Detectives from the Met are now leading the search for a couple and their newborn baby after they were spotted in east London.
And police have issued a fresh appeal to the public for their help in finding them.
The vehicle that Constance Marten, 35, Mark Gordon, 48, and their newborn child were travelling in was found broken down near junction four (Farnworth, Bolton) of the M61 on Thursday, 5 January.
Police say enquiries suggest that Constance had very recently given birth and neither she nor the baby have been assessed by medical professionals.
There were subsequent sightings of who police believed to be the couple and the baby over the following days in Harwich and Colchester in Essex.
As part of their enquiries, detectives from Essex Police established that on the morning of Saturday, 7 January the trio took a taxi from Harwich to East Ham Station, in Newham.
As this is the last known sighting of them, the investigation was handed over to the Metropolitan Police Service on Thursday, 12 January.
Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, who is leading the investigation, said: “It has now been more than a week since Constance and Mark’s car broke down on the M61, and we are growing increasingly concerned not only for their welfare, but for the welfare of their newborn child.
“Being on the move for a week must be exhausting for new parents and a newborn baby.
“Constance and Mark, I appeal directly to you, please think of your baby’s health and wellbeing and get in touch with us so we can ensure your child is medically well and has no underlying issues.
“Please do this for your child.
“You wouldn’t be able to forgive yourself if they became poorly.
“All we want to do is help you and your baby.”
At the time the vehicle broke down officers attended, but no occupants were found in the car, and so a missing persons investigation was launched by Greater Manchester Police.
The family left the vehicle and the motorway safely – walking to the Anchor Lane bridge which links the Highfield and Little Hulton areas.
Officers believe they then travelled to Liverpool and then onwards to Harwich. There were also confirmed sightings of them in Colchester. Subsequently, the investigation was handed over to Essex Police on Monday, 9 January.
Essex Police carried out a number of enquiries and reviewed hours of CCTV and were able to place the couple at East Ham Station between 11:45hrs and 12:30hrs on Saturday, 7 January.
As this was the last confirmed sighting of the family, the investigation was handed over to the Metropolitan Police Service on Thursday, 12 January.
Detective Superintendent Basford added: “This is a fast-moving investigation, and we have a number of officers from across the Met carrying out urgent enquiries to find Constance, Mark and their baby.
“The help from members of the public has been invaluable over the past week, and I would appeal to anyone who believes they have seen Constance, Mark or their new-born baby – either in London or further afield – to contact us without delay.
“Together we can ensure they and their new-born baby are safe and well.”
Anyone who has information on the family’s whereabouts should call the incident room on 020 7175 0785.
Alternatively, information can be reported 100 per cent anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
They never ask for personal details and they do not trace your device.
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