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FBI dog sniffs scent of dead body at baby Lisa Irwin's home

By Joan Firstenberg     Oct 22, 2011 in Crime
Kansas City - An FBI cadaver dog reacted to the scent of a dead person while searching the inside of the Kansas City home where baby Lisa Irwin lived with her parents. She was reported missing on October 4.
An affidavit, filed earlier this week to support a search warrant of the family's home also reveals that investigators located soil in the backyard of the house that had been "recently disturbed or overturned." The Salt Lake Tribune also reports that the child's mother, Deborah Bradley, made a statement to police that she
"did not initially look for her baby behind the house because she ‘was afraid of what she might find.’”
The affidavit, which was publicly released for the first time on Friday, led to a day long search Wednesday of the family’s home. The child's parents have stated that 10-month-old Lisa Irwin was snatched in the middle of the night as the mother and two other boys slept. Bradley and the baby’s father, Jeremy Irwin, reported the girl missing on Oct. 4 and deny they played any role in the baby's disappearance, yet they insist that police are pointing a finger at them.
The affidavit indicates that the FBI cadaver dog taken into the house indicated a
“positive ‘hit’ for the scent of a deceased human in an area of the floor of Bradley’s bedroom near the bed.”
Retired FBI special agent Jeff Lanza, says about these dogs,
"They are often used at both disaster and crime scenes and are specifically trained to recognize the scent of decaying, decomposing human flesh. That can be the scent of an actual body decomposing, or residual scents after the body is no longer there."
The court document also indicated police felt they needed to use handheld digging tools after an investigator noticed that the dirt in a garden area behind the home appeared to have been “recently disturbed or overturned.” Police also recovered several items from the home: a comforter and blanket, some baby clothes and children's toys, rolls of tape and a tape dispenser.
The New York Daily News reports that information has now surfaced about neighbors who saw suspicious activity in the same neighborhood on the cold early morning when the baby vanished.
Three people told ABC's "Good Morning America" they saw a man walking in the neighborhood, carrying a child wearing only a diaper.
One of them, Mike Thompson, said that he was riding home on his motorcycle about 4 a.m. when he saw a man, dressed only in a T-shirt, holding a baby as he walked on a block near where Lisa's parents live. Thompson also said the baby was wearing only diapers, and that in retrospect he believes the child resembled Lisa. He says,
"It was 45 degrees...baby don't have a coat or nothing, and this guy is walking down the street ... I thought it was kind of weird."
The other two witnesses, a couple who live down the street from the baby's home, reported they saw a similar sight a few hours earlier. They said,
"It was shocking because I couldn't imagine anyone walking with their baby in the cold like that with no clothes on."
But strangely enough, Thompson said on TV that he waited about a week to tell cops what he had seen because he didn't immediately make the possible connection between what he had seen and Lisa's disappearance.
The family’s lawyer, Cynthia Short, released a statement before the affadavit was made public, reasserting that the parents had no role in the baby's disappearance and she disputed claims that the parents aren’t cooperating with police. The statement said,
“They have taken all calls from detectives, and answered questions posed again and again. In the initial hours of the investigation, they tolerated accusations, volunteered to take polygraph examinations; continued to work with detectives even after the interviews turned into pointed accusations.”
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