New York lawyer Joe Tacopina announced Tuesday that a Kansas City lawyer, John Picerno, would be added to the team of attorneys assisting missing baby Lisa Irwin's parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin. Cyndy Short, the previous local counsel, was asked to leave the investiagtion late last week.
Tacopina and I were not able to work as a team, Short said at a news conference Monday, ABC News reported. Our goals and our approaches are so different that one of us had to go.
Despite professional differences with high-profile attorney Tacopina, Short maintains that baby Lisa Irwin was stolen from her home.
I know that Deborah and Jeremy are a loving couple, she told ABC News. Everything I've seen about the way they treat their children and the loving home they've created tell me that they are caring parents.
My team is very saddened that we are no longer serving the family as we did in the last 10 days, Short continued. However, we still care very much about them and will continue to be available to them, even if we are not allowed to see them or talk to them.
While Tacopina and Short did not announce why she was asked to leave, it is believed that the two had differences of opinion on how to deal with the media and the public.
After hearing there was a press conference and listening to Mrs. Short's statement, we are further convinced that we made the correct decision, parents Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin wrote in a statement e-mailed to ABCNews.com. One of the reasons we relieved Mrs. Short was because she was holding her own press conferences, making statements to the media, and giving tours of the home that we were finding out about after the fact.
Tacopina said in a written statement that he hopes the focus can return to the investigation of the disappearance of baby Lisa Irwin.
Consistent with the new developments in the case, many questions remain unanswered. It is unclear how a modest American family could afford a high-profile New York lawyer like Joe Tacopina as well as the New York private investigator, Bill Stanton, hired to help find 11-month-old Lisa. An unnamed wealthy benefactor claims to be paying for Stanton's fees and has also offered a $100,000 reward for the return of Lisa or the conviction of those involved in her disappearance. It is unclear who is paying Tacopina's fees.
I think the whole case has been a media circus since the beginning, said Jeff Lanza, a retired Kansas City FBI agent who is now a security and communications consultant, Reuters reported. It's distracted from the investigation.
Lisa's family is also shrouded in mystery. Her parents, Bradley and Irwin, have denied interviews with local reporters, favoring national networks offering primetime interviews.
Local reporters are complaining bitterly about it, said Michael Mahoney, a veteran reporter with KMBC-TV in Kansas City. They think the family has opted to take this story nationally when local reporters believe they have the best chance of finding this infant by getting the word out.
Lisa's mother has also changed her story numerous times, furthering suspicions about her possible involvement in Lisa's disappearance. The mother first claimed that she put Lisa to bed at 10:30 p.m. later changing her story saying she actually put her daughter to sleep at 6:30 p.m. Bradley also revealed on national television that she had been drinking wine the night of Lisa's mysterious disappearance and she believes she drank enough to be blackout drunk.
Bradley and Irwin have also been called uncooperative by police. It is unclear whether the parents are currently doing the best they can to answer tough questions authorities need answered. The couple has refused to be interviewed separately since Oct. 8.
While Bradley and Irwin claimed they would allow their sons, 8 and 5, to be interviewed by child specialists and swabbed for DNA last week, the interviews were canceled. It has not yet been revealed whether the interviews and DNA swabs will be rescheduled. Baby Lisa's half-brothers were in the Bradley-Irwin home the night of her disappearance and they claim to have heard noises in the middle of the night.
During a search of the Bradley-Irwin home, a FBI cadaver dog picked up the scent of a dead body in Bradley and Irwin's bedroom. It is unclear whether this hit has been further investigated by police.
Despite the endless questions, Bradley and Irwin continue to maintain that baby Lisa was kidnapped from her crib late Oct. 3. Bradley was supposedly sleeping with her two sons and Irwin returned home from work at 4 a.m. when he discovered his 11-month old baby missing.
Police have investigated nearly 1,000 tips, but have no major suspects or leads.