Statistics suggest baby unlikely taken by stranger

October 8, 2011 - 12:10 PM
Missing Baby

Deborah Bradley, left, and Jeremy Irwin embrace while in the lobby of an Hampton Inn hotel in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Oct. 7, 2011. Bradley said in an interview Friday that she took a polygraph earlier this week after her baby, Lisa Irwin, disappeared from their Kansas City home. Bradley says police told her she failed the test. Lisa's father, Jeremy Irwin, said he has offered to take a lie detector test, but police said he did not have to. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Experts say there's a good chance a missing Kansas City baby is alive if a stranger kidnapped her.

But statistics suggest a bleaker outcome if parents are involved in such cases.

Dan Finkelhor of the Crimes Against Children Research Center says it's rare for strangers to kidnap infants. But when they do, it's often because they want a child of their own, not because they intend to hurt the child.

He says investigators often focus on close relatives when an infant goes missing, in part because statistics show that far more babies are killed by a parent than a stranger.

The parents of 10-month-old Lisa Irwin reported her missing Tuesday, saying she was snatched from her crib overnight. Her mother says police suggested she was involved, which she strongly denies.