“I think she’s with a family somewhere. I think she’s being loved,” Deborah Bradley said. “You don’t take a baby to hurt her. You just don’t. Human trafficking is real. I have always felt like she’s okay and that she’s going to come home.”
Bradley is the last person known to have seen the then-10-month-old before she was reported missing from her Kansas City home two years ago.
Now, an attorney for Lisa’s parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, has confirmed to CNN that they have made contact with Greek authorities about “Maria,” a mysterious young blonde-haired girl found living in a Roma settlement near Larissa in central Greece last Thursday.
The Roma couple the girl was living with has been charged with abduction and falsifying documents, but the girl’s true identity is unknown.
However, a spokesman for Greek children’s charity Smile of the Child told CNN medical tests indicate that “Maria” is between 5 and 6 years old. If she is alive, Lisa Irwin would be approaching her third birthday.
Around 4 a.m. on October 4, 2011, Jeremy Irwin returned home from work and found the front door of their house unlocked, one of the front windows damaged, and many lights left on. And Lisa was gone.
Deborah Bradley initially said she last checked on Lisa around 10:30 p.m. the night before, but she later admitted in media interviews that she had “drunk enough to be drunk” and did not remember seeing Lisa after 6:40 p.m.
Neighbors of Lisa’s parents reported seeing a man carrying a baby in a diaper around 12:15 a.m. on October 4. Another witness claimed to have seen a man carrying a baby a few miles away later that night.
Police interviewed those witnesses and many others in the course of the investigation.
In an affidavit for a search warrant, investigators stated that an FBI cadaver dog “hit” on an area of the floor of Bradley’s bedroom.
Bill Stanton, a private investigator who has worked with the family, claimed on HLN’s Nancy Grace that a false positive hit from the dog could have been triggered by something other than decomposition, like fecal matter.
Police would not confirm or deny to HLN that Bradley was given a polygraph test.
Lisa’s parents were interviewed for hours by police when the investigation began, but they later refused to meet with detectives separately and answer their questions.
“I’m okay with talking to them,” Bradley told WDAF. “I don’t have anything to hide. I’m not okay with answering the same questions repeatedly. You know, I had the same answer because it’s the truth.”
A Kansas City Police Department spokesman told HLN that Bradley has not sat down with investigators since the early stages of the investigation.
Lisa’s family held a vigil earlier this month to mark the two-year anniversary of her disappearance and to pray for her safe return. Dozens of supporters attended the event.
Kansas City police and the FBI have investigated more than 1,700 tips from around the world, but police told KMOV recently that incoming leads have slowed significantly.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has released an age-progressed image of what Lisa Irwin may look like today. A $100,000 reward is being offered in the case.
Anyone with information about Lisa Irwin’s disappearance is asked to call (816) 474-TIPS.