Mo. National Guard joins search for missing baby

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - October 16, 2011

About 25 members of the guard's 1139th Military Police Company based in nearby Harrisonville, FBI agents and officers from several police and sheriff's departments from nearby communities in Missouri and Kansas split up into several groups and scoured a large wooded area west of the family's home.

The baby, Lisa Irwin, was 10 months old when her parents reported her missing Oct. 4. Her parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, said she disappeared from her crib sometime overnight. Previous searches have included the family's neighborhood, nearby wooded areas, a landfill and abandoned homes. Police have said that so far there are no suspects or major leads.

Nearly 100 people were involved in the search Sunday, said Bridget Patton, a spokeswoman for the FBI, which has been assisting the Kansas City Police Department.

"We put a call out and got a huge response," Patton said.

Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the guard to help in the search for one day. Guard spokeswoman Rachel Knight said it was unclear if the guard would be involved after Sunday.

Knight said the guard members and the other law enforcement groups were going over a large wooded area that had been searched before to make sure nothing was missed. Several guard members dressed in camouflage and carrying long sticks could be seen heading off to a wooded section in mid-afternoon.

Knight said they would be scouring the area, searching "with additional manpower and fresh eyes to see if there's anything they missed [...] They're crawling through the area, going over it with a fine-toothed comb."

Kansas City police spokesman Steve Young said the extra help from law enforcement and the guard was appreciated.

"They volunteered their help, and we accepted," Young said. On Friday, a $100,000 reward was offered by an anonymous donor for the child's safe return or information leading to a conviction of anyone involved in her disappearance.

A group of about six area residents, who said they were "concerned citizens" but did not want to give their names, also walked around the family's neighborhood Sunday, saying they were looking for any information they could find about the baby's disappearance.

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