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Entries in Missing Baby (9)

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

Saturday
Feb042012

Ayla Reynolds: Windows Broken at Missing Maine Toddler’s House

ABC News(WATERVILLE, Maine) -- Two windows were smashed at the home of missing toddler Ayla Reynolds, police said Saturday.

Officers responded to a 911 call at the Waterville, Maine, home around 11:15 p.m. Friday night after Reynolds’ grandmother, Phoebe DiPietro, said she heard someone throwing things through windows at the house.

“No rocks or thrown objects were recovered, leading officers to believe that the windows were damaged by a bat or some other object that was carried away from the scene,” Waterville Police said in a statement.

Police conducted a search of the surrounding area, but it did not turn up any leads.

The 20-month-old has been missing from her home since Dec. 17.

Reynolds’ father, Justin DiPietro, 24, told police he last saw his daughter when he put her to bed that night.

Police have classified the disappearance as a crime and have found traces of Ayla’s blood in a basement her father had been using as a bedroom.

“What [police] were unwilling to confirm to the press, but left to our discretion, is that it has already been determined to be Ayla’s blood,” the statement said. “Even in light of this evidence we are more determined than ever to find out what has happened to Ayla and we still cling to the hope that she is alive and will be returned to us. We urge anyone that has information about Ayla to come forward now and unburden yourself of the truth.”

Officials searched parts of the Kennebec River Friday, but did not find anything new.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan312012

Missing Maine Toddler: Adults Withholding Info, Police Say

ABC News(WATERVILLE, Maine) -- Police investigating the disappearance of Maine toddler Ayla Reynolds have turned their focus to the three adults who were in the home with the girl the night she was last seen, saying that the evidence doesn't point to an abduction.

In what is being called the most intense investigation launched in Maine within the last decade, state police are now saying they believe the adults inside the house the night Ayla disappeared know more than what they're saying.  Investigators are dismissing the basic premise that Ayla's father Justin DiPietro has suggested all along that his 20-month-old was abducted on Dec. 17.

"We have searched that home and we have found not one piece of evidence to lead us to believe Ayla was abducted," Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said.  "We think one or all three of the adults have info they haven't told us and we need that info in order to find Ayla."

Recently, police revealed that evidence found at the home includes Ayla's blood, which was discovered in the partially-finished basement that her father used as his bedroom.  While investigators will not say how much blood was discovered, they told Ayla's mother Trista Reynolds that it was "more than a small cut would produce."

"There was blood found and it wasn't just a small amount … I don't want it to be real," she said.

Trista Reynolds, 23, was in a substance abuse rehabilitation program at the time of her daughter's disappearance, and baby Ayla had been placed in her father's care while she was seeking treatment.

On the night that the girl was last seen, DiPietro, 24, and his girlfriend, along with her small child, were allegedly in the basement of the Waterville home.  DiPietro's sister was also in the house, along with her young child, in a bedroom on the main level, while Ayla was reportedly in an adjacent bedroom by herself.  DiPietro's mother was not at home that night.

"The adults inside that home say someone came into the house -- a small home -- went into a bedroom Ayla normally doesn't sleep in, took her, vanished in the night -- and not one of them heard or saw anything," McCausland said.

At a vigil for baby Ayla over the weekend where the child's parents saw each other for the first time since her disappearance, DiPietro refused to comment.

"I'm not here to answer any questions," he said.

While police say that DiPietro has been cooperating with the investigation, they say someone isn't telling the whole truth.

Police have not named DiPietro a suspect, or even a person of interest.  They say they have ruled no one out and no one in, and that they are no closer to solving this case than they were on the morning of Dec. 17 when Ayla was reported missing.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec272011

Missing Toddler Ayla Reynolds: $30,000 Reward Offered

ABC News(WATERVILLE, Maine) -- A $30,000 reward is being offered in the case of missing Maine toddler Ayla Reynolds, the largest missing person reward in the state's history.

In announcing the reward, police said that they believe there is foul play in the disappearance of the 20-month-old girl who has been missing since Dec. 17.

"We are confident that Ayla did not let herself out of the house," Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said. "We believe that someone removed Ayla from the house, and that is where our investigation is focusing."

