Missing Baby Lisa: Police Search Nearby Abandoned Well

Lisa Irwins' mother expects to be charged, family member says.

ByABC News
October 11, 2011, 4:39 AM

Oct. 11, 2011— -- The search for missing 10-month-old Lisa Irwin entered its second week today with Kansas City police searching the well of an abandoned house near the girl's home for several hours before hitting another dead end.

More than a dozen investigators and firefighters crowded around an opening created in the old wooden deck to access the well. A yellow and red tripod was set up to lower firefighters into the well. But several hours later, the well had been drained and nothing was found.

This was the latest attempt to make progress in a case that has baffled investigators and left them grasping for new ideas.

"It's an abandoned house, there's a well under the deck. We're searching it because it's the right thing to do," Capt. Steve Young told ABCNews.com today as police and firefighters dismantled part of the house's deck in order to access the well.

Young said the abandoned house is few blocks from the Irwin home.

This search came a few hours after a family member said Lisa's mother, Deborah Bradley, is preparing to be charged in connection with her baby's disappearance. The family member, Ashley Irwin, said the family thinks Bradley's arrest is "inevitable."

Ashley Irwin, who is Lisa's aunt, said in an exclusive interivew with ABC News that she believes police are spending more time focusing on the family -- in particular Bradley -- than on finding viable suspects.

"It's what the police do," Ashley Irwin said. "They don't have any leads, so they just have to pin it on somebody."

Baby Lisa has not been seen since last Tuesday, when her father Jeremy Irwin said he returned to their Kansas, City, Mo., home from working an overnight shift as an electrician and found his daughter's crib empty, the front door to the house unlocked, a window open and the family's three cell phones gone.

Bradley says that she was the last to see the baby when she put her to bed.

When asked if she has any doubt that Bradley or her brother Jeremy Irwin had anything to do with baby Lisa's disappearance, Ashley Irwin confirmed that she thinks there is no way that they could be involved.

"Anybody who spends any time with them, you know it's not true. She's genuine. She loves that child. It's her baby … She would never anything to hurt her," Ashley Irwin said.

"She doesn't care what happens to her, she doesn't care what people say about her, she doesn't care what people think about her. All she cares about is getting Lisa home," said Ashley, the only person speaking publicly for the family.

Kansas City police have been suspicious of the parents' story since their initial questioning. Bradley said that police accused her of having done something to her child, and also accused her of failing a polygraph test.

The relationship between police and the parents soured last week when police said the couple had stopped cooperating, but by Saturday the parents were again meeting with investigators.

In a separate development, Clay County grand jury subpoenas have begun arriving at least four Kansas City network affiliate television stations who did interviewing in their coverage of the case. Investigators are demanding unedited "footage of any interviews… given by neighbors, family or friends of the family..."

Sources say that the police may want to compare the footage for inconsistent statements from witnesses or anyone else interviewed surrounding the baby's disappearance.

So far police have only hit dead ends in their investigations, but have said that in the week since Lisa disappeared over 250 tips have come in.

"We're chasing down the ones we can, but still unfortunately nothing has really come from them," said Young.

Neighbors have said that they have been questioned about a homeless man seen in the neighborhood roughly two weeks ago, according to The Associated Press.

Crime scene investigators searched an overgrown drainage ditch behind the family home on Monday.

Police have also staged a re-creation of a hypothetical kidnapping scenario with an intruder breaking in through the family's window.