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Laura Bradbury’s Alive, Father Reiterates

Times Staff Writer

Michael Bradbury, father of a missing Huntington Beach girl, repeated his theory Thursday that his daughter Laura was taken from Joshua Tree National Monument on Oct. 18, 1984, and sold by a black-market adoption ring to an affluent couple outside California.

Laura, then 3, vanished while accompanying her older brother to an outdoor toilet from the family’s campsite in the Indian Cove section of the rock and desert park. On March 22, 1986, skull fragments were found less than two miles from the site, fragments that forensic experts have since said belonged to a child between the age of 2 and 5 who died sometime in the past two years.

Declined to Name Suspect

Bradbury again declined to name the person he believes abducted the blond child, a man he admitted has been interviewed several times by police officers in the past. He also reiterated his feeling that the bone fragments found in the desert were not those of his daughter.

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Authorities, however, said Thursday that Bradbury’s information did not provide any “credible connections” in the case.

For reasons he said might jeopardize her recovery, Bradbury refused to reveal where or with whom he feels Laura is now living, information that he said was based on reported sightings of the child by witnesses who are not members of the Bradbury family.

“We think we know, based on the information we have,” Bradbury said at the sidewalk press conference outside the Huntington Beach storefront volunteer center set up to locate his daughter. “We don’t have an address or a (family) name. . . . We have a general locale.”

The family that has Laura now was aware she was adopted illegally, Bradbury said, since they paid “a five-digit figure,” but probably does not know that she is Laura Bradbury.

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In the next few days, Bradbury said, a recently completed, “age-enhanced” drawing of Laura as she may now look will be distributed in the area where he believes the girl is.

Data Given Investigators

Bradbury said the information the family and private investigator James Schalow have gathered--much of which is contained in a 2 1/2-inch-thick, red-plastic binder he kept on his lap during the press conference--was turned over to San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department investigators last week in a five-hour session.

But Capt. Dean Knadler, who sat in on last week’s session with Bradbury and Schalow, said Thursday that police have found “no validity to any of the allegations” Bradbury was making. “The general information was all information we had worked in the past, a year ago.” Bradbury did provide police with “some new names of witnesses, which we are in the process of investigating. We haven’t discontinued the investigation.”

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