DALLAS, Texas (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) — Self-proclaimed Dallas, Texas psychic detective Stephanie Almaguer, who has recently been the center of controversy in the case of missing Missouri baby Lisa Irwin, said she wanted to set the record straight after two online radio show hosts accused her of not being credible, inserting herself into missing person’s cases, and stealing visions in missing 5-year-old HaLeigh Cummings’ case.
In Baby Lisa’s case Stephanie had visions the then 10-month-old baby accidently drowned in her home and was later taken to a location near a river and tower. Baby Lisa’s parents, Deborah Bradley, 25, and Jeremy Irwin, 30, claim their baby was abducted from her crib sometime between 6:40 p.m. Oct. 3 and 3:45 a.m. Oct. 4.
For coverage on Baby Lisa’s case read: Continuous news coverage in Baby Lisa Irwin case.
Stephanie shared her visions in drawings and writings on her blog. Levi said that after finding her drawings, a group of local volunteers planned to search an area that matched a description of a location Stephanie shared on her blog.
She and others, including some locals in Kansas City, had been communicating online. As the date of the search approached conflics arose, and on Thanksgiving Day things escalated between Stephanie and others.
Some began accusing Stephanie of stealing information and photos which generated an onslaught of online attacks against her. She tried to defend herself, which seemed to make matters worse for her, not better. Read: Psychic angry, unleashes on those she feels turned on her in Baby Lisa case.
Last Sunday and Monday night two online radio shows aired discussing Stephanie’s involvement in not only Baby Lisa’s case but other missing persons’ cases as well.
Stephanie responds below to accusations made by the two radio show hosts – Levi Page of the Levi Page Show and Tricia Griffith of the Websleuth Blogtalk Radio Show.
The recent accusations against Stephanie didn’t surprise Tricia or Levi who said during Tricia’s show Sunday that they’ve crossed paths with Stephanie before when, they say, she stole visions and writings of other psychics in HaLeigh’s case from the Websleuth’s forum. Asked for the names of people involved Levi said he’s tried and no one wants to talk about it.
Levi said Stephanie had inserted herself into the HaLeigh Cummings case in 2009. He claimed she charged Marie Griffith, HaLeigh’s maternal grandmother, and some friends of Marie’s $600 for her plane ticket from Texas to Florida where HaLeigh vanished.
He said after Stephanie arrived in Florida to search for HaLeigh people there did not believe she had any psychic abilities. They said she found nothing while she was there, and when she became frustrated at her inability to find HaLeigh or even any clues into her disappearance, she called HaLeigh’s family members asking them where they thought she should search.
Additionally, Levi said during Monday night’s Levi Page Show that a lot of people in Florida thought Stephanie was after the reward money.
Asked what she thought about Stephanie, and if she believes she’s credible, Criminal Profiler Pat Brown said, “No,” and said she doesn’t believe in psychics.
Pat says psychics abuse families by taking their money, trips, or attention from them, and by giving them false hope.
She also said some psychics analyze cases much like profilers do, and that some are good at it. Rather than having legimate “visions” Pat believes they develop theories much like profilers and police do. She believes it’s a matter of numbers – eventually, after doing it long enough and often enough, “they’re bound to get it right sometimes,” she said.
“You have people digging up land everywhere because of psychic visions when they have no credible evidence that they have any great power whatsoever,” Pat said. She added, “On the one hand, does it hurt to search another place? No. Maybe the child is there but it won’t be because she saw it in a vision. It will be because she got lucky.”
Below is an email Stephanie wrote Monday in an attempt to set the record straight:
“Levi is talking things out of context,” Stephanie said.
“I had been working, privately on HaLeigh Cummings for almost a year with Capt. DP [presumably Dominic Piscetello with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office] and MG [Marie Griffith, HaLeigh’s grandmother] talked w/DP and asked him what I thought about me, etc,…after she’d read a few post, he said he believed in me, but nothing is a guarantee…
“Anyway, she and I talked and she wanted me to at least come and search, if not for one day……Her friends, got together money to bring me there and back….I believe the RT fair was about $300, on cheaptickets.com I’m not sure. They paid for nothing more….I paid for my own food, drinks, up-keep, etc….
“It was no vacation and I spent HOURS in the hot sun, searching – I was only there 2 1/2 days…..I don’t inject myself into cases….I work on these cases because of a personal tragedy…..
“seeing my [omitted for privacy] EVERYDAY for the past 7 years search online for [omitted] only 2 missing brother’s is heartbreaking…..
“I only try to use my abilities to help locate missing person’s so that even if I help ONE family – not feel the way my [omitted for privacy] feels each day, then I did something good.
“There will always be those who think your scamming, taking advantage of, etc….But that never has been and never will be my reasoning. I, as many Psychic Detectives, will NEVER claim “I CAN FIND YOUR MISSING LOVED ONE!” NEVER……… I can not promise anything like that!
“All I can do it try….and it’s very, very hard……and the outcome or probability of my success is near 0%….
“but it doesn’t mean that I should just give up. I do this in memory of my [omitted for privacy] – I do this to help. That’s all.
“My family in no means makes a ‘good Living’ – and live paycheck to paycheck as many others do. I can’t afford to go and look for every missing person I may do a ‘reading’ on….That’s why I started my own Blog…..
“If someone comes across it, finds something interesting, good – use it…If not – leave it behind. Thats all.
“If I become ‘involved’ with a case, it’s because someone else involved me – rather than me ‘injecting’ myself. I have my own freedom and right to post on my own blog, just as many other’s – including Levi and the others, about anything I want. doesn’t mean I injected myself into anything.
“I did contact Levi, believing he was a trusted source asking how to get in touch with Marie…..After a year of working on the case with DP, I wanted to at least meet her…(by email or telephone, not face to face) and let her know I was trying everything I could to find her grand daughter….
“If she’s honest, ask her…she’ll tell you – Me going to Florida wasn’t my idea…..
“I’m sincere in what I do no matter what anyone thinks.
“Morgan Harrington….I didn’t solve her case…..Other’s claim that I am claiming I ‘found’ her….No, again- twist of words….
“I only described, even in miles, where I believed she could be found and described the area in detail…..
“Her being found accidently by a farmer where I’d described, and the miles away i’d described also…That’s all, really in her case.
“I just want everyone to know that if they begin seeing my name in association with a case, it’s because SOMEONE, for some reason, asked me to help further – perhaps after reading my blog…Idk….that’s really all.
“That’s what happened with Lisa Irwin, bloggers even state this on my blog.
“My local news did do an interview to set the record straight for me……whether it helped or not, Idk…but it doesn’t matter. I know the truth and I know that when I lay my head down to sleep every night, I did what was right.”
Looking back at the way she responded to online attacks Stephanie said, “I was so, so frustrated with everything going on in the baby lisa case….not ready for all the publicity that came from it. Just very overwhelmed. I will never be ‘done’ with her case… I just don’t feel that I have anything further to offer to it at this point. If I have any further insight, I will post it on my blog.”
More on Lisa’s story:
- Additional news coverage
- Facebook: Help Find Lisa Irwin
- Slideshow: Photos of Baby Lisa
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Baby Lisa Irwin was reported missing Oct. 4, 2011, at around 4 a.m. Her parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, say she was abducted from her crib. Their repeated inconsistent stories and refusal to cooperate with police have placed them under a cloud of suspicion by police and the public.
An anonymous donor has offered a $100,000 reward for the safe return of Baby Lisa or for information that leads to a conviction of her abductor.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the TIP Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.