KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The mother of a baby who she says was taken from her Kansas City home in the dead of night admitted Monday that she was drunk when the girl disappeared but maintained she did nothing to harm her child.
In a tearful interview on NBC’s “Today” show, Deborah Bradley said she believes she will be arrested in the disappearance of Lisa Irwin, who was 10 months old when she was reported missing in the early hours of Oct. 4.
Bradley said she had bought boxed wine and consumed “enough to be drunk” that night, but denied she did anything to hurt Lisa.
“No, no… I don’t think alcohol changes a person enough to do something like that,” she said.
The mother also changed a key point in her story: She initially told authorities she last checked on Lisa at 10:30 p.m., but she told NBC she actually last saw Lisa when she put her to bed at 6:40 p.m. She gave no explanation for the modified times.
On Sunday, military police from the Missouri National Guard joined FBI agents and officers from several police and sheriff’s departments from nearby communities in the search for Lisa in a large wooded area near the family’s home.
Bradley and Lisa’s father, Jeremy Irwin, have told authorities that he arrived home from a night shift to discover the front door unlocked, the house lights blazing, a window tampered with and the baby gone. Bradley and their two sons were asleep elsewhere in the home.
Authorities have already searched the family’s neighborhood, nearby wooded areas, a landfill and abandoned homes. Police have said they have no suspects or major leads.
Bradley said police accused her of killing Lisa and that she believes she will be arrested.
“I was the last one with her,” she said. “That’s kind of a fear that I have.”
She said is scared that her arrest would precipitate an end to the search for her missing baby.
“If they arrest me, people are going to stop looking for her and I’ll never know what happened,” Bradley said.
She also said her two sons, aged 6 and 8, say they heard noises the night Lisa disappeared, although she doesn’t know if they heard noises before they went to sleep or later in the night and she doesn’t want them to be involved in the investigation.
“I have not sat down and talked to them about it, specifically to not have to put them through anything else,” she said.
On Friday, a $100,000 reward was offered by an anonymous donor for the child’s safe return or information leading to a conviction of anyone involved in her disappearance.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)