A couple have been charged with gross negligence manslaughter after the remains of a baby were found in Brighton.

Constance Marten, 35, and Mark Gordon, 48, who had been missing since 5 January, were arrested in the city on Monday after being spotted by a member of the public in a shop.

They were found without their newborn child and police said they had refused to reveal its whereabouts.

It led to a major search with more than 200 police officers looking for the baby in allotments and woodland in and around Brighton.

Police said on Wednesday that the remains of a baby had been found in a wooded part of the Hollingbury area, close to where the pair were detained.

Marten and Gordon were charged with gross negligence manslaughter on Thursday evening, said Metropolitan Police.

They were also charged with concealing the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice.

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The pair will appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Police had been looking for Marten and Gordon for nearly two months, since their car caught fire on the motorway near Bolton, and there were serious concerns over their baby’s welfare.

There were sightings of them in various locations around the UK – most recently in East Sussex.

Earlier on Thursday, police said they didn’t yet know the gender of the baby and that it may have been dead for several weeks.

It hasn’t yet been formally identified and a post-mortem is due to be carried out on Friday to discover how it died.

People in Brighton have been leaving flowers, messages and cuddly toys on a road close to where the child was found.

The Bishop of Lewes also led a candlelight vigil at a nearby church on Thursday night.