Baby Lisa’s Parents: Fraudulent Debit Card Charge Not Fully Investigated
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nearly eight months after baby Lisa went missing, her mother told NBC’s Today Show she’s frustrated with the Kansas City Missouri Police Department.
Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin appeared on NBC’s talk show Monday morning, unveiling new information about a fraudulent transaction on Irwin’s debit card they think could help find their daughter — but Bradley said police haven’t investigated it seriously.
“We understand that the FBI and the KCPD has a job to do, but we need answers,” Bradley said. “We need Lisa. And it’s unacceptable — the answer to us, ‘We are looking at it,’ is unacceptable.”
Irwin said on Nov. 6, 2011, just over a month after his daughter disappeared, a charge for $69.04 was made to his debit card that he wasn’t responsible for. The charge was made to a British website that advertised name-changing services. According to the Today Show, the website now directs users to a stationary website — something Irwin and attorney Joe Tacopina can’t explain.
“It used to go to the name-changing website,” Irwin said. “There’s something weird going on there where it doesn’t go directly there anymore, so there’s some kind of weird Internet thing going on.”
Tacopina said back in November he and his investigators captured the page advertising the name changing service and turned it over to the FBI.
“The cache, the page that we caught in November, when looking at this, when we found the credit card company, was a website that actually advertised ‘change your child’s name.’ I saw that myself,” Tacopina said. “Our investigators have seen it, we’ve turned it over to the FBI.”
Two other transactions were attempted on Irwin’s card, but were denied. As for the transaction that went through, Tacopina said it could be just another coincidence – or it could lead to answers. But Bradley said police aren’t doing enough.
“It’s been too long, and with this development they’ve had for a long time, and we still haven’t heard anything,” she said.
According to the Today Show, Kansas City police said the information provided by Irwin and Bradley is being investigated, but that it doesn’t appear to be a promising lead or anything more than a routine case of a stolen debit card.
Tacopina said Bradley and Irwin remain in frequent contact with the FBI, hoping for a break in the case.
“I know the FBI is in constant contact with Deb and Jeremy — and without counsel intervening because this is not about a defense of them. This is about them finding answers, about them finding their baby,” said Tacopina.
Tacopina also claimed the Kansas City Police Department “pigeon-holed” Lisa’s parents.
“It’s right to start with them as suspects, but they alleviated other potential avenues of evidence, and they’ve missed massive opportunities, including three witnesses who identified a man holding a baby that matched ‘Jersey Joe’s description after midnight with just a diaper on,” he said.
John Tanko, also known as “Jersey” was a handyman police questioned after a phone call from one of the missing Irwin-Bradley phones led to Megan Wright — Jersey’s girlfriend. Back in November, Kansas City Police Captain Steve Young said Jersey cooperated with the police and they moved on with their investigation.
Lisa was reported missing in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Oct. 4. Irwin returned home from work around 3:45 a.m. and found his front door unlocked, lights on and Lisa’s crib empty. Bradley admitted to having several drinks that night and cannot remember the exact time she last checked on her daughter.
Police continue to investigate Lisa’s disappearance and ask anything with information to call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474.TIPS.