FBI getting tips about mystery girl in Gypsy camp
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) — The FBI is looking into whether a child found at a Gypsy camp in Greece is a missing U.S. girl, although the children’s ages don’t appear to match.
FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton said Tuesday that the 2-year-old disappearance of Lisa Irwin from her Kansas City home remains an open investigation and that agents follow up on all tips. Patton said the agency began receiving calls after the image of a girl found with a Gypsy couple appeared in media reports. A couple charged with abducting the girl has been put in custody, as an international search for the child’s biological parents intensifies.
A dental examination showed the mystery girl, known only as “Maria,” is older than previously thought, 5 or 6 years old instead of 4. Lisa Irwin would turn 3 in November.
John Picerno, an attorney for Lisa’s family, told Kansas City media outlets that he has spoken to authorities about the investigation in Greece. He didn’t immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press.
The girl’s parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, have said they believe someone kidnapped the girl from her crib when she was 10 months old. Jeremy Irwin said that when he returned home from a late shift on Oct. 4, 2011, the front door was open and the baby was missing.
Police and the FBI conducted extensive searches, even sifting through a Kansas landfill. No one has been charged. There is a $100,000 reward offered to anyone with information that will bring the child home.
Police and a private detective are still investigating, but authorities have said the tips and leads have slowed considerably, down to about one a week. During the first year, detectives worked more than 1,600 leads and countless baby sightings.
Bradley and Irwin have repeatedly said they did not harm Lisa and had nothing to do with her disappearance. Bradley has said she and Irwin think someone took Lisa and is raising the child as his or her own.