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Plea to find those responsible for baby carjacking on one year anniversary

Baby Eliza was in the car when it was stolen. Credit: West Midlands Police

Detectives investigating a carjacking where a four-week-old baby was still inside are appealing for witnesses a year on from the incident.

Clare O’Neill, from Birmingham, was injured when thieves stole her car with her baby daughter Eliza still inside.

Claire O'Neill pulled up onto the drive of her house on Marie Drive, Acocks Green at around 4pm on 19 July last year, when she was approached by two men. As she struggled to get her child out of the grey Audi A3, the pair drove off injuring her in the process.

Eliza was found by a security guard having been left at a health centre in Small Heath 45 minutes later, still in her car seat and luckily unharmed.

She was reunited with her traumatised mother a short time later in hospital.

Claire's injuries. Credit: West Midlands Police

A year on, Clare is still coming to terms with the attack.

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.

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 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.

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

– Claire O'Neill
The carjacking happened in Acocks Green, Birmingham. Credit: ITV News Central

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Munro, from West Midlands Police 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."