Mother of missing Missouri baby has not given needed answers: police

Reuters News

9/28/2012 6:20:07 PM - Reuters News

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - The mother of missing Missouri baby Lisa Irwin has still not provided answers needed in the investigation into her daughter's disappearance from her home nearly a year ago in a high-profile case that drew national attention, police said on Friday.

Baby Lisa was last seen the night of October 3, 2011, when her mother, Deborah Bradley, says she put the then 10-month-old in her crib. The baby's father, Jeremy Irwin, discovered she was missing when he got home from work before dawn the next day, he has said.

Kansas City police said in a statement on Friday that the family was in touch with investigators but has still not given them the "opportunity to sit down one-on-one" with 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," police said.

Bradley has admitted to getting drunk the night Lisa disappeared.

But John Picerno, a Kansas City lawyer representing Bradley and Irwin, described as "completely false" the police assertion that Bradley has not been willing to be interviewed. He said she gave a videotaped interview to the FBI and a Kansas City police officer several months after Lisa disappeared and provided 100 pages of hand-written notes.

She remains willing to talk to police, he said.

"My door is always open, they know my phone number," Picerno said.

In a brief interview with Reuters outside her home on Thursday, Bradley said she was focused on helping with the investigation and that she "absolutely" believes Lisa is alive. Bradley said she is convinced the girl was kidnapped.

Police and the FBI have followed up on 1,667 tips on the child's disappearance, including some 500 reported sightings of the girl, the police statement said. They are checking into about a dozen active tips now, police said.

"Police have exhausted leads provided by Lisa Irwin's family and their attorneys and the leads were of no benefit to the investigation," police said.

Picerno said he will continue to provide tips to police but cannot control whether they lead anywhere.

(Editing By Corrie MacLaggan, Cynthia Johnston and Andrew Hay)