Body of baby found in hunt for child of arrested aristocrat and boyfriend

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    The remains of a baby have been found following the arrest of aristocrat Constance Marten and boyfriend Mark Gordon, police can confirm.

    A large-scale search led by officers ended tragically when officers made the discovery in a wooded area this evening (Wednesday, March 1).

    Chief Superintendent James Collis from Sussex Police called the announcement "heartbreaking".

    He said: "I would first and foremost like to extend my heartfelt condolences on behalf of Sussex Police to the wider family of the baby at this time.

    "I understand that the conclusion of this search will be heartbreaking for the local community and the wider public who have been impacted by and so supportive of this search and the investigation from the outset.

    "We continue to support the Metropolitan Police as they conduct their investigation and also the wider community as we all come to terms with this tragedy."

    The search began on Monday night (February 27) when Marten and Gordon were arrested on suspicion of child neglect and gross negligence manslaughter after being reported missing over a month ago.

    The find comes as police previously issued a statement indicating that while members of the force had held out hope for finding the baby alive, the "risk to the baby" was "extremely high".

    Police had deployed helicopters, sniffer dogs and drones to search a 91-square-mile area including sheds, greenhouses and woodland around Brighton.

    Around 200 police officers were involved in the search for the youngster following the arrest of Marten and Gordon.

    A previous police statement from Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford explained where officers had been searching.

    D.S. Basford said: "That will include the search of outbuildings and anywhere the baby could have been left by the couple to seek shelter away from the climate and extreme temperatures."

    Marten and Gordon had been missing since early January, with sightings of the duo reported in Liverpool, Essex and Sussex before their arrest on February 28.

    Police had also previously stated that, although unlikely, the pair could have handed the baby over to someone else.

    An "urgent and extensive" hunt for the newborn has since concluded after police found the body of a baby just two days after Marten and Gordon were arrested at Stanmer Villas, Brighton.

    The pair refused to tell police where the baby was and even failed to disclose the newborn's gender to officers after being taken into custody.

    Marten, who has links to aristocracy, and Gordon, have yet to be charged by police.

    The couple had reportedly been living outdoors in a blue tent, with the burning wreckage of their car found on the M61 in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on January 5.

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