The parents of a missing Northland toddler pleaded Monday on national television for the return of their daughter, and they released information they say could shed new light on her disappearance.
It has been more than seven months since 10-month-old Lisa Irwin disappeared from her North Lister Avenue home. Her parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, say that someone broke into their home and snatched Baby Lisa while she slept. They believe that whoever took her has either sold her or is raising her as their own.
During an appearance Monday morning on NBC’s “Today Show,” Jeremy Irwin said that someone fraudulently charged $69.04 to his debit card in November, the month after Lisa vanished. The charge was connected to an overseas company that helps people change baby’s names, he said. The card was suspended after that charge happened and two other fraudulent charges were attempted.
“Somebody had my information and tried to use it,” Irwin told host Ann Curry.
The couple said they passed that information to Kansas City police months ago but no new details have emerged with the investigation.
“I am unhappy with what they are telling me,” Deborah Bradley said in the TV interview. “It has been too long and with this development, they’ve had it for a long time, and we still haven’t heard anything.”
Detectives investigated the fraudulent debit card use, said Capt. Steve Young, a Kansas City police spokesman. The card was used to buy stationery but did not appear to be connected to the child’s disappearance, Young said.
“We are not optimistic it is going to turn into anything more than stolen card numbers, at best,” he said.
Bradley said she and Irwin were frustrated with the lack of progress in the case. They have continued to cooperate with federal and local investigators, she said.
“It has been almost eight months, and we’re not getting any answers,” Bradley told Curry. “We understand that the FBI and the KCPD have a job to do, but we need answers. We need Lisa. The answer to us that we are looking at is unacceptable.”
According to authorities, Irwin returned home after working a late shift on Oct. 4 and found the front door of their Kansas City, North home open. He walked through the house and found several lights on and his daughter missing from her crib.
In the weeks afterward, police, federal authorities, members of the Missouri National Guard and volunteers scoured the area looking for the child.
Lisa’s case still is classified as a missing or abducted child. There was no evidence to suggest that Lisa has died, police say.
Bradley repeatedly has said that she had nothing to do with her daughter’s disappearance and has pleaded for her return. Bradley admitted that she had been drinking the night Lisa disappeared but has maintained she did not harm the toddler.
Their attorney, Joe Tacopina, said police did not thoroughly investigate witness claims that on the night of the disappearance they saw a man walking near the Irwin home carrying a baby wearing a diaper.
Young said that accusation “is completely false.” Detectives continue their investigation but there are fewer new leads to pursue, he said.
“The detectives have not washed their hands of the case by any means,” Young said.