Mike Thompson told ABC News that he saw a man carrying a baby with nothing but a diaper on, October 4, but he didn’t make the connection between missing Lisa Irwin, and the baby and man he saw, until a week ago.
Mike was about three miles away from the area where missing Lisa Irwin lived on his motorcycle coming home from work, when he saw a man who was between 5’7″ to 5’8″ tall and between 30-40 years old, carrying a baby. He said it seemed unusual to him, because it was cold outside and the baby had nothing but a diaper on.
Some facts about John ‘Jersey’ Tanko-
He was a homeless drifter in the neighborhood who would often do odd jobs for cash. He is currently incarcerated on vehicle tampering charges. He is the former boyfriend of a woman named Megan Wright. They broke up about a week or two before Lisa went missing.
On October 3rd, Jersey was staying/working at a residence around the corner from the Irwin home while the owners were out of town. He was tending to their lawn.
In the video below, neighbor MH explains that Jersey was doing yard work that day at her next door neighbor’s house. She saw him at around 1pm when she left to run errands. When she returned from her errands at around 9:30pm, she noticed that the sprinklers in the yard next door were still on. At around 11pm, she noticed they had been turned off. She assumes Jersey turned them off, which means he was possibly in the Irwin neighborhood near the time frame Lisa disappeared.
Shortly after midnight the night/morning Lisa went missing, a married couple said they saw a man walking down the street with an infant. The married couple saw the man walk toward the yard of the house Jersey was staying at. The next morning after Lisa was reported missing, police took footprint casts in the muddy area created by the sprinklers.
Here is a video of the wife explaining to CNN’s Jim Spellman what her and her husband saw that night. She said the man was wearing dark pants and light t-shirt. She also said her husband saw the man and he was outside. She said it looked like he was going to go into one of the houses, but they did not see him enter a house.
Starting at 6:15 in this video, CNN reporter Jim Spellman travels through the area where the man was seen walking.
At 7:50 in that video, Jim points out a dumpster in the Townhouse parking lot that can almost be seen from the backyard. That dumpster was set on fire at approx 2:30am the night Lisa went missing. On September 16th, 2011, Megan Wright’s car was set on fire in a different area of the same parking lot.
This is what Kansas City Police have said about Jersey:
Kansas City police say they have interviewed Tanko about Lisa’s disappearance but said they have “moved on” from him. They have not cleared him or anyone as a suspect in the disappearance of the baby in case new evidence warrants a review.
There have been other reports about people seeing a man with a baby on their street that night. A couple that lives a few houses away and a female witness who says she has been interviewed by police four times about what she saw. She was so bothered by what she saw that day, she reported it to the police. Check out the video below: