have been spotted in Colchester and east London on 7 January, and the couple are thought to be in possession of a substantial amount of cash and appear to know how to evade authorities, investigators say.

It has since emerged that Gordon was deported back from the US to Britain in 2010 after serving a 20-year sentence for raping and assaulting a woman in Florida when he was 14.

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 vast Crichel estate in Dorset.

Ms Marten, who previously featured in the pages of society bible Tatler, had previously worked as a researcher with Al Jazeera and at a theatre in London, after studying at East 15 drama school, where friends said she dropped out in 2016 during an erratic romantic relationship.

In a heartfelt appeal on Thursday, her father Napier Marten – himself a page at the late Queen’s coronation – urged his estranged daughter “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”.

“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,” he said.

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

Source: independent.co.uk