Rebecca Saunders was 26 when her husband Martin McCarthy, 50, drowned Clarissa and killed himself – she has now exhumed the three-year-old because she feared she had abandoned the child
A heartbroken mother whose husband murdered her daughter in 2013 says she exhumed her child’s body because she was worried she had “abandoned her”.
Rebecca Saunders was 26 when her husband Martin McCarthy, 50, drowned three-year-old Clarissa and then killed himself.
The two were buried together in Cork, Ireland, in 2013, but Rebecca had Clarissa’s remains exhumed last Friday, reports the Irish mirror.
Rebecca, from Houston, Texas, said: “I wanted to exhume Clarissa from the moment her coffin was put in the ground. I couldn’t rest.
“I felt like I left her. I just felt like I made the worst decision I could have made.
“Being able to remove her from her killer’s arms and have her closer to me has certainly given me a greater sense of comfort and peace.”
Rebecca arrived at the cemetery at 4 a.m. Friday before the scaffolding was erected and the exhumation carried out.
The bodies were then taken to Clonakilty for separation.
She said: “Once the exhumation was complete and the separation was complete, it was like a load was lifted from my shoulders.
“I will take Clarissa’s remains home to Houston and separate the cremation ashes and make memorial jewelry. I will share these with people who loved her and whom she loved.”
Rebecca is scheduled to fly home to the United States with Clarissa’s ashes in the coming days.
She said: “I don’t want to go back to Ireland. If my other daughters want to visit the place where their older sister grew up, I would love to share this wonderful place with them.
“But I don’t think I want to come back here anytime soon on my own.”
A plaque is to be erected near the home of the Ballydehob family in Audley Cove, where Clarissa died on March 5, 2013.
Rebecca said: “Clarissa not only spent the final moments of her life there, it was her favorite place in the whole wide world. She played there every day.”
And she thanked the public for helping her raise the money to bring Clarissa to the US.
She told RTE Radio 1’s Today with Claire Byrne programme: “I couldn’t have asked for more. I have so many people to thank.”
Of the remaining funds, €4,690 (£4,000) will go to a domestic violence center in Cork and €4,690 (£4,000) to a neonatal unit in the city.
The remaining unspecified amount will go to the Cork Search and Rescue team, which found Clarissa’s body.
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/mum-exhumes-child-3-buried-27199677 Mother exhumes child, 3, buried with father who murdered her over fears he 'abandoned' her - World News