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Video: Missing tot’s parents: ‘We’re still cooperating’

  1. Transcript of: Missing tot’s parents: ‘We’re still cooperating’

    LAUER: Peter Alexander , thank you. Lisa 's parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin , are with us now. Good morning to both of you.

    Ms.. BRADLEY: Good morning.

    Mr. IRWIN: Good morning.

    LAUER: You know, I have to say that unfortunately I have covered way too many of these cases over the years of missing children , abducted children , children who've gone missing for one reason or another and I have rarely seen the police come out and make a statement like the one they made yesterday, saying that the parents have stopped cooperating without having a reason to do so. So why do you think they've made this statement?

    Mr. IRWIN: We were at the station yesterday being interviewed again and I just had reached my -- I just had reached my boiling point and I asked them, I said, 'Guys, I can't do this anymore today. I need a break. I can't answer any more questions.' Then we asked to leave and then the next thing we knew we -- was the press conference yesterday evening, so it was completely caught us by surprise.

    LAUER: Well talk to -- the -- let's back up an hour -- let's back up an hour or so. What was the -- how would you describe the demeanor of the police prior to you saying you reached your breaking point or your boiling point? Was it an aggressive questioning? Was it -- was there cooperation prior to that point? How were they treating you? How were you responding to them?

    Mr. IRWIN: Yesterday, the gentleman that was interviewing me was very nice and once I expressed to him several times that I wanted to leave he went ahead and let me go. The other day was a little bit different story. But we just -- we just want to make sure that we tell everybody that we're, you know, we're still cooperating, we're still talking to the police. We're doing everything we can to try to find Lisa and bring her back home.

    LAUER: Debbie ...

    Ms. BRADLEY: Our number one focus is her...

    LAUER: And, Debbie , what was -- what was the...

    Ms. BRADLEY: ...above all else. No matter what, it's her.

    LAUER: And I understand that. What was your experience with the police? What kind of questions were they asking you and what was the level of aggressiveness of those questions?

    Ms. BRADLEY: They -- the same thing with Jeremy . They were -- they were really nice yesterday and -- but it wasn't like that the first time, and we understand that, we don't have any hard feelings. We're not -- we're not mad. We know that this is what they -- this is what they have to do, so we totally understand.

    LAUER: But you say this is what they have to do. Do you feel that in some ways by making this statement publicly, calling you out in some ways publicly, they are trying to pit one of you against the other?

    Ms. BRADLEY: Possibly.

    Mr. IRWIN: But it doesn't matter to us.

    Ms. BRADLEY: It doesn't -- it doesn't -- We don't -- we don't care -- we don't care what anybody says or thinks or, we don't care what they think. I mean, we -- our concern is to find -- is to find Lisa , to find our Lisa and bring her home because that's what we want and I don't care what we have to go through to get it.

    LAUER: Let me ask you a couple of other direct questions. Have both of you taken lie detector tests, polygraphs, as part of this investigation?

    Ms. BRADLEY: I have. I volunteered.

    Mr. IRWIN: I have not.

    LAUER: What were the results of that?

    Ms. BRADLEY: They said that I failed. And I continue to say that's not possible because I have -- I don't know where she's at. This -- I did not do this and if...

    LAUER: Did they say specifically what question you...

    Ms. BRADLEY: Some of the stuff they said was...

    LAUER: Did they say specifically what question you may have failed on?

    Ms. BRADLEY: I don't remember which one it was, but they just kept saying I failed, I failed and I said that's not possible, and, I mean, what do -- what do you say when someone tells you -- when someone tells you that and you know that you didn't do anything.

    LAUER: And, Jeremy , you have not taken a polygraph?

    Ms. BRADLEY: What could I say?

    Mr. IRWIN: No, I have not.

    LAUER: Have you been asked to? Would you be willing to?

    Mr. IRWIN: I have not been asked to. I'd be willing to do whatever it takes to bring my daughter Lisa home where she belongs. If that's what it takes, that's what -- that's what we can do. But, we're still looking for her.

