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Entries in Baby Lisa (11)

Tuesday
Nov152011

Baby Lisa's Family Moves Back Home

Find Lisa Facebook Page(KANSAS CITY, Mo) -- The family of missing Missouri 1-year-old Lisa Irwin are moving back into their family home Tuesday for the first time since a Lisa's Oct. 3 disappearance.

The family has maintained from the beginning that Lisa was abducted from her bedroom inside the home while her mother and brothers were asleep in another room. The family moved out of the house after the disappearance, and the home became the site of multiple police and FBI searches that included cadaver dogs and agents in hazmat suits.

Lisa's parents Deborah Bradley, 25, and Jeremy Irwin, 29, lived at the home with Lisa and her two step-brothers, ages five and eight, who were interviewed by an FBI child specialist last week. Authorities said the conversations with the boys went well, but that they did not make any significant discoveries.

Now, the biological mother of Lisa's eight-year-old half-brother Blake has filed an emergency motion for temporary custody of her son, according to ABC News' Kansas City affiliate KMBC. Blake is the son of Jeremy Irwin with a woman named Rasleen Raim, who lost custody of Blake in 2008.

KMBC reports that Raim said she is concerned about "her baby's" safety, comfort and peace of mind, according to a news release from her attorney Dorothy Savory. Savory did not respond to requests for comment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct312011

Missing Baby Lisa Lawyers Split in Feud

Courtesy the Find Lisa Facebook Page(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The Kansas City attorney who was representing the parents of missing 11-month old Lisa Irwin said Monday that she was fired by high-powered New York defense attorney Joe Tacopina.

"Tacopina and I were not able to work as a team," attorney Cyndy Short said. "Our goals and our approaches are so different that one of us had to go."

Short said she had been working pro bono for Lisa's parents Deborah Bradley, 25, and Jeremy Irwin, 29. Short said she did not know where any of the money was coming from to pay the family's legal bills or any details about the benefactor who is offering a $100,000 reward for finding Lisa or finding her abductor.

"When I got involved in this case, I did it to stand up for Jeremy and Deborah and to prevent any kind of wrongful arrest or conviction," Short said.

The police investigation so far has centered around the parents. The police have complained that the parents aren't cooperating, and last week planned interviews of the couple's young sons were cancelled at the last minute.

In return, Tacopina and Short has criticized the investigation.

Short said she believes 11-month-old Lisa was "stolen" from her home and maintains that Bradley and Irwin are good parents.

Baby Lisa has been missing since the night of Oct. 3, and her parents maintain that she was kidnapped from her crib. Police have investigated nearly 1,000 tips and leads, but have not named any suspects.

An anonymous benefactor is offering a $100,000 reward for her safe return or the conviction of whoever took the little girl.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct262011

Missing Missouri Baby: Police 'Need' Separate Interviews with Parents

Courtesy the Find Lisa Facebook Page(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Investigators want the parents of missing 11-month-old Lisa Irwin to submit to separate interviews and answer a list of "tough questions" that detectives "need answered."

Kansas City Police Capt. Steve Young made his statement as the investigation into the toddler's disappearance entered its fourth week without any suspects or leads to the girl's whereabouts.

Police are still intent on interviewing the parents, Deborah Bradley, 25, and Jeremy Irwin, 29.

"We need them to sit down apart from each other, with detectives, and answer the tough questions detectives have for them concerning what they may or may not know about anything, who came and went [the night Lisa disappeared]," Young told ABC News.  "There's a whole list of things that they may know."

Young said he is "not disputing" family attorney Joe Tacopina's claims that the family has cooperated and answered other questions, such as specific questions regarding tips and leads.  But that is not sufficient, he said.

"The bottom line is detectives need to sit down with them unrestricted and they need to answer questions that we need answered," he said.

The captain rejected any suggestion that the case has hit a dead end.

"It would be far from reality to call this a cold case," Young said.  "We're still looking at everything."

Young made his comments as Tacopina unleashed more criticism of the investigation, telling ABC's Good Morning America Tuesday that the parents have cooperated with numerous searches and interrogations.

"It really is maddening to me to listen to this police spokesperson come out there, and instead of informing the public -- and more importantly the family -- about leads and the status of the investigation and the manhunt, he comes out and makes these statements," Tacopina said.  "And, quite frankly, they've [parents] done everything they've been asked to do...They have nothing to hide.  They want answers."

Young declined to comment on Tacopina's remarks other than to say, "I stand by all my previous statements."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct252011

Missing Missouri Baby: Family Attorney Questions 'Massive, Public' Search

Kansas City Police(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- An attorney for the family of missing 11-month-old Lisa Irwin questioned the motivations behind what she called the "enormous, massive, public" search of the family's Kansas City, Missouri home.

