A £10,000 reward has been offered for help to find a missing baby as 200 police officers continue the search for the tot. Detectives today said the risk to the infant’s welfare is “as high as it has been in the investigation” as they search the Sussex undergrowth.
The police search for Marten, 35, and Gordon, 48, began on January 5 when their car was found on fire abandoned next to the M61 in Bolton.
They used taxis to first travel to Liverpool, then Harwich in Essex, and on to east London, before arriving in Sussex on January 8.
The couple avoided detection by only making payments in cash, hiding their faces on CCTV and often moving around at night or in the early hours of the morning.
They were finally arrested at about 9.30pm on Monday.
Since Marten and Gordon were arrested, more than 200 police officers have been engaged in the search for the two-month-old, using sticks to wade through bushes in woodland near Stanmer Villas and Golf Drive, Brighton.
The baby was born in early January and has had no medical attention since then, with the parents sleeping rough in freezing temperatures much of the time.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, said police were making assessments on the baby’s welfare “on the hour, by the hour”.
He said nothing significant has been found, including items such as a tent bought at Argos on January 7, adding: “We would still say we are actively looking for those.”
Det Supt Basford told reporters: “We have got nobody who has actually physically seen the baby. We’re still in a position where we hold hope that the baby is safe and well. We agree that the risk is extremely high – probably as high as it has been in the investigation.
“Clearly, as it’s fast moving, we’re making assessments on the hour, by the hour, as to what our hypotheses are around the ongoing welfare of the baby.”
Asked if the couple could have given the baby to somebody else, Det Supt Basford said: “Certainly our main line of hypothesis is that they (Marten and Gordon) were in control and custody of the baby. At no point have we seen, in that short period of CCTV… that they allowed others to have that baby.
“In fact that baby was very much concealed within the coat lining of Constance or in the buggy for the short period they had it.”
Det Supt Basford said officers “could not rule out” the couple had found someone “like-minded or who does not conform or appreciate the establishment” and used the money they had for “safe lodging”.
He added that after the arrests, this line of inquiry did not become “as significant”.
Marten and Gordon are being assessed on their fitness to be interviewed and to be detained, according to Det Supt Basford.
Anyone with sightings or information which could help with the search should call the incident room on 0208 3453 865 or 999 with anything they believe may be significant.