    LAUER: Let me -- let me ask you each one blunt question. Jeremy , when you look at Debbie do you have any suspicions that there's anything that she's not telling you relating to the disappearance of Lisa ?

    Mr. IRWIN: None whatsoever. None whatsoever. We've been -- we've been asked that millions of times, and there's no doubt in my mind that she have anything -- there's no way. She couldn't have had anything at all.

    LAUER: And Debbie , the same question for you on Jeremy . Do you have any doubt in your mind that he hasn't told you something?

    Ms. BRADLEY: No. He's a -- he's a -- he's a good father. And he's a -- he's good to me and he loves her. And everybody loves her. But no, there's no way. We don't know, which is why we need everybody to continue to look for her and help us in any way that they can. Because she's -- we want her -- we want her home and we can't do this alone. We need everybody's help. And we appreciate everything that the police department has done. We appreciate everything that everybody has done. This is not -- we are not angry. We are not -- we just want our daughter home. That is the only thing that we care about. I don't -- I don't care what is said, that's all we want done. And we want to thank everybody who's helped us so far, and the FBI , the Kansas City Police Department , all the search and rescue, the Center for Missing Children . There's been some amazing people that have just come out of nowhere and put time in looking for her and...

    LAUER: Right.

    Ms. BRADLEY: ...we are -- we are extremely grateful. And we just ask that everybody please continue to look for her and pray for her safe return.

    LAUER: And I just want to say in closing that I know it's a difficult time, and as a parent I apologize for having to ask some of the questions that we asked. But as you know, that's part of a situation when a child goes missing and we hope the best for Lisa 's speedy return. Deborah and Jeremy , thank you very much .

    Ms. BRADLEY: Thank you for having us.

    Mr. IRWIN: Thank you.

TODAY staff and wire
updated 10/7/2011 12:53:02 PM ET 2011-10-07T16:53:02

Kansas City police took the unusual step Thursday of announcing that the parents of a missing 10-month-old girl are no longer cooperating with the investigation.

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Video: Missing tot’s parents: ‘We’re still cooperating’ (on this page)

The baby's parents, Jeremy Irwin and Deborah Bradley, responded on TODAY Friday.

“We were at the station yesterday being interviewed again, and I just had reached my boiling point and asked them, ‘Guys, I can’t do this anymore today, I need a break, (and) I can’t answer any more questions,’’’ Jeremy Irwin, 28, told Matt Lauer. “The next thing we knew was the press conference yesterday. We want to make sure that we tell everybody that we’re still cooperating, we’re still talking to police, (and) we’re still doing everything we can to try to find Lisa and bring her back home.’’

On Friday, the FBI confirmed to NBC affiliate KSHB that more than a dozen officers combed through the Deffenbaugh Industries Johnson County landfill, located about 23 miles from the Irwins' home, for a second time in connection with the case.

"They are just going out there making sure they are completely thorough," FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton said.

Deffenbaugh Industries spokesman Tom Coffman said authorities arrived at the landfill around noon and stayed for about two hours. He said investigators searched a 20- to 30-acre area.

Story: Police: Parents of missing baby no longer cooperating

Baby Lisa Irwin's parents say she was snatched from her crib sometime Monday night or early Tuesday. On Thursday night, Kansas City Police Department captain Steve Young announced at a press conference that Irwin and Bradley “decided to stop talking to detectives, and I don’t have to illustrate how that affects the investigation. That speaks for itself.’’ The police still say there are no suspects in the case.

“We don’t have any hard feelings,’’ Deborah Bradley told Lauer. “We’re not mad. We understand this is what they have to do. We’re not angry. We just want our daughter back.’’

Bradley, 25, also admitted on Friday that she had failed a voluntary lie-detector test that was administered by police.

“They said that I failed, and I continue to say that’s not possible because I don’t know where she’s at,’’ Bradley said. “I did not do this. I don’t remember which one (question) it was. They just kept saying I failed, I failed, and I said that’s not possible. What do you say when someone tells you that, and you know you didn’t do anything?’’

The couple told the Associated Press that police have treated them like suspects and that Bradley in particular has been preparing for the possibility of charges being filed against her.

