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Entries in Lisa Irwin (14)

Wednesday
Oct032012

Missing Baby Lisa's Room Untouched a Year Later

Family of Lisa Irwin(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The Irwin family home on North Lister in Kansas City, Mo., looks deceptively normal.  The father leaves every morning to go to work while the mother stays at home to care for the couple's two young boys.  In the afternoon, neighborhood kids can be seen playing in the yard.

But inside the house is a little girl's room that has been virtually untouched for a year.  The room belongs to baby Lisa Irwin who vanished from her crib, seemingly without a trace, exactly a year ago on Wednesday.

"They've got Lisa's room intact," Irwin family attorney John Picerno told ABC News, referring to Lisa's parents Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin.  "They still try to honor her.  They still believe that she is alive.  They buy clothes that will fit her when she comes home.  They try to buy gifts for her to celebrate the various holidays as the holidays pass."

Lisa disappeared the night of Oct. 3, 2011 from her home and the family has maintained from the beginning that the girl was abducted from her bedroom inside the home while her father was at work and her mother and brothers were asleep in another room.

Deborah Bradley, 26, and the girl's father Jeremy Irwin, 30, became a focal point for suspicion by both the public and the police.  The relationship between the parents and the Kansas City Police Department has been contentious, with frequent public sparring between the two.  They argued about issues including the extent of the parents' cooperation, polygraph tests and interviewing Lisa's two young brothers.

One year later, the tense relationship has resurfaced as unsatisfied police suggest that they are still seeking more information from Bradley.

"Police have exhausted leads provided by Lisa Irwin's family and their attorneys, and the leads were of no benefit to the investigation," the KCPD said in a statement.  "While communication with the family has been ongoing, police have not had the opportunity to sit down one-on-one to speak with Lisa's mother, Deborah Bradley.  As the only adult in the home at the time of the baby's disappearance, police continue to have questions to which only she can provide answers."

Picerno said he and his clients were taken aback by the police's statement.

"We were very, very surprised that KCPD, first of all, issued a press release in and of itself," he said.  "Second, we were surprised with the tone of the press release, particularly since we believe that what's in the press release relative to Jeremy and Deborah is simply untrue."

Picerno acknowledged that there was a breakdown in communication between authorities and the parents after over 30 hours of initial questioning with the couple.  He said that Bradley and Irwin sat down with police again in February, but conceded that Bradley has not sat for a one-on-one with investigators.

"They haven't but they can certainly sit down one-on-one with me present and ask any questions," he said.  "I'm not going to stop them.  What we don't want is another situation where they're doing a full-blown interrogation where they're standing up and accusing her and they're showing pictures of her missing girl and they're confronting her with all this evidence."

Picerno said his client has a right to counsel and "a right not to be abused or threatened by detectives."

The family is planning a vigil for Wednesday evening with family, friends and supporters.

"We want to thank everyone for continuing to help look for Lisa and for the overwhelming support," the parents said in a statement this week, according to ABC News' Kansas City affiliate KMBC-TV.  "Every day without her is hard and there is no such thing as normalcy anymore.  Every day we wake up hoping it will be the day she comes home to us.  Until that day happens our family will continue to be incomplete without her."

At least one KCPD detective and one FBI agent work on the case every day, police said.  They have investigated over 1,600 tips and said they are looking into about a dozen tips at present.  Five hundred of the tips have been reported sightings across the U.S. and internationally, police said.  Each reported sighting has been investigated, but none were determined to be Lisa.

Copyright 2012 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

Friday
Oct212011

Police Release Details of Baby Lisa Search Warrant

(Full-sized version below). Bev Chapman/KMBC(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Authorities investigating the disappearance of 11-month-old Lisa Irwin searched in and around the Irwin home Wednesday for nearly 17 hours, according to court documents released Friday.

Investigators removed items -- including a comforter, purple shorts, a Disney character shirt, a Glo Worm toy, Cars-themed blanket, rolls of tape and a tape dispenser -- from the property, ABC affiliate KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Mo. reports. They also took carpets from the property as evidence.

Lisa Irwin was reported missing on Oct. 4. According to KMBC, authorities state in an affidavit supporting the search warrant that "investigative interviews with the people involved revealed conflicting information for clear direction in the investigation."  

In the weeks since Lisa was reported missing, police have said the infant's parents -- Jeremy Irwin and Deborah Bradley -- at times have not offered full cooperation in the search for Lisa.

The documents also reveal that an FBI cadaver dog "indicated a positive 'hit' for the scent of a deceased human" on the floor of Bradley's bedroom near the bed.

DETAILS OF WARRANT

CLICK FOR FULL-SIZE



Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct202011

Missing Baby Lisa: 17-Hour Search at Family Home

Kansas City Police(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Investigators in white hazmat suits carried out several large brown paper bags of evidence and a large carpet from the Kansas City, Mo., home of missing 11-month-old baby Lisa Irwin.

The 17-hour search allowed for glimpses into the types of evidence collected and the tight-lipped investigation's techniques.