"It almost seemed as if that was more for the public's benefit than for the benefit of doing a thorough search of this house," attorney Cyndy Short, who represents parents Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, told ABC's Good Morning America on Monday.

"It was interesting to watch the activity outside of this house when they were conducting the search.  There were so many crime scene people that were seen outside, and seen coming in and out of this house…carrying a rolled up rug," Short said.  "It really gave the impression that there was a lot going to be removed from this house."

Short gave Good Morning America an exclusive tour of the house after the police search.

[Click here to watch a video of the tour]

According to an affidavit regarding the search, a cadaver dog searching for evidence "indicated a positive 'hit' for the scent of a deceased human" next to her mother's bed.  Questions have arisen about the accuracy of the scent dogs.

Short pointed out in her walk-through of the house that the carpeting in Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin's room was intact.

"The number one thing in walking through this room and having an opportunity to look at it that stood out to me, is that the carpet has not been collected.  There are no swatches of the carpet taken out," Short said.  "There's no evidence of where in the world this dog was supposed to have alerted."

Video footage had previously showed investigators carrying a rolled up carpet out of the home, but Short said the carpet had been sitting in the garage and while searchers did look at it, they did not ultimately take it with them from the house.

Short also pointed out that there were very few places around the house where fingerprint powder indicated investigators had collected fingerprints.

"It would seem to me that there would be attempts to lift prints from a variety of surfaces in this house because you're looking for unknown prints -- prints that don't belong here.  So if you only check [at the door] and at the light switch, it would seem you would miss the potential of unknown prints," Short said.

The walk-through also revealed that police had left the box of wine in the kitchen that Bradley has admitted to drinking from the night Lisa disappeared.  The wine bag was removed from the box and Short believed police may have emptied the remaining wine in an attempt to measure how much Bradley had consumed.

The six items removed from the home were a multicolored comforter, purple shorts, a Disney character shirt, a glow worm toy, a Cars-themed blanket, rolls of tape and a tape dispenser.

"The search itself lasted 17 hours.  That's a very long time, and would suggest a very thorough search. But now having been in the house and seen how many items they took out of the house, it's frankly surprising," Short said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct232011

Baby Lisa Irwin: New Surveillance Footage of Mystery Man

Kansas City Police(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- New surveillance footage of mystery man may support Lisa Irwin parents' claim that their daughter was abducted.

In video obtained exclusively by Good Morning America, a man dressed in white is seen leaving a wooded area, at 2:30 a.m.—the night of Lisa's disappearance.

The family claims Lisa was abducted and they point to key witnesses who saw a suspicious man that night, carrying a baby.

Mike Thompson told ABC News that he was on his way home from work around 4 a.m. on Oct. 4 when he saw a man in a t-shirt carrying a baby at an intersection about three miles from the Irwin home.

It was shortly after 4 a.m. that Lisa's parents said they discovered she was missing.

"[At] 4 a.m., 45 degrees, baby don't have a coat or nothing and this guy is walking down the street and I thought it was kind of weird," Thompson said.

He thought the sight was so unusual that he recalled considering offering the man and baby a ride home, but couldn't because he was on his motorcycle.

He later reported what he saw to police and told ABC News he is convinced the baby was Lisa.

Thompson described the man as around 5 feet 7 inches, between 140 and 150 pounds and in his late 30s or early 40s.

A few hours earlier, a couple living three houses down from the Irwin family said they saw a similar sight. A woman and her husband said they saw a man in a t-shirt carrying a baby. They thought the situation was so unusual that they reported it to police on the morning of Oct. 4.

"It was shocking because I couldn't imagine anyone outside walking with their baby in the cold like that with no clothes on," the woman told ABC News.

Bradley has said that Lisa was wearing purple shorts and a purple t-shirt when she last saw her, but the neighboring couple said the baby they saw did not appear to be wearing any clothing.

"We seen the little arm, the leg, it didn't look like the baby had on any clothes, just a diaper," she said.

ABC News consultant and former FBI agent Brad Garrett said the timeline of events is strange.

"[If you’re] going to logically abduct a child, let's say in the midnight area, then 2-4 hours later, you are spotted in the proximity of the neighborhood. I mean, that doesn't make any sense," he said. "It could be true, of course, but the logic of abducting a child is so you can take the child to some other location."

Good Morning America has also learned that police are investigating a fire that took place at this Dumpster at that same time, in that same area.

That dumpster fire could explain not only why burnt clothes were shown to Lisa's parents during interrogation, but also why authorities searched an area landfill as part of the investigation.

The Dumpster was emptied at the landfill.

The man who reported the fire told Good Morning America that flames were shooting several feet into the air, and he believes some kind of accelerant was used.

