Police using warrant to search home of missing Missouri baby

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 19, 2011 12:33 PM
Police using warrant to search home of missing Missouri baby

By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Mo (Reuters) - Police and FBI agents on Wednesday were again searching the home of missing 11-month-old Lisa Irwin, this time with a warrant and without the parents present.

A judge granted a search warrant Tuesday and the parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, would be kept from the house during the search, said Sergeant Stacey Graves, a Kansas City police spokeswoman.

Investigators have already searched the house where Lisa disappeared, with the consent of the parents. But the parents have not talked to police for about 10 days, their lawyer Joe Tacopina told reporters Monday.

Irwin was last seen the evening of October 3 when her mother put her to bed, the mother has said. Jeremy Irwin found her missing when he returned home from work at 4 a.m. the next day, he said.

Bradley has said in network television interviews that she got drunk at home that night, but did nothing to harm her child. She said police have accused her of killing Lisa, but police have said the parents are not suspects.

Police have not said why they want a warrant to search a house they have already searched more than once. But they may want the judicial protection of a warrant so that parents can't say later that they did not consent to the search, said Dee Wampler, a Springfield, Missouri, criminal defense lawyer and author of the book "Defending Yourself Against Cops in Missouri."

Wampler said the warrant will also allow the police to seize evidence at the scene. He said they will probably look for DNA and for blood, fingerprints or other evidence that could be meaningful regardless of who was involved in the disappearance.

(Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Jerry Norton)