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Mother speaks out one year on after car-jackers made off with baby

By Thomas Parkes | Birmingham | Crime | Published:

“I live with the anxiety that it could happen again and first thing I do when I get in my car is lock it and the first thing I do when I get out is get Eliza out."

Clare O’Neill and her baby daughter Eliza were reunited in hospital. Photo: West Midlands Police

Those are the words of mother Clare O'Neill whose four-week-old daughter was taken when thieves stole her Audi A3.

Two men demanded the keys to the vehicle as she returned to her home in Birmingham.

Clare's baby Eliza was later found by a security guard at a health centre in Small Heath 45 minutes after she was taken on July 19.

Baby Eliza at four weeks old. Photo: West Midlands Police

And now, a year on from the car-jacking, detectives investigating the crime have launched an appeal in a bid to track down the culprits.

Clare, who has been left injured from the incident, said: “Eliza will be 13 months old on Saturday.

"She’s a beautiful, happy, engaging and active baby.

"She’s taking her first steps, chatting away and eating us out of house and home! We count our blessings every day that she was returned safely to us.

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Clare's injuries a year on from the car-jacking. Photo: West Midlands Police

“I’m still living with my injuries, I am visibly scarred. My achilles, back and hip hurt on a daily basis.

"My teeth are still numb and I only have 50 per cent sensation in my elbow. I also still can’t fully bend one of my fingers.

“I find it shocking and distressing to know they willingly took such a small baby from its mother for a car."

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Detective Chief Inspector Jim Munro, from force CID, urged people to come forward after the car-jacking in Marie Drive, Acocks Green, last year.

He said: “A year has passed since this terrifying incident, but our determination to get justice for Clare and her family is as strong as ever.

“Clare has suffered both physically and emotionally and continues to do so, we need to find those responsible.

“Clare’s car was recovered and a forensic examination was carried out, however no arrests have been made so far.

“I’m still keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incident but hasn’t yet come forward to speak to us. If anyone knows who was responsible for this shocking crime please do the right thing and get in touch."

Anyone with information is asked contact police via live chat at www.west-midlands.pnn.police.uk between 8am and midnight or by calling police on 101 anytime.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymous on 0800 555 111.

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at thomas.parkes@expressandstar.co.uk.

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