Investigations into the disappearance of 11-month-old Lisa Irwin are entering their 46th day, and there still has not been any useful information about either the child or her location since she went missing from her home in Kansas City, Mo.
According to FBI data as of 2010, Kansas City is the ninth most dangerous city in the United States in terms of crime rates. Along the same line, U.S. News & World Report lists the city's crime risk index as being more than three times higher than the national average.
Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte, 48, was appointed to his current position only a little over a month ago.
According to a KMBC.com report, this past month has been, understandably, one of the most difficult in the newly appointed police chief's life. In addition to the disappearance of Lisa Irwin, his department has also had to deal with six homicides in one 12-hour period. What has made the month especially affecting for the police chief personally is that one of those six homicide victims was a childhood friend.
Forte is believed to have said that the incident only increased his determination to get a handle on the city's homicide rate.
I have an obligation for the entire city to make sure the entire city's safe. We want the criminals to know that you can't shoot somebody in Kansas City and walk up and down the street and think you're going to be OK, Forte said. He has responded to the homicides by overhauling response measures, including sending three times as many officers to each crime scene.
At a meeting with The Kansas City Star's editorial board, Forte said the police were not trying to vilify the family in the Lisa Irwin case.
The baby's parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, have been scrutinized, particularly by the public, for any possible involvement in the case. The interest in the parents' roles stems in part from the acquittal of Casey Anthony for the alleged murder of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in Florida and in part from the even more recent death of 1-year-old Tyler Dasher in Missouri.
Forte stressed that in the case of Lisa Irwin, the police have good reasons to not suspect the child's parents. With many unanswered questions in the matter, however, a lot of mystery surrounds the case. And, even as the investigations continue and new details emerge, the most important of those questions have yet to be answered.