Overnight, family lawyer Cyndy Short, gave Good Morning America an exclusive tour of the home where she went missing.

It was the first time she saw the home, and what she found, surprised her.

On Friday, cadavar dogs had a "positive hit" at the foot of their bed. But last night, the rug was still there, in tact.

"I thought the dog alerted on one side or the other of the bed but as you notice as you walk around, all the carpeting is in tact…that is it was not cut out to preserve. Whatever it was that the dog allegedly hit on… I personally find that surprising," Short said.

The house has been searched multiple times by police. They came with a search warrant this week but Short points out that very little has been disturbed.

The search was conducted Wednesday and police left with several items, including a large portion of carpet.

The court document also indicated that Lisa's parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, restricted police access to the home.

"The only areas extensively processed for DNA and fingerprints during the consent were the baby's bedroom and possible points of entry," the document states.

"The extent of the search had been limited in nature with consent" of the parents, police stated in the request for the search warrant.

The cadaver dog that searched the home on Oct. 17 with the parents' agreement "indicated a positive 'hit' for the scent of a deceased human in an area of the floor of Bradley's bedroom near the bed," the affidavit stated. The consistency and accuracy of cadaver dogs has been challenged in past cases.

The police request for the warrant said, "A more extensive and intrusive search needs to be completed at the property where the baby was last accounted."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct222011

Baby Lisa: Family Attorney Says Cadaver Dogs May be Misleading Officials

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The search for Lisa Irwin hit closer to home this week as cadaver dogs have picked up the scent of human remains next to the her parent's bed, according to a police affidavit.

But an attorney for the family said following the cadaver dog's nose may be misleading investigators.

"My understanding is that there are cold cases where dogs have hit on scents of decomposition that have been in the home for as long as 28 years," said Cyndy Short, in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America." "This is an old home. 63 years old. There could be a lot of other explanations for that."

But Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant and former FBI special agent, said cadaver dogs are typically accurate.

"In studies done of cadaver dogs where the dog has direct access to the scent and its reasonably fresh - its above 90 percent."

The affidavit, released on Friday, revealed that a cadaver dog searching for evidence for missing the 11-month-old "indicated a positive 'hit' for the scent of a deceased human" next to her mother's bed.

The affidavit was filed with a Kansas City court to request a search warrant of the family home.

The search was conducted Wednesday and police left with several items, including a large portion of carpet.

The focus of the investigation this week has been largely centered on Lisa's parents.

The couple has retained two lawyers: well-known New York defense attorney Joe Tacopina and a local Kansas City attorney.

An anonymous benefactor is offering a $100,000 reward for Baby Lisa's safe return or the conviction of whoever took the little girl.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct182011

Baby Lisa Parents Not Answering Vital Questions, Police Say

Kansas City Police(KANSAS CITY,  Missouri) -- The parents of missing toddler Lisa Irwin haven't submitted to an interview with detectives for the last 10 days to answer questions about things "they might only know," police said today.

The 11-month-old girl vanished from her crib Oct. 3. Police have not named any suspects in the girl's disappearance, but the story of mother Deborah Bradley has altered somewhat and she has admitted to being drunk that night, possibly even blacking out.

Kansas City Police Capt. Steve Young expressed some frustration Tuesday with Bradley and the girl's father, Jeremy Irwin.

"The last time that the mom and dad sat down with detectives to answer questions about things they might only know was Oct. 8," Young told ABC News.

"And that time, and previous times, there came a point when Deborah became uncomfortable and stopped the questioning," Young said.

Young conceded that the parents have spoken with detectives since Oct. 8, but only to clarify information about tips that have come in.

"We strongly believe that that parent's cooperation and involvement is critical [in finding Lisa]," Young said.

Police have previously accused the parents of halting their cooperation, although the parents have insisted they continue to answer officers' questions. Tuesday’s comments by police were more specific.
Young also responded to criticism by Joe Tacopina, the high powered defense lawyer who is now representing Bradley and Irwin.

Tacopina told Good Morning America today that the way some of the local authorities conducted themselves in the hours following Lisa's disappearance was "baffling."

"I am aware that he offered some vague criticisms of the police department," Young said. "I think all reasonable people know that are doing things and we know things that are not a matter of public record."

"Should we develop something that we think will benefit the case by making public, by all means we'll be doing that," the captain said. "But to make the assumption that we're putting all our eggs in one basket would be wildly inaccurate."

Young said the police have so far cleared over 550 tips and leads.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct162011

Baby Lisa Irwin Search: Diapers, Wipes Found in Abandoned Home

Kansas City Police(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Investigators searching for a missing 11-month-old baby from Kansas City, Mo., found used diapers and baby wipes in an abandoned home Saturday, but police said they have doubts about whether they are connected.

