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UK police investigate disappearance of couple with newborn

LONDON (AP) — The father of a British woman who has been missing for two weeks with her partner and newborn baby appealed Thursday for her to contact police.

Police say they are “increasingly concerned for the welfare” of Constance Marten, Mark Gordon and the infant. Detectives say Marten, 35, gave birth a day or two before the couple and baby left their broken-down car by the side of a highway in northwest England on Jan. 5. The car was later found in flames by firefighters.

Since then, there have been reported sightings of the couple in southeast England and the London area, the most recent more than a week ago.

Marten comes from a wealthy, aristocratic British family and grew up in a Georgian mansion on a country estate in southwest England. Gordon, 48, served 20 years in prison in the United States after being convicted in Florida of kidnapping and sexual battery, according to U.S. law enforcement records. He was deported from the U.S. after his release.

Marten’s father, Napier Marten, urged his estranged daughter to make contact.

“I beseech you to find a way to turn yourself and your wee one into the police as soon as possible, so you and he or she can be protected,” he said in an audio message issued through the Independent newspaper. “Only then can a process of healing and recovery begin, however long it may take, however difficult it may be.”

Police say they have no evidence the three have come to “intentional harm.” Detectives say Marten and Gordon have been using cash and taking other steps to avoid being found.

“We just need to ensure they are OK, especially the baby, and do not require any medical assistance for any underlying issues,” Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford said.