KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This weekend marks the fourth anniversary of the disappearance of Lisa Irwin, a 10-month-old girl who has come to be known as “Baby Lisa.”
Although the national attention that once shined on this case has died down, Baby Lisa's family is still working to find their daughter and bring her home.
“You just kind of get used to living this lie… like this alternate, weird life type of thing,” said dad Jeremy Irwin.
Irwin and Baby Lisa’s mom, Deborah Bradley, have been living in what they call an alternative type of life for four years now, ever since their daughter disappeared from her crib in the middle of the night.
"We say this every time, but hopefully this is the last time that we have to do this style of media interviews and whatnot, and next time we will be talking to Lisa," Irwin said.
On October 3, 2011, Irwin left for his night job and Bradley stayed home, drinking wine with a friend. She says she put Lisa to bed at 6:40 p.m., then got so drunk she doesn't remember much else. When Irwin got home around 4 the next morning, Bradley was in bed, the front door unlocked and Baby Lisa was gone.
Bradley, the first focus of the investigation, has always maintained she had nothing to do with her daughter's disappearance.
"They have to focus at home at first, they do. Unfortunately, we live in a world where parents do, have been on TV, you have seen things like that. So it’s normal, it's part of the process of elimination, so I understand," she told FOX 4 on Friday.
“She’s working actively with them whenever they call her, or she’ll call them and talk. I think they are treating [this] at this time as a missing persons case,” attorney John Picerno said.
Stories of other missing children found, like the girls in Cleveland missing for at least 10 years, give the family hope.
"I think that she is still somewhere here in the Midwest. I don't really know why, but I feel like she is not that far," Irwin said.
"But I wonder when our nightmare is going to be over, when our daughter is going to come home, when we can have that moment with her," Bradley said.
There have been moments in the last four years, when Baby Lisa's parents have thought they might have that moment, like in 2013 when a girl was found in a gypsy colony in Greece, and recently when Baby Lisa's family got a tip about another girl, the family says, found in Norway. Both were determined not to be Baby Lisa.
"It's good people are getting home where they belong. Hopefully next time it can be Lisa," Irwin said.
The Center for Missing and Exploited Children would not comment on this story. Police say they have investigated thousands of tips in this case and it remains an active, open investigation.