(CNN) The body of a baby has been found in a wooded area in southern England, near where aristocrat Constance Marten and her partner Mark Gordon were arrested earlier this week on welfare concerns of their child, British authorities announced on Wednesday.
“It is my very sad duty to update that this afternoon officers searching a wooded area near where Constance Marten and Mark Gordon were arrested discovered the remains of a baby,” said said Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford of the Met’s East Area Command in a statement Wednesday.
“An autopsy will take place in due course,” the statement continued.
Marten, 35, and Gordon, 48, were arrested earlier this week after going missing in early January. It was believed that they were traveling with a newborn.
On Tuesday, London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement that the couple were “initially arrested on suspicion of child neglect” but were later “arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter “.
Police helicopters, sniffer dogs, thermal imaging cameras and drones have been used to help more than 200 officers on the ground in their search for the baby, after the couple were spotted in Brighton, South East on Monday. England, and arrested.
A crime scene has now been established around the infant’s remains, where work is expected “to continue for some time”, Basford said.
“It’s a result that myself and the many officers who participated in the research hoped wouldn’t happen,” he said. “I recognize the impact this news will have on the many people who have followed this story closely, and I can assure them that we will do everything we can to establish what happened.”
Research since January
The search for the couple and the newborn began in early January, with police making several appeals and offering a reward of £10,000 ($12,090) for information that would lead to their discovery.
Marten is the daughter of aristocrat Napier Marten, a film and music producer. In an audio call to his daughter, published by British outlet The Independent last month, Napier Marten said Constance was “very, very much loved no matter the circumstances”, adding that the family were “deeply concerned” about her well-being and that of her child.
“Darling Constance, even though we remain apart at this time, I stand ready, as I always have and as the family has always done, to do whatever it takes to bring you back to us safely. .
“I beg you to find a way to turn yourself and your little (little) one over to the police as soon as possible so that you and him can be protected. Only then is a process of healing and healing. recovery can begin, however long it may take, however difficult it may be,” he added.
In a new appeal for information last week, Basford said more than 630 hours of security camera footage had been reviewed and police had received more than 350 calls from members of the public.
He explained at the time that they ‘didn’t do that and put so many resources and effort into finding the family just to be inconvenient or to interfere’, but explained that the police ‘cared sincerely about the health and welfare of the baby, and Constance and Mark, and it’s our job to make sure they’re okay.”
On January 5, police investigations identified Marten and Gordon as the occupants of a car that caught fire on a motorway in the north-west English town of Bolton.
The couple were not at the scene and most of their belongings were destroyed in the fire, according to police, who have launched a missing persons investigation.
Several confirmed sightings of the pair by members of the public were reported in the days following their disappearance.
The couple and their baby had safely exited the motorway, and police used sightings and security camera footage to map their movements in various towns and cities across the UK.
On January 7, the couple were seen in London with their faces covered, leaving a taxi with an orange carrier bag and a pram.
In cash they paid for various items, including a two-person tent, two sleeping bags and two pillows, which led detectives to fear they had been camping or sleeping on the streets in a time of cold temperatures.
The couple dumped the buggy and other items later that day before continuing to travel.