Police interrogating runaway socialite Constance Marten and her partner believe the couple’s baby was dead for “several weeks” before being found.
Officers from the Met Police, which is investigating, said today (March 2) that there are still “many unanswered questions” about the unnamed baby, whose remains were found in a Brighton forest yesterday (March 1).
The tragic news comes two days after socialite Constance Marten, 35, and Mark Gordon, 48, were found and arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter.
Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford of the Met said: “We are truly devastated by the outcome and we know this emotion is being felt here in Brighton and across the country today”.
He said that the investigation into the baby’s death is ongoing, adding: "At this stage we have not yet been able to confirm the baby's gender and a post-mortem examination has not yet taken place.
He added that because of this, it was “too early” to provide a specific date of death.
The detective said that because cops believe that the baby died while they were investigating the family’s disappearance, they have referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
“This is standard protocol for such circumstances”, DS Basford said.
Constance and Mark were arrested in Brighton on Monday after a huge 53-day long search involving hundreds of police officers was launched.
They had been on the run for nearly two months after they abandoned their on-fire car on the side of a motorway near Bolton on January 5.
The on-the-run couple travelled across England over their two-month escape, being spotted in Liverpool, Essex, London, East Sussex and Brighton.
It is understood that the couple’s baby was found in woodlands connected to Wild Park nature reserve, in the north of Brighton.
Residents of the area told the PA news agency they noticed a heavy police presence around the time officers said remains had been found on Wednesday.
Julia, 83, whose house overlooks the woodland said: "I think they found the baby right opposite my bedroom.
"It is very upsetting, we were all in tears last night”.
Danielle Mansell, 33, whose garden overlooks the same woodland, told PA: "Last night there were big floodlights then out of the blue there was a tent as well.
"I saw the news that the baby had been found and then half an hour later there were all the lights at the back of the house.
"It is going to make it very difficult to look out of my bedroom window now. I did it this morning and I burst into tears. It is heart-breaking”.
Chief Superintendent James Collis of Sussex Police, which supported the Met in its search for the runaway family, said the investigation has reached a "new phase" and the police presence around Brighton will be scaled back.
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