Attorney for Lisa Irwin’s parents explains their cooperation situation with police

11/12/2011 7:07 PM

05/16/2014 5:51 PM

An attorney for the parents of missing baby Lisa Irwin said Friday that his clients will not sit down for separate interviews, as Kansas City police are requesting.

Speaking on the first birthday of the Northland girl, John Picerno said that Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin already have been “interviewed/interrogated” about their daughter’s Oct. 4 disappearance for more than 30 hours spread across five occasions.

“At this point there’s nothing more to be said,” said Picerno, who joined the case two weeks ago.

He said the idea that the parents have not been cooperative “is just fantasy.”

Bradley and Irwin have been interviewed separately twice without attorneys, he said.

The third time they were interviewed, with an attorney present, “it got nasty,” according to Picerno.

The attorney called off those interviews, he said.

“He had enough, and that’s enough for us,” Picerno said.

That attorney, Sean O’Brien, confirmed Friday that he had stopped those interviews because of the “accusatory” nature of police questioning.

“It was clear to me it was not going to produce any relevant information,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said that Bradley and Irwin consented to that interview even though previous interviews also had involved accusatory tactics.

“They still wanted to give information because they know the police are the best hope of finding their baby,” he said.

Picerno said he believes that police are “absolutely” focusing too much on the parents, and he said his clients have indicated that police are treating them like suspects.

“They told them as much, Debbie in particular,” he said.

But a Kansas City police spokeswoman on Friday disputed that anyone had been singled out as a suspect.

“We have no suspects in this case,” said Police Sgt. Stacey Graves.

Picerno said Friday that if police have questions they want answered, the questions can be relayed to him or co-counsel Joe Tacopina of New York, and they will get answers.

“What we’re not going to do is let our clients be subjected to interrogation techniques,” Picerno said.

Police conducted another search of a wooded area in the Northland on Friday, Graves said. The search near Vivion Road and Interstate 35 was not prompted by a specific tip but was part of the ongoing effort to expand the search area. It did not yield any new information, she said.

Also on Friday, Picerno spoke about Thursday night’s interviews that an expert conducted with Lisa’s two older half brothers. Picerno said an FBI agent told him the interviews “went well” but yielded “no new developments.”

Picerno said he won’t have access to videos of the interviews unless charges are filed.

The whole ordeal has been traumatic for the two boys, who are 8 and 5, Picerno said. He described meeting them for the first time.

“Are you going to help us find Lisa?” he said the older boy asked him.

And finding Lisa is the family’s primary focus, he said.

The team representing the family is conducting an independent investigation of Lisa’s disappearance, but Picerno declined to discuss specifics. He said anything the team uncovers will be relayed to police.

He asked that the media leave Lisa’s parents alone Friday, a difficult day because it marked Lisa’s first birthday.

Later Friday, Picerno, citing information from the FBI, provided details about calls involving family cellphones reported stolen on the night of Lisa’s disappearance.

Speaking on Fox News Channel’s “America Live With Megyn Kelly,” Picerno said that a call was placed from one of the family’s cellphones at 11:57 p.m. on Oct. 3. That call went to the phone of a Northland woman named Megan Wright.

Wright has said that someone else had her phone that night and that she does not know Bradley or Irwin.

The records also show that someone tried to access the voice mail and Internet browser on Bradley’s phone between 3:17 and 3:32 a.m. on Oct. 4, Picerno said. The activity took place one-fifth to one-third of a mile from the family’s home, he said.

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