It was Roy McComb who called her Carrie.
Twenty years on, the former police officer is still no wiser about the real identity of the infant — or who killed her.
The newborn baby girl’s lifeless body was found in a plastic bag in Carryduff in March 2002.
She had been stabbed multiple times, but died from brutal blows to her head that fractured her skull.
Her little body was buried first but later dumped in at a place called the Duck Walk behind Lough Moss Leisure Centre.
Mr McComb was assigned as the PSNI’s lead detective on the case shortly after the grim discovery.
And it remains his biggest regret that, despite an exhaustive investigation, the two most fundamental questions remain unanswered: who was Carrie? And who committed this heinous act?
It seems remarkable, in this part of the world and in these modern times, that a baby could be born without the authorities knowing anything about it.
Hope, however, still endures, with Roy once again appealing for the child’s mother to come forward.
The former detective chief superintendent, now an international consultant in organised crime and justice, named her after the Co Down village that she was found in.
“Baby Carrie was unlike every other homicide investigation I led,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.
“With the others, there was always a victim who was identified, who had a family and there was public recognition — people who said they knew him/her, that they’d miss him/her, that it was terrible what had happened. But with Baby Carrie, there was nothing. There was just a void.
“That’s why I was so keen from early on to give her an identity; to ensure she didn’t get lost, anonymised or forgotten about.
“When someone is murdered, there’s always a family member saying ‘we want justice’, but for baby Carrie there was nobody,” he said.
“We became her advocates, her surrogate family — it felt very personal. If we stopped trying, then who else was going to do it?”
There’s a clear a sense of unfinished business when Mr McComb — a Carryduff native himself — talks about her. “Do I have regrets? Absolutely,” he said.
“We worked really hard but this one just always seemed to elude us.
“I do carry that one around as a bit of a burden.”
Mr McComb told how he grew up playing with his brothers and friends in the area where the baby’s body was discovered on March 26.
“The Duck Walk was a place that children of my age and generation instantly recognise,” he said.
“How did someone know to go there? You’d need local knowledge. It was an unusual place to go.
“Because I was from Carryduff, it began to feel that little bit more personal due to my connections to the village.”
Before being disposed of at the Duck Walk, experts believe that Carrie had been buried in a garden or flowerbed.
Weeks later, her body was subsequently removed and placed in a bin bag until she was later found by four young children.
Brothers Raymond and Ryan Waddell, aged 13 and 10, had been playing along with Danielle Clifton (10) and Rachel Mills (10), near the sports complex when they caught sight of something.
According to The Detail website, closer inspection revealed it to be the umbilical cord — hanging out from a bin bag lying in undergrowth.
One of the boys shook the plastic bag with his shoe.
Initially, some of children thought it was a doll, although Danielle — who opened the bag — told the investigative website that she “knew straight away it was a baby”.
When the Belfast Telegraph contacted Danielle, she would only say that it was “something I’m still dealing with 20 years on”.
The inquest into Carrie’s death took place in February 2003.
A post-mortem examination ruled that the little girl had been born alive, weighing 2,945g (6lb 8oz), and she had “a good growth of darkish hair”.
The autopsy report said her wounds were “consistent with having been made by a bladed weapon such as a knife” — seven on the scalp, one to the centre of her forehead, one on the right side of her chest, another on the outer side of the right hip, a stab wound on the left thigh and an incision just above the knee.
Around 13cm of umbilical cord was still attached to her abdomen. Its free end was ragged and had not been tied.
Coroner John Leckey determined her death “was due to a severe head injury caused either by blows to the head with a hard, blunt object or by the head having been struck against a hard surface”.
He added that “there was evidence of multiple stab wounds”.
The then state pathologist, Professor Jack Crane, said the nature of the stab wounds “indicates some degree of hesitation”.
There was little doubt that Carrie had been born healthy.
“The forensic and pathological examination showed that her lungs had expanded so she had breathed independently of mum,” said Mr McComb.
“She was a perfect newborn, but shortly afterwards she was killed in a variety of ways.
