Kansas City, Mo. Lisa Irwin’s first birthday, less than a week away, will be “the oh-my-God moment” for the missing baby’s Kansas City family, her grandfather said.
Lisa, whose parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, reported her missing a month ago, turns 1 on Nov. 11. Bradley’s father, David Netz Jr., told The Kansas City Star that the date will be a wrenching milestone for the family.
“That’s gonna be the oh-my-God moment,” said the 48-year-old Netz, weeping. “I can’t even imagine what that day will be like. What will we do? How will we get through that? I don’t even know how to ask Debbie and Jeremy what we should do or how to help them through that.”
Bradley and Irwin reported Lisa missing from their Kansas City home on Oct. 4. The parents have said they believe the girl, who was then 10 months old, was snatched from her crib while other family members slept. Police have conducted several searches and cleared about 1,000 leads, but say they have no suspects in the child’s disappearance.
The case has drawn heavy media attention, which Netz said has been very difficult.
“People are judging whether Debbie’s crying enough, or if she’s crying too much, or if her lip curls up in some body language secret, or if Jeremy doesn’t show enough emotion,” Netz told the newspaper.
He said having the media camp out at the homes of family members has also been troubling.
“My God, Debbie and Jeremy can’t even relax and smoke on the back porch without seeing hidden cameras popping out of brush. It’s horrible,” Netz said.
Attorneys for the family will no longer allow reporters to interview Bradley and Irwin.
Netz doesn’t believe that his daughter, Bradley, would have tried to hide an accidental or negligent death of the baby.
“No, she didn’t do this. She’s not hiding anything. She’s told the whole world about her drinking,” he said. Bradley has said she was drunk the night before the child was reported missing.
“If they knew how Debbie prayed and prayed for a baby girl ever since her mother died because she wanted to name her Lisa,” Netz said, “then they would know there is no way she could do anything to the baby, or God forbid, if something horrible happened, she wouldn’t be able to keep that secret.”
He said his granddaughter, Lisa, is out there somewhere.
“They can take her away, but they can’t take away her memory. . She is so special to us,” he said.