Cadaver dog has 'hit' inside baby Lisa's home
Court documents gives details of search; still no sign of missing 10-month-old Kansas City girl
Associated Press / 10/21/2011
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An FBI cadaver dog reacted to the scent of a dead person inside the Kansas City home where a baby girl disappeared nearly three weeks ago, and investigators discovered soil in the backyard that had been "recently disturbed or overturned," police said in a court document released Friday.
But the lawyer for the family questioned the significance of the report.
The affidavit, filed earlier this week in support of a search warrant targeting the family's home, also stated that the girl's mother, Deborah Bradley, "made the statement she did not initially look for her baby behind the house because she 'was afraid of what she might find.'"
Those details and others in the affidavit, publicly released Friday, led to a daylong search Wednesday of the family's home, where the parents say then-10-month-old Lisa Irwin must have been 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 have denied any role in the disappearance while insisting police have pointed the finger at them.
The affidavit stated that an FBI cadaver dog taken into the house Monday indicated a "positive 'hit' for the scent of a deceased human in an area of the floor of Bradley's bedroom near the bed."
The FBI dogs, which often are used at both disaster and crime scenes, are trained "specially to recognize the scent of decaying, decomposing human flesh," retired FBI special agent Jeff Lanza said Friday.
"That can be the scent of an actual body decomposing, or residual scents after the body is no longer there," Lanza said.
But Joe Tacopina, lawyer for the parents, told The Associated Press late Friday he considers the report meaningless. Tacopina noted that cadaver dogs are trained to detect decomposing flesh — and even if the baby had died, decomposition could not have happened so quickly.
READ: BABY LISA IRWIN, POLICE DOGS HIT ON CADAVER SCENT IN PARENT'S HOME...