“She had 11 stab wounds, but none of them would have been fatal. The most serious had punctured her ribcage and had gone into one of her lungs — but it was not the cause of death.”
Mr McComb has always thought “there was another pair of hands” involved.
“I’ve never accused Carrie’s mum of killing her,” he said.
“That’s because of the sequencing of when baby Carrie was born and murdered almost immediately.
“Assuming she was born via a natural birth, would the mother have had the physical energy, let alone the mental acuity, to kill the baby?
“It pushes the theory towards another person.”
When asked why Carrie was initially buried, Mr McComb said to understand that “you have to understand how she was conceived”.
“We don’t know the circumstances,” he said.
“Whether this was an unwanted child in its simplest terms or a child that was brought about because of sexual offending, a rape, or incest, a child born in circumstances that the family would be ashamed of?
“We simply don’t know. But there was something in the circumstances of her birth that said this child is not wanted and this child cannot live.”
In the months after Carrie’s death, there were multiple appeals issued by the PSNI for the mother to come forward.
The DNA of around 1,300 local women aged between 13 and 45 was tested and over 1,900 people were interviewed by officers.
BBC’s Crimewatch programme highlighted the case and included an image of what Carrie might have looked like as an older baby.
Detectives contacted GPs, maternity units, midwives, social services, community psychiatric nurses, hospitals and others including the Samaritans, Nexus, NSPCC and Brook Advisory Clinic.
Enquiries were also conducted in the UK and the Republic.
Mr McComb said he thought he was coming close to solving what happened “several times”.
Between 10 and 12 women were directly approached and were ruled out being Carrie’s mother.
“With the exception of the Inga Maria Hauser investigation, baby Carrie was the largest DNA screening we’d done,” he said.
“We narrowed it down to residents in Carryduff aged between 13 and 45.
“The vast majority of people were very supportive of this incredibly complex operation.”
Despite the passage of years and the absence of answers, Mr McComb still believes this case will be solved.
“Those are 20 years that the mother has missed,” he said.
“There may be circumstances that the mother thinks she’s glad of that — because the child was born out of wedlock or rape or whatever that might be — but there’s still that really emotional bond to children in those circumstances.”
A inter-denominational service for baby Carrie was held at a funeral parlour on Belfast’s Ravenhill Road on August 29.
Church of Ireland clergyman Rev John Auchmuty said the little girl had suffered a terrible end to her all-too-short life.
He declined our invitation to talk about it, but at the time he said: “Through no fault of baby Carrie’s, she was denied the right to life.”
The children who found her body were also there to say their personal farewells and they walked behind the tiny white coffin carried from the service by detective sergeant Lindsay McNair, who was part of the police investigation team.
She was buried at Knockbreda Cemetery.
The inscription on the headstone reads: “Baby Carrie —known only to God.”
Which isn’t strictly true; at least one person knows who she is, and has continued to elude justice.
Perhaps surprisingly, Mr McComb thinks it’s “absolutely possible” for something like this to happen again.
“How many people spend their days face down on a phone, tablet or computer?” he said.
“When we did house-to-house enquiries in 2002... people were already saying ‘I come into my house, I close the curtains, I don’t bother with anybody and I don’t know what’s going on outside my door’.
“It’s more likely that that’s happening now because nobody is looking at their friends or neighbours; they’re looking at their devices.”
Now, 20 years on from what happened, he has a special message for the child’s mother.
“All I would say to mum is that, if you’re still there, this was still your daughter,” he said.
“She will be your daughter until you pass on. History will always know that she was your daughter.
“She lies in a grave with a name that we gave her, that may not be a name that you want her to have — so there’s still that opportunity for you to tell us your story.
“There’s still time for you to claim back your daughter who may have been taken from you beyond your control... just to be able to do the honest, decent thing.
“We never made a judgement on her circumstances, or on her guilt or innocence, we always said it was likely to be another pair of hands and I hold that to this day.
“Mum still has the opportunity to say, ‘I want to claim my daughter’”.
Little Carrie is at peace, but so many others clearly aren’t.