Monroeville police scrutinizing gun found in kindergartner's bookbag

| Thursday, May 1, 2014, 12:22 p.m.

Monroeville police said Thursday that they are “actively searching” for another suspect and possible witnesses in connection with the case of a Gateway School District parent whose 6-year-old arrived at Ramsey Elementary School on Wednesday with a loaded .45-caliber handgun in his bookbag.

Police charged the boy's mother, Stephanie Lynn Marie Roth, 32, of Monroeville with endangering the welfare of children, reckless endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia, all misdemeanors.

She declined to comment to a reporter on Wednesday, but according to a criminal complaint, she told police several people she suspected of being drug dealers, who carry guns, were in her apartment and near the child's bookbag on Tuesday night.

Monroeville police Chief Doug Cole said Thursday police were seeking the owner of the gun and might pursue a forensic investigation to examine fingerprints or DNA on the weapon.

Fingerprints likely could be processed in 4 to 6 weeks, he said. DNA analysis could take up to seven months.

“This isn't like TV,” Cole said, “things don't happen in seconds.”

The Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth and Families placed the boy in the care of a friend of the family.

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