Massey and local attorney John Nale said that calls were pouring in from private citizens and businesses wishing to make donations for a reward, with the money adding up to $30,000.

"I am very hopeful that the offer of a large monetary reward may serve to spur someone to make the phone call we desperately want to receive, the call that will lead us to Ayla Reynolds," Massey said.

Investigators searched for the toddler through the holiday weekend. Police said they believe that additional leads that came in over the weekend were prompted by the coverage of the case on America's Most Wanted.

The leads, however, have not led to any suspects yet and authorities are conscious of the time that has passed since Ayla was last seen.

According to police, Ayla's father Justin DiPietro, 24, said he put the child to bed the night of Dec. 16 in his home, and awoke the next morning to find her missing. Police have said several other adults were in the home, including one non-relative. Reynolds was living with her father while the girl's mother, Trista Reynolds, 23, was in rehab for substance abuse.

Police have said both parents have been cooperative, but investigators still have no sense of what happened to Ayla.

Investigators are asking that anyone with information about Ayla please call the Waterville Police Department at 207-680-4700.

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

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

Thursday
Oct062011

Baby Lisa Missing: Parents Growing Deperate as Search Continues

Kansas City Police Dept(KANSAS CITY) -- The Missouri parents of missing 10-month-old Lisa Irwin are growing more desperate while police combing the neighborhood and asking to search people's homes have no leads in what they describe as a rare but terrifying crime.

Speaking to GMA from outside their home in Kansas City Thursday morning, the girl's mother choked back tears and father Jeremy Irwin repeated their plea for anyone with information on their missing toddler to come forward.

Lisa's mother, Deborah Brandley, described exactly what happened the last time she saw her daughter:
"[She disappeared] between the time she went to bed and time I went to bed," she said through tears. "I gave her her bottle and put her to sleep, and that was the last when we last saw her."

Irwin, who lives with Deborah and her two other children from pervious relationships, described how he returned from work around 4 a.m.

"The windows were open and the lights were on, and she was nowhere to be found," he said. "We've been going over everything in our minds. We just don't have any idea."

Police Capt. Steve Young said there are no major leads in the case, while Kansas City police and FBI agents continued their investigation and search for the baby. More than 300 law officers have been using helicopters, all-terrain vehicles and door-to-door interviews in the search.

Speaking with ABC News, Lisa's grandmother, Melanie Irwin, pleaded for the girl's return. "Bring her back. We love her, everybody loves her," Irwin said. "She needs her family. She needs her family. They need her."

Lisa was last seen at 10:30 p.m. Monday asleep in her crib at her parents' home. When her father arrived home at 4 a.m. from an overnight shift as an electrician, he discovered that Lisa was missing. The parents immediately called police.

While police initially fixated on a window and screen in the bedroom that appeared to have been tampered with and might have been where a kidnapper entered and exited, they are not certain such was the case.

"We are interviewing family and friends just to eliminate everyone's that close to the family as suspects," Officer Darin Snapp said.

He described the family's neighborhood as a "middle-class, very quiet neighborhood."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct052011

Missing Baby's Parents Make Emotional Plea for Her Return

KMBC-TV(KANSAS CITY, Mo) -- The mother of 10-month-old Lisa Irwin clutched a Barney stuffed animal today and pleaded for the life of her missing girl.

"We just want our baby back," said Lisa's mother, Deborah Netts, through sobs and tears while hugging the Barney plush toy. "Please. Bring her home. Our two other boys are waiting for her."

The infant disappeared from her crib in the couple's home in Kansas City, Mo., after being put to bed by her mother.

"On Monday night or Tuesday morning, our daughter Lisa was taken from our home and we just urge anyone with any information as to where she is or who she's with to please call the tip hotline or the police," said Lisa's father, Jeremy Irwin, in a trembling voice. "Anything, even the smallest bit of information, could help lead to her return."

"Anybody that might have her, they can drop her off anyplace safe, fire station, hospital church, no questions asked," Irwin said.

The parents, who are engaged to be married, did not stay in their home last night, according to ABC's Kansas City affiliate, KMBC. They returned to their house around noon Wednesday to pick up some baggage, but they are staying at an undisclosed location.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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