Mum to have daughter, 3, exhumed after she was buried with dad who killed her

A mum is hoping to get the body of her daughter exhumed after the three-year-old was buried with her killer dad.

American mother Rebecca Saunders said she regretted allowing her daughter to be buried alongside her murderer.

Her Irish husband, Martin McCarthy walked into the sea with their daughter Clarissa in his arms killing them both in Audley Cove in West Cork.

The horrifying murder-suicide took place in March 2013 when the 50-year-old decided to take revenge on his 26-year-old wife after she announced she was leaving him to return to the United States with Clarissa.

Three days later the pair were buried together in a single coffin, with the little girl placed in her father’s arms.

Rebecca set up a GoFundMe last month to raise money to have her little girl exhumed after saying she made the “awful mistake” to let Clarissa be buried “with the father she loved, but who took her life from her” while in a “fog of grief and shock”.

Now she has raised €50,000 she has announced she will have her daughter exhumed in just weeks and returned to her in Texas where she now lives.

She said: "I spoke to a funeral director who assured me that, once the exhumation is carried out, they could separate Clarissa from her murderer.

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"The length of time that has passed since the burial is not an issue.

"I feel so relieved at this news since that was the biggest question in my mind as we go forward in applying to exhume Clarissa.”

"I received the death certificate for the murderer that I need for the application today.

"All going well, I plan to have all the paperwork I need completed and posted by the middle of May.”

On the GoFundMe page – Clarissa’s Cause – Rebecca explained the move to bring her little girl home with help bring her closer and to no longer feel she had abandoned her daughter.

She said: “Due to the length and breadth of exhuming Clarissa, we are uncertain of what costs may incur along this journey.

"If legal council has to be hired the process with be extremely time consuming and expensive.

"All funds not used in the process to exhume Clarissa will equally be donated to the following two worthy causes: Edel House that supports victims of domestic violence and Cork University Maternity Hospital Neonatal Unit.

"Please lend us your words of encouragement and prayers by reaching out to us on Twitter."

Speaking to Opinion Line on Cork’s 96FM earlier this year Rebecca said she did not think she would ever be able to forgive her husband and she had too little time to decide where her little girl would be buried.

She said: “I really can’t say that I feel I will ever be able to forgive him. I feel like he used his daughter as a sword to stab me in the heart with. And I think that is very very wrong.

"I think that the expectation that I had that I bury Clarissa so quickly was…it just wasn’t fair. Clarissa and her father died on a Tuesday and they were buried on a Friday.”

"In that small space of time I had to decide what happened to this little girl who was my world.

"The first thought that struck me in the shock that I was in was that I didn’t want her to be alone.

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