Cadaver Dog Picks Up Dead Body Scent in the Family Home

Cadaver Dog Picks Up Dead Body Scent in the Family Home

21 October 2011
People Magazine
Jeff Truesdell

A cadaver dog searching the home of missing baby Lisa Irwin – who disappeared 17 days ago – has picked up the scent of a dead body in her parents' bedroom, according to a newly released document in the case.

"On October 17, 2011, an FBI cadaver dog was brought into the residence upon consent of [parents Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin]," states a request for a search warrant that police carried out at the Kansas City home two days later. "The cadaver dog indicated a positive 'hit' for the scent of a deceased human in an area of the floor of Bradley's bedroom near the bed."

The cadaver dog's reaction led to the search warrant, and police and FBI spent nearly 17 hours at the home on Wednesday. Authorities also received a judge's permission to search "a garden area with portions of dirt having an appearance of being recently disturbed or overturned."

A subsequent document reveals that the following items were seized from the home: a multi-color comforter, blanket, purple shorts, multi-color Disney character shirt, Glow worm toy (which Lisa's parents told PEOPLE was in the crib with her the night she went missing), rolls of tape and a tape dispenser.

Bradley, 25, has said she put Lisa down at about 6:40 p.m., briefly checking on her soon after, but says she does not recall whether she checked on her baby again before going to bed around 10:30 p.m. She says she went to sleep after a night of drinking wine at home with a neighbor.

The engaged couple's two boys, 5 and 8, were also in the house at the time. When Irwin, 29, returned around 3:45 a.m. from a late work shift, he says the front door was unlocked, lights were on, a window was open and their daughter was missing.

A 911 call placed at 4 a.m. by Irwin summoned police. Bradley later said, according to the warrant, that she did not immediately go looking for her baby behind the house because she "was afraid of what she might find."

In an interview with PEOPLE, Bradley and Irwin maintain they have no involvement in Lisa's disappearance. They cling to the idea that an intruder may have entered through an open front window of their tidy, one-story home in a comfortable working-class neighborhood of north Kansas City and kidnapped Lisa. But they also say that police have aggressively questioned and accused them, suggesting either an accident or Bradley killed her daughter.

"There have been 585 tips/leads investigated as of [Tuesday]," states the warrant document, "and none have revealed the whereabouts or deposition of the baby."

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