Many searches, few clues in KC baby disappearance

This photo provided Oct. 4, 2011, by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, shows Lisa Irwin. Kansas City police have issued an Amber Alert for the 10-month-old girl who apparently was abducted from her bedroom overnight. Lisa has blue eyes and blond hair. She is 30 inches tall and weighs between 26 and 30 pounds. (AP Photo, Kansas City Police Department)
October 12, 2011 3:14:52 AM PDT
Authorities searching for a missing baby in Kansas City have marched shoulder-to-shoulder through acres of woods, rappelled down cliffs and combed through landfills. They've interrogated her parents for hours and called in firefighters to search a 36-foot well that seemed like a possible place to hide a child's body.

But after receiving more than 300 tips and chasing down many others, police still have no idea what happened to Lisa Irwin, a fair-haired, big-eyed baby, whose first birthday is now only a month away.

A full week has passed since Lisa's parents, Jeremy Irwin and Deborah Bradley, reported their daughter missing. Jeremy returned home from a late shift at work Oct. 4 and told police he found the house lights on, a window tampered with and his child gone.

Police have since searched the home with metal detectors, and FBI and police re-enacted a possible abduction, all done while camera crews filmed from the street.

Police spokesman Capt. Steve Young has said police are pursuing all leads and taking a no-holds barred approach to the investigation.

"I challenge you to name something, and I can assure you we have done it twice," Young said early in the investigation. But he has also said all along that he and other police can't comment on the investigation.

Lisa's parents appeared on television several times that first week but have since retreated from the media, saying they want to focus all their attention on finding Lisa. They declined to comment Tuesday.

A relative said family members had watched part of the well search on television.

John Hamilton, a former Kansas City police officer who now teaches criminal justice at Park University in nearby Parkville, Mo., said officers are as determined as anyone to find the child.

"If there is any pressure, it's to find the 10-month-old safe and bring her home," Hamilton said. "Another thing people don't realize, and this happens in a majority of big cases, is the prosecutor's office and police are working hand-in-hand on this."

The Clay County Prosecutor's office did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday afternoon.

As for Wednesday, the beginning of the search's second week, Young, the police spokesman, said police will carry on.

"It's fair to assume a small amount of frustration on behalf of everybody," he said. "But it doesn't change the direction at all. ... Tomorrow morning, I'm sure they'll get everybody back in the (command post) and hand out leads and keep people coming and going."


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