Kansas City police seek information after Lisa Irwin vanished - KCTV5 News

Kansas City police seek information 2 years after Lisa Irwin vanished

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Age progression photo of Lisa Irwin Age progression photo of Lisa Irwin
© Lisa Irwin Footprints In The Sand © Lisa Irwin Footprints In The Sand

Just two days before the anniversary of her disappearance, an updated photo of missing Lisa Irwin was released Tuesday night.

She was just 10 months old on Oct. 3, 2011, when she was last seen inside her family home. She was known as baby Lisa Irwin, but her first and second birthdays have come and gone, and she is now a missing toddler.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children released the age-progression photo Tuesday night. The center worked with Lisa's parents, Debbie Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, and others to develop the photo. Forensic experts use photos of the parents, siblings and software to develop the best possible photo.

The center only updates the photos every two years. As a result, the photo is intended to depict Lisa as a preschooler rather than a toddler, so it will last until she is 5 years old.

Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office Lt. Kelli Bailiff, who works with the national missing children's organization, said people need to focus on how Lisa would look now and not the image of her frozen from 2011 as a baby.

"Mentally we need to be looking for an older child now," she said. "The national center does this work all the time in order to get that reality out to the public."

The photo and updates about the photo were posted on a Facebook page affiliated with the Bradley-Irwin family.

The couple declined to speak with reporters who were outside their home Wednesday afternoon. They apologized, but said they have retained a new public relations person who advised them not to speak publicly until a prayer vigil is held Saturday.

"Thank you for coming by ... We look forward to seeing you at the vigil," Bradley told reporters and photographers. She added that she believes the photo will help bring her daughter home and that she always knew she had a red tint to her hair.

The candlelight vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday outside the family's home on North Lister Avenue. Those attending are asked to wear yellow, pink or white.

An online prayer vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, which is the anniversary of when she was last seen.

John Picerno, an attorney for Lisa's parents, said they are "very pleased" with the photo.

"The investigation continues, and even though the leads have slowed, we have not given up hope!" he said in an email to KCTV5.

The couple plans to replace existing fliers throughout the area with the 2011 photos of Lisa with hundreds of updated fliers.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas City Police Department said the case is still considered active. Police have investigated more than 1,770 tips, including infant sightings across the world.

"Police continue to seek tips in the case and ask anyone with substantial information in Lisa's disappearance to come forward by calling the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS," according to a news release issued Wednesday afternoon. "Because the Lisa Irwin disappearance remains an active, open investigation, Kansas City police will not grant any further interviews."

The family has maintained that a stranger abducted Lisa from her crib and that she will come home someday. Others have pointed suspicion at Bradley, who faced tough questions from police. Police have long maintained that Bradley can only answer their questions, while she maintains she had nothing to do with her daughter's disappearance.

Bradley said she put her ill daughter to sleep about 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3, 2011. The couple maintains that an intruder snatched baby Lisa from her crib and three telephones while Bradley was passed out drunk in her bedroom. Irwin was in the Midtown area working on a job. He discovered his daughter missing when he came home from work.

While declining interviews with most Kansas City media outlets this week, Bradley did an interview with the Kansas City Star.

"I cannot force the people who know where Lisa is and who might have her into telling us. I have no control over that," Bradley told the newspaper. "You do what you can for your baby, because it is your job as a parent to protect your child, and I wasn't able to protect her from the bad guys."

Bradley said she and Irwin think someone took Lisa and is raising the child as his or her own.

"When she comes home and [with] all of the hateful things that certain people have said, they have to answer to their maker for judgment," she said. "I will have my daughter back, and I will be vindicated, and those people that spent all of that time judging me will be miserable, but we won't."

"We will be happy again," Bradley said.

Click here to see the Find Lisa Irwin website created by the family.

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