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Melissa A. Featherston

Gag order agreed to in baby Lisa's half-brother's custody case

While the search for missing Missouri infant Lisa Irwin continues, child custody issues involving her half-brother--whose father is also the father of the missing child--are making their way into the headlines. Those involved in the case planned to agree to a gag order in order to keep details of the case out of the media. However, some of the contentious parts of the issue have already spilled out.

The case of the missing baby has garnered national attention since her disappearance a few months ago. Despite the crush of national attention, police have few leads and there has been no sign of the child. While the intense focus of the media on the case has weakened somewhat, the case remains unresolved and any chance of things returning to normal seems distant.

Enter into all of that a child custody battle. The missing baby's father has an eight-year-old son from a previous relationship. The boy's mother is now seeking custody of the boy, who lives with Baby Lisa's parents. Representatives for the father say the boy's mother has not paid child support and has not made an effort to see the child in years. For her part, the boy's mother says she filed her emergency motions for custody and visitation because she was worried about her son's environment.

Representatives for the boy's father say they agreed to the gag order to shield the boy from further media scrutiny. His mother was not at a hearing on the case, and so it was not clear if she had agreed to also limit her future public comments on the custody battle.

Source: NBC Action News, "Gag order likely in Baby Lisa family feud as Jeremy Irwin's attorney agrees," Russ Ptacek, Dec. 7, 2011

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