ABC affiliate KMBC-TV in Kansas City reported that a passerby looked in the house and alerted police.

The house was near an area where police were already searching for Baby Lisa Irwin, who has been missing since Oct. 4, when her parents reported that she disappeared from her bedroom crib.

Kansas City Police Department Capt. Steve Young told KMBC-TV the diapers and wipes were found in the basement. He said crime scene investigators will be brought in, but "It just doesn't fit."

Earlier Saturday, the New York City private investigator hired by an anonymous benefactor to help the search for Baby Lisa said he hopes the $100,000 reward being offered will open up someone’s eyes to the seriousness of the crime.

"Wild Bill" Stanton, a New York City private investigator, said Saturday that the same person who hired him is also offering $100,000 for information resulting in the baby's return.

Baby Lisa has not been seen since Tuesday, Oct. 3. Her father Jeremy Irwin said he returned home from his overnight shift and found his daughter's crib empty, the home's front door unlocked, a window screen busted open and the family's three cell phones gone.

Police officials have not publicly named any suspects. No arrests have been made.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct152011

Baby Lisa Irwin Search: $100,000 Reward Could 'Open Eyes' 

Kansas City Police(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) -- The New York City private investigator hired by an anonymous benefactor to help the search for Baby Lisa Irwin—the 10-month-old Kansas City, Mo., girl who has been missing for 12 days—said Saturday that he hopes the $100,000 reward being offered will open up someone's eyes.

Police hunting for the little girl said they still have no definitive clues on Baby Lisa's whereabouts. She has been missing since Oct. 3, when her parents reported that she disappeared from her bedroom crib.

There are no new leads in the case, Det. Gary Eastwood, of the Kansas City Police Department's special unit for child victims, reported Saturday.

"Wild Bill" Stanton, a New York City private investigator, said Saturday that the same person who hired him is also offering $100,000 for information resulting in the baby's return.

"I hope this opens up someone's heart or someone's eyes, and they realize this is serious and that we need to get Lisa home safe and sound," Stanton told Good Morning America, while standing outside the home of Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, Lisa's parents.

The FBI scoured the woods near the family's home Friday and used metal detectors to scan their neighborhood.

The family has posted online videos, recorded when Lisa was 3 months old. Signs and pictures of the missing baby also have been displayed outside of her grandparents' home.

"I'd gladly give my life to bring Lisa home safely," Lisa's cousin Mike Lerette  told Good Morning America. "We're hanging in there. Please, please, please keep praying."

Baby Lisa has not been seen since Oct. 3. Her father Jeremy Irwin said he returned home from his overnight shift and found his daughter's crib empty, the home's front door unlocked, a window screen busted open and the family's three cell phones gone.

Bradley has said that she was the last person to see her baby.

Jeremy Irwin's sister, Ashley Irwin, said last week that the family had expected Bradley to be arrested in connection with the baby's disappearance, but she also insisted that Bradley had nothing to do with the baby's disappearance.

Police officials have not publicly named any suspects. No arrests have been made.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct092011

Missing Baby Lisa: Parents Talk to Police, Reward Fund Set Up

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- A reward fund is being set up in hopes of generating new leads in the disppearance of 10-month-old Lisa Irwin while her parents are cooperating again with investigators, officials said.

Kansas City, Mo., police captain Steve Young announced Saturday that Lisa's parents Jeremy Irwin and Deborah Bradley, are now talking to police.

"They're talking with us and that is absolutely the best thing," Young said.

Young said the parents are important because no one knows more about the case.

"Something may jog their memory, you never know. They may think of another person or whatever. Their involvement in this investigation is critical," Young said.

On Thursday, Young said Irwin and Bradley no longer were cooperating with the investigation, though the parents said that they continued to cooperate and only were taking a break.

Lisa Irwin has been missing from her Kansas City home since Monday night. On Tuesday, Jeremy Irwin said he came home from working an overnight shift and found his daughter's crib empty, a window open and the family's three cell phones gone.

As Saturday's meeting was underway, police came back to the family's neighborhood and combed for any clue that might help solve the mysterious disappearance. They searched the family's front and rear yards with metal detectors.

On Friday, Lisa's mother, Deborah Bradley, said that police accused her of having done something to her child.

"From the start when they've questioned me, once I couldn't fill in gaps, it turned into 'You did it, you did it,'" Deborah Bradley told "Good Morning America." "They took a picture down from the table and said, 'Look at your baby! And do what's right for her!' I kept saying I don't know ... I just sat there. I didn't even ask to leave. I just let them keep asking questions."

Bradley also said police accused her of failing a polygraph test. Police said they could not comment on this claim, but said Bradley is "free to say whatever she wants."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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