Prominent PI joins search for missing baby - KCTV5 News

Prominent PI joins search for missing baby

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A private investigator, who has done work for national networks, met with Kansas City Police investigators Wednesday to discuss how he can assist in the search for missing baby Lisa Irwin.

Bill Stanton, a former New York City police officer known as "Wild Bill," said he discussed the boundaries of how he can help. He also met with baby Lisa's parents.

"I want to let the Kansas City Police Department do their job," Stanton told KCTV5. "They are doing a very hard job and they are doing their best."

Stanton said he will bring "a fresh set of eyes" to the case.

He repeatedly refused Wednesday to identity who is paying for him to come to Kansas City and have a team of investigators probe Lisa's disappearance.

"I don't want this story to be about who hired me. It's a person who wishes to remain anonymous," he said.

Stanton and his firm are licensed in New York, but he is not licensed as a private investigator in Missouri. He told KCTV5 Wednesday that he does not need a license because he is a consultant.

Stanton arrived in Kansas City on Tuesday and held a news conference. He said Tuesday night that he wants "a happy ending" to a case that has increasingly captivated the nation.

"We know Lisa is out there," he said.

Stanton said he and his team are now assisting Debbie Bradley and Jeremy Irwin in the quest to find their missing daughter. But the family has not hired him.

"I will be asking questions," Stanton said. "I am not here to defend or represent anyone. I have been asked to come out here and to find Lisa and to find the perpetrator or perpetrators."

Capt. Steve Young of the Kansas City Police Department said Wednesday morning that private investigators have no more access to crime scene evidence than the general public.

Young stressed that private investigators are not sworn officers and the department is currently checking on what police are obligated to enforce as far as Stanton not being licensed to work in Missouri.

Some area private investigators are concerned because Stanton isn't licensed in Missouri.

"It's about keeping credibility," said Ron Rugen, a Kansas City area private investigator. "It's like cosmetology. You don't want someone cutting your hair that isn't licensed by the state or a lawyer not licensed by the state bar. It's a matter of keeping things squared away and legitimate."

Rugen said Missouri has licensing requirements including training and insurance mandates. He said private investigators must pass background checks.

Stanton shrugs off the questions. He said the focus should be on finding baby Lisa, not his qualifications.

"I want the citizens of Kansas City deputized in trying to find a resolution and getting her home safe," he said.

Stanton has been a contributor for ABC, NBC, Good Morning America and the Today Show. Good Morning America listed Stanton as a security coordinator for the show in 2009. He said he was "asked" to do "an independent investigation," but did not say who had asked him to do so.

He said Lisa's family has "kindly allowed that to happen."

Stanton said he would work with police. He said they do a "thankless job" and investigators are doing the "best they can."

"I am here to seek the truth," he said. "And wherever that truth takes me that is where I am going to go."

Eight somber-looking members of the baby's family flanked Stanton as he spoke. Neither Bradley nor Irwin was present. Irwin's sister, Ashley Irwin, stood with Stanton. Earlier Tuesday, Ashley Irwin said she believed police were railroading Bradley and would soon arrest her because they are desperate to make an arrest in the case.

Police have denied that and Ashley Irwin has said her comments to Good Morning America were taken out of context.

Lisa Irwin, who turned 11 months old on Tuesday, was reported missing by her parents around 4 a.m. on Oct. 3. Her parents say she was snatched from her crib as she slept.

Stanton said he understands the suspicions of her parents, saying, "That's fair."

"Keep one eye on them, but keep the other eye out for the streets," Stanton said. "There is a bad guy out there or bad people with this child. We want to get this child home safe and sound. That's the ultimate goal for everyone. Let's have a happy ending."

He thanked those who have assisted in the search. And he said the media will play a vital role.

"It is important that we use the media to help find Lisa," he said.


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