Liam O’Keefe was stabbed to death at a home in Belfast
A baby boy who was stabbed to death days before his Christening has been pictured as his devastated family pay tribute to the ‘angel’.
Eight-week old Liam O’Keefe was discovered dead in the Ardoyne area of Belfast on Tuesday.
A two-year-old girl, understood to be his sister, was rushed to hospital in a critical condition but is now stable, police said.
The PSNI confirmed a 29-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder has been released from hospital and has been transferred to police custody for questioning.
Last night the father of the children raced back to Northern Ireland from England to be at his daughter’s bedside.
The parent was visiting his other daughter in the West Midlands when he received a phone call on Tuesday night informing him of the tragedy, reports The Sun.
The tragic incident happened days before little Liam was due to be Christened
The woman, who lives in Wolverhampton, told how her dad screamed in horror when he found out what happened, before the family called police who sent a rapid response out.
The 22-year-old said: ‘They were meant to be having the baby’s Christening soon – and now it’s going to be a funeral.
‘My dad is in absolute bits.
‘My dad was their protector, their provider.
‘[The toddler] is the loveliest little girl – she is always so happy when she is with my dad.
‘Liam was a beautiful baby – I just can’t get my head around it. We are all devastated.’
Detective Chief Inspector Millar said investigations were ongoing as she issued an appeal for information.
She said: ‘I would like to thank the local community for their unwavering support and patience while we continue our investigation into the tragic events of Tuesday evening and I continue to ask that anyone who has any information to contact us.’
Police were called to the house at Brompton Park in the Ardoyne area at around 8pm on Tuesday, after being alerted by a relative who was concerned for the children’s welfare.
The scene in Brompton Park, Belfast, where a baby died and another young child was critically injured following an incident at a house on Tuesday night (Picture: PA)
When the PSNI arrived at the scene, they found the baby and the toddler suffering from stab wounds.
A post-mortem examination of baby Liam is expected to take place later on Thursday.
One relative paid tribute on Facebook, writing: ‘Let’s light Facebook up for our beautiful angel who lost his life and for our beautiful cousin who is fighting for her life in ICU.’
Residents have left cuddly toys, flowers, and written tributes outside the property over the last number of days.
A former Ardoyne parish priest said the incident had caused ‘total shock’ in the tight-knit community.
Fr Gary Donegan said he had been ‘inundated with phone calls and messages’ since the news broke on Tuesday evening and had been trying to offer ‘support and solidarity’ to local resident
He told the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme: ‘As you know, it’s an area that has been synonymous with suffering and pain down through the years, but this was something different – this was nothing to do with the Troubles.
‘This was something that…people found it hard to believe was happening in Ardoyne, such a closely knit and tight community.
‘When it came to their own doorstep, people just seemed to be completely overwhelmed.’
Following the incident, MP for the area John Finucane said it was ‘difficult to comprehend’ what had happened.
‘It’s a very tight-knit community, houses are very close to each other, neighbours are very close to each other,’ the Sinn Fein MP said.
‘I think as the area tried to get to grips with what was unfolding before them, I think shock and a certain sense of numbness just befell everybody.
‘It compounds the hurt when we’re dealing with somebody so young.
‘Our thoughts are obviously hoping to be very positive for the other child, who’s critical.’
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