Michael Tabman

Baby Lisa: When a Case Goes Cold

In Crime and Security, Uncategorized on December 7, 2011 at 11:28 pm

The latest news about the Baby Lisa case is that the Kansas City Police Department has disbanded its command post. This was inevitable and in no way reflects a waning interest on the part of the police. But it does reflect a sad reality of life and police work – investigations grow cold and not every case can be solved.

Back in late 1990’s I was supervising a team of FBI Agents who were working in coordination with the local police on a high profile missing child investigation. While the child was not an infant, there were similarities to the Baby Lisa investigation. Family members were suspect, we were digging around both literally and figuratively, hundreds of interviews were conducted, hundreds of leads were tracked down and hot leads came in only to fizzle out. To this day, that child remains missing. I remember when we decided to disband the command post. Did this mean we gave up or just did not care anymore? No. That decision was a difficult one, but a necessary one.

There comes a point in every investigation when there are no more logical leads to pursue. The work of the police and the FBI in all their other responsibilities must resume.

One potential lead remains – the question of the mysterious cell phone call. The police can pursue that without a command post. It appears to be significant, yet this would not be the first time in this, or any investigation that the most suspicious activity is explained away. We will see.

The Kansas City Police will pursue any leads that come in. There is always the chance of a lucky break. While mom and dad remain estranged from the police, time passes and hope diminishes.


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