Document: Cadaver dog 'hit' at missing baby's home


Former Staff
Jan 2010
Document: Cadaver dog 'hit' at missing baby's home
By HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH, Associated Press – 5 hours ago

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An FBI cadaver dog reacted to the scent of a dead person inside the Kansas City home where a baby girl disappeared nearly three weeks ago, and investigators discovered soil in the backyard that had been "recently disturbed or overturned," police said in a court document released Friday.

The affidavit, filed earlier this week in support of a search warrant targeting the family's home, also stated that the girl's mother, Deborah Bradley, "made the statement she did not initially look for her baby behind the house because she 'was afraid of what she might find.'"

Those details and others in the affidavit, publicly released for the first time Friday, led to a daylong search Wednesday of the family's home, where the parents say then-10-month-old Lisa Irwin must have been snatched in the middle of the night as the mother and two other boys slept. Bradley and the baby's father, Jeremy Irwin, reported the girl missing on Oct. 4 and have denied any role in the disappearance while insisting police have pointed the finger at them.

The affidavit stated that an FBI cadaver dog taken into the house Monday indicated a "positive 'hit' for the scent of a deceased human in an area of the floor of Bradley's bedroom near the bed."

The FBI dogs, which often are used at both disaster and crime scenes, are trained "specially to recognize the scent of decaying, decomposing human flesh," retired FBI special agent Jeff Lanza said Friday.

"That can be the scent of an actual body decomposing, or residual scents after the body is no longer there," Lanza said.

Dr. Edward David, a deputy chief medical examiner for the state of Maine and co-author of the "Cadavar Dog Handbook," said that when a body is left in one spot for several hours, cells are left behind. They continue to decompose and create an odor, giving the dog scents to detect.

He said that while trained dogs may fail to detect the smell of human decomposition about 30 percent of the time, they generally don't alert when nothing is there. One exception is when human waste is present.

more: The Associated Press: Document: Cadaver dog 'hit' at missing baby's home

I've seen a few clips of the mom on news reports, crying her eyes out, looking genuinely grieved. Another headline somewhere said something like this is looking like it's heading the way of Casey Anthony .... and yes, that is what it's looking like. Very very sad.