This was the first search in the case that was conducted without the consent of Baby Lisa's parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin. Investigators obtained a search warrant from a judge.

"We felt [that] this time, since [Bradley and Irwin] had retained an attorney, to go to a judge to make sure there was no confusion over our legal right to be there," Kansas City Police Department Capt. Steve Young told ABC News.

Young could not get into details of what may have been found in the search that stretched into the early hours of Thursday morning, but he did comment more broadly on the progress of the investigation.

"This has been an ongoing case for weeks now, and it's safe to imagine in the course of it what we've learned -- new pieces of information that are pushing the case forward," Young said.

The search team at the house spent hours combing the yard with rakes and shovels. In the afternoon, bomb and arson trucks arrived with additional equipment, including machinery used to x-ray solid objects and, possibly, walls.

"They were looking for items -- materials, whether they be generic like DNA, hairs and fibers, [or] organic like leaves, dirt -- to compare to something they have," Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant and former FBI special agent, told Good Morning America Thursday.

Police searched the home extensively in the days immediately following Lisa's disappearance with scent canines and FBI agents in hazmat suits, and police officers attempted to re-create the window break-in scenario the parents described. While authorities are mum on what caused them to return to the house more than two weeks after Lisa disappeared from her crib, Garrett said there would have to be a new component to the case in order for a judge to authorize a search warrant.

"You have to have something new, something that just has occurred to convince a judge to allow you to go back in a house with a search warrant," Garrett said.

In the past two weeks, police have cleared more than 550 tips and leads that have not led to any suspects or hard leads.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct192011

Missing Missouri Baby: Police Execute Search Warrant at Family Home

Kansas City Police(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Investigators are executing a search warrant Wednesday at the Kansas City, Mo., family home where 11-month-old Lisa Irwin vanished from her crib on the night of Oct. 3.

Kansas City Police Department Officer Capt. Steve Young told ABC News that investigators will be in the house "pretty heavy today."  Police have blocked off the road in front of the house and instituted a no-fly zone over the neighborhood.

Previously, the family had allowed voluntary searches of the home.

Lisa's parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, have not stayed at the house since her disappearance.  They have been staying at a relative's home.

Young would not comment on the details of what brought police back to the house with a search warrant two weeks after Lisa disappeared, but said, "As the investigation progresses, I'm sure we continue to develop information that causes us to take different and new action."

Police obtained a search warrant for the house late Tuesday night and have had constant police presence on the property since then, keeping everyone away from the house, including well-wishers.  Investigators are expected to be at the home all day.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct172011

Missing Baby Lisa: Mom Was Drinking Night of Disappearance

Kansas City Police(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The mother of missing 11-month-old Kansas City baby Lisa Irwin admitted Monday that she was drinking the night of her daughter's disappearance two weeks ago.

"I was drinking, but it has nothing to do with my daughter's disappearance," Deborah Bradley told ABC’s Good Morning America.

The questions about whether she had been drinking arose after the discovery of a Missouri grocery store surveillance video from the day of Lisa's disappearance that showed Bradley buying boxed wine. But the mother is adamant that her drinking is unrelated to her missing daughter.

"It doesn't explain anything because that had nothing to do with anything," Bradley said.

Bradley also spoke about how she discovered that she had failed a polygraph test administered by a police officer.

"He said, 'You failed.' And I said, 'Failed what? What question did I fail?' And he said, 'You failed the one where, you know, where your daughter's at,'" Bradley recalled. "And I said, 'That's not possible. I don't know where she's at.' And I just proceeded to come unglued."

Bradley said she would have no problem taking another polygraph test and maintains that she had nothing to do with Lisa's disappearance, even though the investigation and the public have fixated on her.

"I know I have absolutely nothing to do with my daughter's disappearance," Bradley said. "I still understand they're doing their job. It's not personal, but it doesn't make me feel any better about it."

The blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby was last seen by her mother Oct. 3 when Bradley said she put her daughter in her crib around 10:30 p.m. When Lisa's father, Jeremy Irwin, arrived home from his first overnight shift as an electrician, he said he found his home in disarray and his daughter's crib empty.

Investigators had a busy weekend that included questioning a local handyman who had raised suspicion, searching an abandoned house where used diapers and baby wipes were found and calling in the National Guard to help with the search. None of these efforts led investigators to any hard leads or confirmed suspects.

Wealthy anonymous benefactors offered a $100,000 reward Friday for Lisa's safe return or the conviction of whoever took the little girl.

Exhaustive searches resulting in dead ends have taken police and FBI investigators to the woods multiple times as well as to nearby fields, a well at an abandoned house, drainage areas and a landfill.

"We haven't really thought about shutting down," Kansas City Police Capt. Steve Young said. "I think that will come sometime, but we hope to solve this case before then."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct142011

Anonymous Donors Offer $100K Reward For Missing Missouri Baby

Kansas City Police(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Wealthy anonymous benefactors Friday offered a $100,000 reward for the safe return of missing Missouri infant Lisa Irwin or the conviction of whoever took the little girl.

