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Baby Lisa's mother says she was 'drunk' when child vanished

October 17, 2011 |  5:36 pm

Baby_Lisa
Another day, another twist in the troubling case of Baby Lisa. Make that several twists.

The child's disappearance earlier this month mobilized Kansas City, Mo., law enforcement, and the ensuing investigation has riveted the country. The new details come courtesy of the child's mother, Deborah Bradley, who had been keeping out of the media spotlight in recent days but emerged to drop several bombshells.

For starters, Bradley acknowledges she was drunk -- possibly passed out -- the night her child vanished. She also has altered key elements of the story she previously told police and the media.

The mother, who maintains that she had nothing to do with her daughter's disappearance, said she knows she will be judged for her actions on that night. But she asked people to set that criticism aside until her daughter is found.

Meanwhile, prominent New York defense attorney Joe Tacopina announced that he's now representing  Bradley and the child's father, Jeremy Irwin. "I stand here to ferociously accept their presumption of innocence," he said at a news conference Monday, according to ABC News. Tacopina previously represented late pop icon Michael Jackson in his molestation trial, among other clients. 

The 10-month-old Kansas City girl vanished Oct. 4. Her mother had told authorities she tucked the child in about 10:30 p.m. and went to bed. The child's father, Jeremy Irwin, returned home around 3:30 a.m. after a night shift and discovered that the child was missing.

What follows are some of the newest developments, many of which were explored by Fox host Megyn Kelly of "America Live." You can watch the Kelly interview here and here.

-- The mother said she could not recall precisely how much she had to drink the night her daughter disappeared; she likely had more than five glasses of wine, she said, but not as many as 10. She said she might have blacked out. 

-- Bradley said she actually put the child to sleep about 6:40 p.m. -- four hours earlier than she originally stated. She said that she could not recall checking on the child again that night but that she might have done so. "Most of the time, I check on her," she said, adding that she knows for certain that she checked on her two sons, ages 6 and 8. "I'm assuming I went and checked on her too." 

-- She said she spent the evening drinking wine with a neighbor. "I don't see the problem with me having my grown-up time," she said. She then ticked off the chores and duties she performs around the house, including cleaning, cooking and kissing "boo boos."  "There's nothing wrong with me doing what I want to do after dark," she said.

-- Bradley originally said that she does not believe that whoever took the child entered through a side window. Now, she says, she believes that the culprit did indeed enter the home in that way.

-- She told NBC that her sons say they heard noises the night Lisa disappeared but that she does not want them to be interviewed by law enforcement. “I have not sat down and talked to them about it, specifically to not have to put them through anything else,” she said.

During much of the interview with Kelly, the child's father sat stone-faced. He said, "I really don't have much of a reaction" to how his wife spent that evening.  "It doesn't change" the fact that someone kidnapped his child, he said.

The couple pleaded once more for her safe return. "There's a bad guy out there with my baby right now," Bradley said.

Law enforcement officers have aggressively searched the home and nearby wooded areas, and so far have not turned up any evidence that points to a suspect. Members of the Missouri National Guard have been assigned to join FBI agents and officers from several police and sheriff's departments across the state in the search for the infant.

An anonymous $100,000 reward has been posted for the child's safe return or for information leading to a conviction in her disappearance.

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--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: File photo of the missing child. Credit: Associated Press

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