A UK woman has been charged with murder for allegedly stabbing her 8-week-old son to death in a shocking attack that also left her 2-year-old daughter wounded, according to reports.
The father of the baby broke down as he carried his son’s casket at his funeral in Belfast today.
Liam O’Keefe was found dead in a house in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast last Tuesday evening.
His mother Raluca Ioana Tagani, 29, who is originally from Romania, is accused of his killing as well as the attempted murder of a two-year-old child in the same stabbing incident in the home.
Romanian-born Raluca Ioana Tagani, 29, made a virtual appearance before Belfast Magistrates’ Court, where she was formally charged with murder and attempted murder, BelfastLive reported.
Tagani was accused of fatally stabbing Liam O’Keefe on Tuesday at Brompton Park in the Ardoyne area of Belfast in Northern Ireland. The baby was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the outlet.
The girl has been hospitalised in stable condition after the brutal attack, which took place at about 8 p.m.
The suspect, who also was treated for unspecified injuries, was later questioned by police and made a remote appearance in court as several members of the O’Keefe family watched the brief hearing.
Tagani showed no emotion as she nodded and replied “yes” through an interpreter if she understood the charges against her, according to BelfastLive.
Liam’s half-sister described her family’s heartache after she said her brother was stabbed “repeatedly.”
“They were meant to be having the baby’s christening soon — and now it’s going to be a funeral, she told The Sun from her Wolverhampton home in England. “He was only eight weeks old so I didn’t get to meet him.”
She added that her dad “is in absolute bits.”
“Liam was a beautiful baby. I just can’t get my head around it. We are all devastated,” she said.
“On Tuesday, when it happened, my dad was standing in my sister’s kitchen. She was in the bath and she heard a scream, which was my dad,” the half-sister told The Sun. “My sister rang the emergency services in Northern Ireland and they sent a rapid response out.”
She said she held her dad as he cried.
Raluca Ioana Tagani, 29, appeared via video link before a judge in Belfast Magistrates’ Court last week. She is accused of murdering her son Liam O’Keefe
“The police and ambulance came to check how he was. My dad’s a big man and he never displays his feelings. To see him like that was just horrific,” she said, the Mirror reported.
O’Keefe rushed to the Northern Irish capital after receiving the devastating news.
“To all the neighbors and the full community for all their help and support, I really appreciate it all,” the grieving father told a vigil Thursday night.
“Holding this vigil means the world to me. I am truly heartbroken but it gives me the strength to know you are all giving so much love and support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
The accused killer’s attorney Sean Mullan told the court his client was not making an application for bail. Tagani’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 27.
Some locals had helped police before ambulances arrived after the bloodbath.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Millar thanked the tight-knit 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,” according to BelfastLive.
Liam O’Keefe carries the coffin of his son, also named Liam, after he was allegedly stabbed to death by his mother
Supported by friends, Mr. O’Keefe wore a jumper with his son’s photo on the front as he cradled his casket.
Mr O’Keefe, who gave permission for his son’s funeral to be covered by the media, is laying his son to rest today.
He broke down as he held the white coffin containing Liam’s remains while mourners wore matching grey jumpers with a picture of the baby on them.
So far, more than £3,430 has been raised to support the family and pay for Liam’s funeral.