KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An attorney for baby Lisa’s parents said they are considered suspects in her disappearance. John Picerno, attorney for Jeremy Irwin and Deborah Bradley, admitted as much during a news conference held on Friday, the same day that marks Lisa’s first birthday.
Picerno refused to elaborate, saying only that police consider the parents suspects, “Debbie, in particular.”
But Picerno defended the family, shooting down accusations that the parents still aren’t cooperating with police.
“This bit about no cooperation is just fantasy,” he said.
Picerno insisted Lisa’s parents have cooperated with police from the first day she was reported missing on Oct. 4. He continued to lay out the dates and duration of interviews that Jeremy Irwin and Deborah Bradley gave to police.
According to Picerno, Jeremy and Deborah were interviewed separately by police, without an attorney, for a total of 19 hours on Oct. 4. Two days later on Oct. 6, police interviewed them again separately for a total of nine hours without an attorney. On Oct. 8, the parents were interview again for approximately three hours. It was during this third interview that, according to Picerno, things turned “nasty.”
During the third interview, attorney Sean O’Brien represented the parents.
“He told me about what went on in that interview, and he ended that third interview,” Picerno said. “He had had enough.”
For now, Picerno said police are being directed to pose questions to him or Joe Tacopina, not to Lisa’s parents.
“They can fax me, email Joe or myself any question they may have, and we’ll answer it,” Picerno said. “But what we’re not going to do is let our clients be subjected to interrogation techniques.”
When questioned about the parents’ refusal to talk to local media, Picerno bristled.
“I don’t know that there’s any duty on their part to talk to local media,” he said. “And I don’t see that as them being uncooperative.”
Picerno added that he thinks it just makes local reporters mad.
“We’re not here to make you guys happy,” Picerno said. “We’re here to help them find Lisa.”
Also during the news conference, Picerno said Lisa’s parents had nothing to do with the delay in police interviewing Lisa’s half-brothers. A scheduled interview with the children was hastily canceled a couple of weeks ago, not because of the parents, but because the interviewer wasn’t available, according to Picerno. The boys were finally interviewed Thursday night by a forensic interviewer flown in from Washington, D.C., by the FBI.
Picerno said the FBI told him the interviews yielded no new clues in finding Lisa.
Friday marks Lisa’s first birthday. Picerno asked that the media respect the family’s privacy.