The missing baby's parents' level of cooperation "is not what we believe it needs to be," says a police spokesman

By Jeff Truesdell
Updated October 20, 2011 02:15 PM
Credit: The Kansas City Star/AP (2)

A search warrant kept the parents of Baby Lisa Irwin – missing for 16 days – barred from their Kansas City home Wednesday as local police and the FBI spent nearly 17 hours inside and out looking for evidence to assist in their investigation.

Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, the parents of Baby Lisa (who was 10 months old when she was reported missing from her crib by the couple in the early morning hours of Oct. 4) have not sat down with detectives to answer questions since Oct. 8.

Their attorney, Joe Tacopina, says they have continued to be available to investigators to answer questions, but “their level of cooperation is not what we believe it needs to be,” says Kansas City Police spokesman Capt. Steve Young

Wednesday did not mark the first search of the house, but it was the first time authorities sought a judge’s order. “I would say it wasn’t required,” Young says of the warrant. “However, we felt that since they had retained an attorney, and to ensure that there’s no confusion over our legal right to be on the property, we obtained a search warrant.”

Did it represent any reluctance by the parents (who have been staying with a relative) to assist? “I’m not indicating or implying that at all,” he says.

In prior searches of the property, police who were filmed by local television, were seen attempting to enter through an open front window, trying to re-create the parents’ suggestion that it may have been the entry point for a kidnapper.

“Let them search all they want,” Bradley, 25, says in this week’s PEOPLE cover story. “But do not take the focus off finding my daughter.”

As of Thursday morning, police had cleared almost 700 tips, but still have 65 out-of-state to pursue.

They have yet to reveal anything about their findings. “If we do discover something from that search that would benefit the case by making it public,” says the police spokesman, “we’ll certainly talk about it.”