The mother said detectives told her: "'You did it. You did it. And we have nothing.'"

"The main problem I think that we're facing is that everybody (else) has an alibi," Irwin told the AP. "I was at work. I've been cleared. All these other people we were worried about ... the FBI said they've been cleared. The only one you can't clear is the mother that's at home when it happens 'cause there's nobody else there."

Irwin has not taken a lie-detector test but said he would undergo one if necessary.

Video: Cops: Missing tot’s parents not cooperating (on this page)

“I’d be willing to do whatever it takes to bring my daughter Lisa home where she belongs, and if that’s what it takes, that’s what we can do,’’ Irwin said.

“We don’t care what anybody says or thinks, or what (police) think,’’ Bradley said. “Our concern is to find our Lisa and bring her home because that’s what we want. I don’t care what we have to go through to get it.’’

In a statement Thursday night, the parents insisted they've been cooperative.

“We saw the press conference at 7 o’clock and want the public to know that we have never stopped cooperating with the police,’’ said the family statement, delivered by Irwin's sister, Ashley. “We’ve been cooperative from day one, and we continue to assist the police with the investigation. The main goal has always been to find Lisa and bring her home. That remains the sole focus of the parents.’’

There is speculation that the police are trying to pit the parents against one another to determine if one of them had anything to do with their daughter’s disappearance, which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Both were asked by Lauer whether they had any suspicions that the other one may be involved in their daughter’s abduction.

“We’ve been asked that millions of times and there’s no doubt in my mind,’’ Irwin told TODAY. “There’s no way — she couldn’t have anything at all (to do with it).’’

“He’s a good father,’’ Bradley said of Jeremy, her fiancé. “He’s good to me, and he loves (Lisa). Everybody loves her. There’s no way. We don’t know, which is why we need everybody to continue to look for her and help us in any way that they can because we want her home, and we can’t do this alone. We need everybody’s help. ’’

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Investigators lifted manhole covers and searched the wooded area near the couple’s home again late Thursday for any sign of Lisa Irwin. Now, they have taken down the crime scene tape around the home and have shut down their nearby mobile command center.

Bradley thanked the FBI, Kansas City police, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for their efforts in the search for their daughter.

“We are extremely grateful,’’ she said. “We just ask that everybody please continue to look for her and pray for her safe return.’’

Authorities announced Thursday they were shutting down the command post about a mile from the family home. Police spokesman Darin Snapp sent out a news release saying authorities believed they had done everything they could "regarding geographic searches."

Authorities released few other details and reiterated they still have no suspects. Kansas City police spokesman Steve Young declined to elaborate on what would happen to the investigation without the parents' cooperation.

"Tonight, they decided to stop talking to detectives, and I don't have to illustrate how that affects the investigation. That speaks for itself," Young said.

Earlier in the day, Irwin and Bradley spoke to the media about frantically searching their home for any sign of their daughter after her father came home from work early and she wasn't in her crib. They said they found an open window, an unlocked front door and house lights blazing, and later discovered that their three cellphones were gone.

But Young said the parents' claim that whoever took their daughter also stole their cellphones hadn't produced any leads.

"They told us three cellphones were missing. It hasn't produced anything we can go forward with," Young said. "The investigation is directed and handled by hard information."

Kansas City police spokesman Steve Young said Thursday night that Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin have decided to stop talking to detectives. He didn't provide details, but he did say their failure to cooperate could hurt the investigation.

"They clearly don't want to participate," Young said.

Image: baby Lisa Irwin
Kansas City Police
A recent photo of missing baby Lisa Irwin.

Asked after the news conference what would happen to the investigation without the parents' cooperation, Young said he could not comment.

Of the 278 infant abductions nationwide in the past 28 years, only 12 of those children did not return home safely, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which is assisting the family with the case.

Parents and family members are often the main suspects in child abductions. Of the 800,000 children that are reported missing every year in the United States, an estimated 200,000 are abducted by family members and 58,000 by non-family members, usually with a sexual motive, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive

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