KANSAS CITY, Mo (Reuters) - A lawyer for parents of missing 11-month-old Lisa Irwin downplayed on Saturday the significance of a cadaver dog's alert that may have signified the scent of a dead body in the Irwin home.
Court documents showed on Friday that an FBI cadaver dog had picked up the scent of a deceased person in the bedroom of Deborah Bradley, the mother of the missing Missouri baby, earlier in the week.
Lawyer Cyndy Short told ABC's "Good Morning America" in an interview aired Saturday that smells from a dead body can remain in a location for many years.
"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," Short told "Good Morning America."
"This is an old home, 63 years old. There could be a lot of other explanations for that."
Bradley, the baby's mother, has said she put Lisa to bed the evening of October 3, and that she was gone early the next morning. Police have questioned Bradley and and the baby's father, Jeremy Irwin, at length about Lisa's disappearance.
The cadaver dog had picked up the scent of the dead body on Monday in a search the parents authorized.
Police and the FBI later spent some 16 hours combing through the Irwin house, garage and yard after getting a search warrant. Investigators on Wednesday seized baby clothing, blankets, rolls of tape and a dispenser.
Bradley, who has admitted that she was drunk on wine the evening she last saw her daughter, has said police accused her of killing Lisa and told her she failed a lie-detector test when asked if she knew the whereabouts of her daughter.
"Jeremy Irwin and Deborah Bradley had no role in the disappearance of their daughter," Short said in a statement on Friday. "They are praying for her safe return."
Short said the couple has fully cooperated with police in allowing searches, providing personal items for examination and in granting interviews.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston)