— Grief over missing baby Lisa Irwin has caused inconsistencies in her mother’s story, according to a private investigator and prominent defense attorney who have been hired by the family.
They also maintain Deborah Bradley had nothing to do with the baby's disappearance.
“I do believe this baby is alive and in the hands of someone else,’’ private investigator Bill Stanton told TODAY’s Ann Curry Tuesday. “The fact that they haven’t found this child just reinforces my belief that the baby is alive. Who steals a puppy to do away with a puppy? You steal that puppy because you want it. I think it’s either trafficking or maybe an emotionally disturbed person that took this child.’’
Baby Lisa has been missing since Oct. 4, and although the Kansas City police have not named anyone a suspect, they have noted that the parents of the child, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, have not been as cooperative as they would like in the investigation of her disappearance. Bradley has also revealed discrepancies from the original story she told investigators, as she recently said she was drunk on the night of her baby’s disappearance and that the last time she saw her child was nearly four hours earlier than she originally told police.
She also revealed that she takes anti-anxiety medication and may have blacked out from drinking wine on the night that her daughter disappeared. Bradley admitted on Monday that she fears she will be arrested, which newly-hired defense attorney Joe Tacopina said is “absolutely not’’ going to happen.
“People are making a little bit more that than it is,’’ Tacopina told Curry. “She’s not changing her story as to when she saw her baby last. She describes putting the baby to bed at a certain time of night. Obviously she wasn’t clocking that when she was putting the baby to bed. She wasn’t marking the time down.
“This woman is someone who is…under grief and trauma every day, who is missing her 11-month-old baby, and she’s been interviewed and given everything she can give to authorities, but she’s been accused by innuendo and rumor, directly and indirectly, of having a hand in the disappearance of her child.’’
“I can’t change what people think,’’ Bradley told NBC News. “Everybody is going to have an opinion. It’ s just so easy to judge, it is so easy to point the finger, it is so easy to make assumptions when you don’t know me as a person, you don’t know me as a mother.’’
Bradley and Irwin announced Monday that they had hired Tacopina, who most famously defended Joran Van der Sloot, the man suspected in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005.
“Clearly the parents’ level of cooperation has not been what it needs to be to find this child,’’ the Kansas City Police Department said in a statement. “Should they change their minds, our door is always open.’’
“It’s unbelievable to hear that,’’ Tacopina said. “They’ve cooperated as recently as yesterday. They want to cooperate, but they want to make sure the investigation is being done in good faith. When you’re cooperating, and you’re being interviewed, and a detective within an hour or two of the baby’s disappearance starts accusing you of murder, it really doesn’t do much for the cooperative spirit. These parents want more than anything to find out what happened.’’
Stanton and his team are re-examining the evidence the police have gathered as well as conducting their own investigation into the baby’s disappearance. The baby was first discovered missing, the parents have said, when Jeremy Irwin came home from his first night shift as an electrician at 4 a.m. Police have received hundreds of tips, but have not named anyone a suspect.
“They need to understand that these people are victims,’’ Tacopina said. “They are grieving parents who are missing their 11-month-old baby. (The parents) will deal with this stuff regarding any allegations or accusations. All they want more than anything is for their baby Lisa to come home.’’