29/08/2002

Funeral tribute for tragic Baby Carrie

A poignant funeral service for Baby Carrie was held at an interdenominational service in east Belfast on Thursday morning.

The prayers during the ecumenical service were led by Father Felix McGuckian who represented the Catholic Church. This was followed by an address by Methodist Minister the Reverend Robert Loney who prayed for the parents of the child who he said must still be suffering.

Church of Ireland representative the Reverend John Aughmuty said that the baby had suffered a "terrible fate" and asked the mother to come forward.

Organised by Castlereagh Borough Council the funeral service was attended by police officers, local councillors and the MP for the area Iris Robinson who also appealed for the baby's mother to come forward.

The service was followed by a short graveside service conducted by the Mayor's Chaplin at Knockbreda cemetery where a simple gravestone with an inscription bearing the name 'Carrie' marks the grave.

Chief Superintendent Campbell Dixon, who heads up Castlereagh District Command Unit, said: “In a rather poignant way her tragic death has had the effect of drawing the community closer together. If you speak to local clergy of all denominations, who have been particularly supportive, this has also been their experience.”

Mr Dixon continued: “The investigation into the circumstances of the baby’s death continues after we lay her little body to rest today. We remain totally committed to finding baby Carrie’s mother and we renew our appeal to her, or to anyone who may have information that would help us to contact her. We would ask Carrie’s mother to get in touch with us direct or through a third party if she feels this would make things easier.”

The baby girl, named Carrie by police, was found at the rear of Lough Moss leisure centre in Carryduff on March 26. Wrapped in a black bin bag, the body is thought to have been placed there two or three weeks previously. Police also believe that the body had been buried at another site before being moved to where it was discovered at the rear of the leisure centre.

The baby had received 11 stab wounds and serious head injuries.

Police launched a poster appeal earlier this week. The poster was launched after a DNA screening campaign of women in the area.

Detective Chief Inspector Roy McComb said that police required as many women as possible to come forward for the mass screening, which to date has a take-up rate of over 90%.

Those who took part in the screening will receive written confirmation that the DNA sample has been destroyed.

(SP/GMcG)

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