Attorney: Missing Missouri girl's family is 'stumped'

Man near 'Baby Lisa' home on video
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Story highlights

  • Lisa Irwin's family has been "an open book," attorney says
  • Attorney Cyndy Short says Lisa was a wanted and loved child
  • She hopes the investigation is moving outside the girl's family
An attorney representing the family of a missing Missouri 11-month-old said the girl's parents are "stumped" as to what happened to her, but are "an open book" for investigators.
A prayer vigil held for Lisa Irwin on Sunday was important to parents Jeremy Irwin and Deborah Bradley, as it showed them others in the community support them, attorney Cyndy Short told CNN Monday.
"They're on a journey that no one has a road map for," she said of the couple.
Lisa was reported missing at 4 a.m. October 4, after Jeremy Irwin arrived home from work to find the door unlocked, the lights on and a window that had been tampered with. Bradley said she last saw Lisa at 6:40 p.m. the night before.
Bradley said in an NBC interview last week that she was drunk the night Lisa disappeared and that she had last seen the baby about four hours earlier than initially reported.
Bradley, Short said, is "a young mother. She's 25 years old. She's, like all of us, making her way through life."
The couple's oldest son is Jeremy Irwin's, and their middle son is Bradley's son, Short said. "Lisa was the little girl that was going to hold this family together." She was wanted, looked forward to and "well-loved," Short said.
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Family, neighbors hold 'Baby Lisa' vigil
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Asked about Bradley's admission that she was drinking the night Lisa vanished, Short said she did what a lot of parents do when their children are in bed -- shared some drinks with a friend. "It's just not that unusual until your life gets turned upside down," she said.
Authorities had expressed frustration early in the investigation after Lisa's parents had stopped cooperating with investigators, police Capt. Steve Young had said. However, a family spokeswoman attributed the frustration to "miscommunication," and meetings with the toddler's parents resumed shortly afterward.
The couple has "cooperated in every way they can possibly cooperate" with investigators, Short said. Bradley has spent about 40 hours total talking with authorities, she said, and the family has signed consent forms, provided physical evidence and allowed their sons to be interviewed. "They've been an open book."
Bradley, she said, is "very open and she's been very honest. There are many things about our lives that we would prefer to keep to ourselves, and she's done the opposite."
Young told CNN Tuesday that police investigators plan on interviewing the parents separately. Young said he did not dispute reports that the family had cooperated and answered questions, but the police department detectives still had unanswered questions.
A cadaver dog searching the family's Kansas City home indicated a positive "hit" for the scent of a body, according to documents released Friday.
On that information, Short said that law enforcement typically begins such investigations inside the home, then if warranted the probe moves outside the family. "We don't know exactly what happened here, so we need to keep broadening the investigation," she said, adding she is hopeful that the investigation is going in that direction.
Between 30 and 50 investigators, including police and FBI personnel, were involved in the search as of Tuesday, the Kansas City Police Department said. Some 900 tips had been received by investigators, the department said.
Surveillance video surfaced over the weekend from a BP gas station less than two miles from the family's home, showing an unidentified person walking along the road about 2:15 a.m. October 4. The station's manager, Anuj Arora, said it's unusual to see anyone walking at that time of night in the area.
On what Lisa's parents believe happened to their daughter, Short said, "They don't know. I mean, someone came into their home in the middle of the night and took their beloved child away from them ... They are stumped." She said the couple has provided a wealth of information to police, including the names of people who have had access to their home.
Lisa's parents want people to continue looking for the child, she said. "We are praying and hoping. Hope is alive for us."