Clarissa’s Cause: Campaign begins to exhume little girl buried in her killer's arms

Clarissa McCarthy was just three years old when she was drowned by her father, Martin McCarthy, who then took his own life
Clarissa’s Cause: Campaign begins to exhume little girl buried in her killer's arms

Rebecca Saunders whose husband Martin drowned their little girl, Clarissa and then himself.

A campaign to exhume the body of a little girl who was buried in the arms of the man who killed her - her father - has begun.

Clarissa McCarthy was just three years old when she was drowned by her father, Martin McCarthy, who then took his own life, on Audley Cove, a little beach below their farm outside Ballydehob, West Cork on March 5, 2013.

Following an article published by the Irish Examiner about her case, Clarissa’s mother, Rebecca Saunders, has decided to launch Clarissa’s Cause, a social media account and crowdfunding campaign to exhume her daughter and bring her body back to America where Rebecca now lives.

"Eight years ago, in a fog of grief and shock Rebecca permitted her darling child to be buried with the father she loved, but who took her life from her,” Rebecca wrote on Clarissa’s Cause crowdfunding page.

“It is with great thought and consideration into the hurdles that may arise on this journey that Rebecca has finally chosen to seek to undo this awful mistake.

“Though it is unclear how long this process will take, or how much it may cost, Rebecca is resolute to have her daughter brought back to America.

Clarissa McCarthy's grave with Schull Harbour in the background.
Clarissa McCarthy's grave with Schull Harbour in the background.

“At that time, some of the excruciating burden of feeling as though she abandoned her little girl will be lifted off of her shoulders and she can finally experience something akin to closure.” 

Rebecca still does not know how much exhuming her beloved daughter will cost and whether she will need to fight her case through the courts.

Clarissa’s Cause aims to raise $50,000 but any extra funds not needed for the exhumation process will be donated to Eden House which supports victims of domestic abuse in Cork and Cork University Maternity Hospital Neonatal Unit.

To donate, go to GoFundMe.com.

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