Beside him sat a smiling cloth angel, close to a plump red teddy, a Scooby Doo dog and a warren of furry bunnies.
They were all gifts to a tiny child who never had a moment’s play.
Baby Carrie, as the police investigating her terrible death named her, was laid to rest yesterday, five months after she was found stabbed, beaten and abandoned in a plastic bin liner near a leafy path behind a leisure centre on March 26.
She was only minutes old when she died and whoever left her there had fled the scene maybe as long as ten days before, taking Carrie’s true identity, all clues to her background and every piece of explanation for her death with them.
The inscription on the grey marble headstone erected at her grave said it all: “Baby Carrie. Known only unto God”.
The funeral yesterday was a heartfelt attempt at undoing some of the wrongs the infant suffered. She was found behind the Lough Moss Leisure Centre in Carryduff, Co Down but as no-one could be sure which tradition she came from, her farewell service was held just over the county border into South Belfast at the nearest interdenominational funeral parlour, the Co-op on the Ravenhill Road.
Priests from the Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodists churches jointly conducted the ceremony before an attendance of over 100, including many police officers, councillors and officials from Castlereagh Borough Council who shared arrangements for Baby Carrie’s burial.
The police had hoped the well-publicised plans for the baby’s burial might bring her mother forward. Early this week, officers put up posters in and around Carryduff bearing an artists impression of what Carrie was believed to have looked like and a message urging her mum to identify herself.
The poster carried the message: “Carrie is all alone now and really needs someone to speak up for her.”
In the end, her mum stayed silent but the people of Carryduff said their piece.
“May you rest in peace with the angels,” said the message on flowers signed by a “Grandmother of three”.
Political differences, laid aside, local councillors spoke as one.
Their wreath promised: “Your life was short but you will not be forgotten.”