The reward was announced by private investigator Bill Stanton who said the anonymous donors have a relationship with the family and do not want to detract attention from the case with their identities.

The benefactors also brought Stanton into the case, he said. Stanton added that he would be joined by Dr. Marisa Randazzo, a psychologist who specializes in threat assessment and once worked for the U.S. Secret Service.

This week, the family posted a series of videos on YouTube made by Lisa's parents of the baby girl eating cereal, gurgling at her mother and playing with a toy. The family had said they want to keep Lisa's image in the media so that attention stays on the case.

On the eleventh day of the search for Lisa, investigators are searching the woods near the Irwin's Missouri home and acknowledge that running out of places to look is "inevitable."

Exhaustive and fruitless searches have taken police and FBI investigators to the woods multiple times as well as to nearby fields, a well at an abandoned house, drainage areas and a landfill.

"We haven't really thought about shutting down," Kansas City Police Capt. Steve Young told ABC News Friday. "I think that will come sometime, but we hope to solve this case before then."

On Friday, three relatives of the Irwin family emerged from the house where the family has been staying to hang "We [heart] U Lisa" signs on a tree and on the door. Lisa's parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, did not come outside.

"I am seeing a family's heart literally torn out of its chest," Stanton told Good Morning America Friday.

When asked by ABC News if he was suspicious of Bradley's involvement in her daughter's disappearance, he answered coyly.

"Let me try not to give a politician's answer," Stanton said. "Let me just say this, she doesn't want to be discounted. She wants to be looked at, vetted and then once everyone feels she's not a suspect, let's move on."

Stanton spent time with Bradley and Irwin Thursday at their home and has become somewhat of an unofficial spokesman for the family. He has said he will give information to investigators, but they do not give him information.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct112011

Missing Baby Lisa: Police Search Nearby Abandoned Well

Hemera/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The search for missing 10-month-old Lisa Irwin entered its second week Tuesday with Kansas City police searching the well of an abandoned house near the girl's home.

More than a dozen investigators and firefighters crowded around an opening created in the old wooden deck to access the well. A yellow and red tripod was set up to lower firefighters into the shaft.

The street in front of the house has been closed off and is filled with police and fire vehicles.

"It's an abandoned house, there's a well under the deck. We're searching it because it's the right thing to do," Capt. Steve Young told ABCNews.com Tuesday as police and firefighters dismantled part of the house's deck in order to access the well.

Young said the abandoned house is few blocks from the Irwin home.

This search comes a few hours after a family member said Lisa's mother, Deborah Bradley, is preparing to be charged in connection with her baby's disappearance. The family member, Ashley Irwin, said the family thinks Bradley's arrest is "inevitable."

Ashley Irwin, who is Lisa's aunt, said in an exclusive interivew with ABC News that she believes police are spending more time focusing on the family -- in particular Bradley -- than on finding viable suspects.

"It's what the police do," Ashley Irwin said. "They don't have any leads, so they just have to pin it on somebody."

Baby Lisa has not been seen since last Tuesday, when her father Jeremy Irwin said he returned to their Kansas, City, Mo., home from working an overnight shift as an electrician and found his daughter's crib empty, the front door to the house unlocked, a window open and the family's three cell phones gone.

Bradley says that she was the last to see the baby when she put her to bed.

When asked if she has any doubt that Bradley or her brother Jeremy Irwin had anything to do with baby Lisa's disappearance, Ashley Irwin confirmed that she thinks there is no way that they could be involved.

"Anybody who spends any time with them, you know it's not true. She's genuine. She loves that child. It's her baby. She would never anything to hurt her," Ashley Irwin said.

"She doesn't care what happens to her, she doesn't care what people say about her, she doesn't care what people think about her. All she cares about is getting Lisa home," said Ashley, the only person speaking publicly for the family.

Kansas City police have been suspicious of the parents' story since their initial questioning. Bradley said that police accused her of having done something to her child, and also accused her of failing a polygraph test.

The relationship between police and the parents soured last week when police said the couple had stopped cooperating, but by Saturday the parents were again meeting with investigators.

In a separate development, Clay County grand jury subpoenas have begun arriving at least four Kansas City network affiliate television stations who did interviewing in their coverage of the case. Investigators are demanding unedited "footage of any interviews given by neighbors, family or friends of the family."

Sources say that the police may want to compare the footage for inconsistent statements from witnesses or anyone else interviewed surrounding the baby's disappearance.

So far police have only hit dead ends in their investigations, but have said that in the week since Lisa disappeared more than 250 tips have come in.

"We're chasing down the ones we can, but still unfortunately nothing has really come from them," said Young.

Crime scene investigators searched an overgrown drainage ditch behind the family home on Monday.

Police have also staged a re-creation of a hypothetical kidnapping scenario with an intruder breaking in through the family's window.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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