The parents of a missing Kansas City girl planned a private gathering Friday to mark her first birthday, while their lawyer reasserted that they have no plans to let police interview them separately after what he called "nasty" questioning.
Lisa Irwin's birthday was a "tough day" for the family and only close relatives would attend the gathering, said John Picerno, their Kansas City lawyer. Authorities have been searching for the girl since Oct. 4, when her parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, reported her missing.
Picerno reiterated that Bradley and Irwin would not be questioned by police separately, saying he didn't want them to be "subjected to interrogation techniques." He said previous questioning "got nasty."
Kansas City police didn't immediately return calls Friday. They have previously said the couple has failed to be open with authorities because they haven't met separately with detectives since Oct. 8. That interview was cut short by Sean O'Brien, a board member of the Midwestern Innocence Project who briefly helped the family.
"He told me about what went on in the third interview and he ended the third interview," Picerno said. "He had had enough. And that's enough for us."
Irwin has said he came home around 4 a.m. Oct. 4 after a rare late shift at work and discovered the baby was gone. He said a window was ajar, all the lights were on, the front door was unlocked and three cellphones were missing.
Bradley admits she spent the previous evening sitting outside with a neighbor, smoking cigarettes and getting drunk on boxed wine, and says she last checked on the baby around 6:30 p.m.
She has said police have accused her of being involved in the child's disappearance, and that she failed a polygraph test. In tearful early statements to the media, Bradley repeatedly insisted she doesn't know what happened to her child.
Discrepancies in Bradley's story _ she initially told investigators she checked on the baby around 10:30 p.m. _ and the parents' apparent unwillingness to speak separately with detectives have cast the family in a negative light.
Picerno said police are "absolutely" focusing too much on the parents and noted that the couple had met with police for more than 30 hours on five separate occasions before limiting contact.
"At this point, there is nothing more to said," Picerno explained. He said police should contact him or the couple's New York attorney "if there are still things that they need to know or questions that they want to ask."
One day earlier, Lisa's half-brothers _ ages 5 and 8 _ were interviewed for two hours by an FBI expert who specializes in working with children, Picerno said. He said the boys weren't interviewed earlier because the FBI expert wasn't available until then.
He said the children "seemed to be in good spirits" afterward when he took them out to eat. He said he didn't grill them about what happened during the interview and urged their parents not to either. The interview was taped, but the family's attorneys will only be able to see it if charges are filed.
Picerno said an FBI agent told him in an email that the interview went "fine" and that there were "no new developments."
"They are cute little boys," Picerno said. "I first met them this week. The first thing they said when I sat down with them at their kitchen table was, the older one said, `Are you going to help us find Lisa?' If you guys have kids, you know how older siblings like infants, and so it's a traumatic experience for them."
FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton said the agency was involved in the interview with the boys along with the Kansas City police. She offered no details.
"We are still working this investigation," Patton said. "We are still following up on all tips that have come in," alongside Kansas City police.