Mystery of 10-month-old baby snatched from cot grips America
disappearance of a 10-month-old baby apparently snatched from her cot
while her mother slept has gripped America as police claimed that the
childs desperate parents had stopped co-operating with their
Lisa Irwin was
last seen by her mother, Deborah Bradley, asleep at the familys Kansas
City home at 10.30pm on Monday. Her father Jeremy Irwin found her
missing when he returned from work at 4am.
In a case which
has echoes of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007, four days
on, detectives continue to draw a blank despite extensive searches by
hundreds of officers, scores of tip-offs and a handful of alleged
Now Ms Bradley and
Mr Irwin are reported to have withdrawn their co-operation from Missouri
police having apparently come under scrutiny themselves. They have,
however, never been named as suspects and moved swiftly to deny reports
of their non-co-operation.
The row broke out
after Captain Steve Young, of Kansas City police, yesterday told the
local newspaper, the Kansas City Star, that the couple had withdrawn
?It doesnt help
the case," he said. They live in the house. They intimately have
information about what's been going on. They know the child."
Mr Irwin responded
by saying: ?We want the public to know we have never stopped
co-operating with police" The family is expected to make a further
parents had claimed that they were unable to contact the police
immediately on discovering her missing because whoever had abducted her
had also stolen three mobile phones form the house.
The couple have
made a series of emotional pleas for the return of their blue-eyed,
blonde-haired daughter. ?Anything, even the smallest bit of information,
can help lead to her return," Mr Irwin said at a press conference on
might have her that can drop her off at any place safe, a fire station
or hospital or church, no questions asked. We just want to have her
tearful and clutching one of Lisa's soft toys, added: ?We just want to
bring our baby back, please bring her home. Our two other boys are
waiting for her. Just bring her home."
Since Lisa was
reported missing on Tuesday more than 300 police officers, FBI agents
and firefighters have scoured the area around the familys home in
Northland. The area is regarded as quiet and with a close-knit
More than 300
residents have allowed officers to search their property, culverts and
ditches have been probed and large areas of brush razed with chainsaws
in the bid to find any clue to Lisa's whereabouts.
A mounted patrol,
search and rescue dogs, a ?fugitive unit" and narcotics and vice
specialists have also been deployed in the search.
Dozens of reported
sightings of the baby are under investigation. In nearby St Joseph, a
middle-aged couple with a baby matching Lisa's description were spotted
at a service station on Highway 169, and although Kansas City police are
examining CCTV, they say it does not appear to be a breakthrough.
A hotline to the
police incident room has logged 47 tip-offs. ?Unfortunately none of
those have really led us anywhere," said Captain Young. A police command
post set up near the familys home has been dismantled.
One theory is that
an intruder may have broken in through a front window, kidnapping the
baby, he said. The couples two young sons, asleep in another room in
the house, were undisturbed.
was a window on the front of the house that appeared to be tampered
with, thats something they were looking at, but we're not really sure
if thats the entry point or not. Thats just a detail. The main point
is there is a 10-month-old who isn't where she belongs and we're trying
to find that child."
Police said that
child abductions were usually linked to custody battles or domestic
disputes, which did not appear to apply in the Irwin case.
Mr Irwin's parents
have insisted that the couple had nothing to do with Liza's
disappearance. ?Absolutely not," Rick Irwin told NBC News. ?I'm not a
police officer. You have to have a custody battle, but you have a loving
family, a close-knit family."
added: ?That baby is everything to them. They are awesome parents."
Lisa had a cough
and cold at the time of her disappearance, her parents said, and was
dressed in purple shorts and a purple jumper printed with white kittens.
You watched that
trial. Are you ashamed? We have all, collectively, acted inexcusably by
intruding into the personal grief of the Kercher family