‘Help me get Clarissa’s body home to the US’: Mum of West Cork girl hopes to have daughter's body exhumed

‘Help me get Clarissa’s body home to the US’: Mum of West Cork girl hopes to have daughter's body exhumed

Rebecca Saunders, whose husband Martin drowned their little girl Clarissa and then himself in 2013 in Audley Cove near Ballydehob. Rebecca, who returned to live the United States, now wants her daughter’s body exhumed and brought there to be close to her.

THE mum of West Cork girl Clarissa McCarthy has set up a crowdfunding campaign to help with her legal costs in her bid to have her daughter’s body exhumed and taken to the US to be close to her.

US-based Rebecca Saunders has filled out an exhumation form and is currently writing a letter to explain why she wants to have her three-year-old daughter’s body exhumed.

Clarissa was drowned by her dad Martin, who also killed himself.

Rebecca told her story on Claire Byrne Live last night. She says she seeks a copy of her husband’s death certificate as part of her campaign to have her daughter’s remains exhumed.

On a Twitter account set up to highlight her campaign, Ms Saunders said: “Once I have that, I can then send the form into the council.

“Hopefully, the certificate comes in less than a month but I’ve been told Covid has backed things up.”

She said any funds raised through the GoFundMe campaign which will not be used in her legal costs will be donated to Edel House and Cork University Hospital Neonatal Unit.

Martin and Rebecca met after she travelled to West Cork as a teenager. They were married in 2006. Clarissa was born three years later. Rebecca now hopes to one day have her daughter’s remains exhumed and taken to the US, where she now lives with her second husband and two young daughters.

The father and daughter were buried in one coffin in a graveyard in west Cork.

Martin killed Clarissa and took his own life at Audley Cove while Rebecca had travelled to Bantry to attend information about free legal aid to help her fight for divorce from 50-year-old Martin. He was 24 years her senior.

Rebecca had regularly taken her daughter to Audley Cove in her short life.

Martin left a suicide note for his wife, saying he feared she would take their daughter back to her native California.

  • www.gofundme.com/f/clarissas-cause
  • Support and helplines: Samaritans 116123; Aware Helpline 1890 303302; GROW 1890 474474; Pieta House 1800 247247.

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