The Washington Post

Search warrant: Police looking for signs of child abuse, seize nothing

Prince William County police searched a Woodbridge home shortly after a 4-year-old climbed into a family member’s truck last week and, according to police, found a handgun and fatally shot himself by accident.

The boy was apparently alone, police said, when he ventured outside his home in the 14800 block of Empire Street in Woodbridge.

Police are continuing to investigate whether charges should be filed against the parents of Kyrell Kyyon McNeill, but the search warrant indicates what authorities believe could have occurred in relation to the accident. Police sought to discover “any signs of child abuse and neglect,” including mental health history and anything that might have been used to abuse the boy, according to a search warrant filed in Prince William County Circuit Court.

They also sought to learn about signs of substance abuse and to seize anything associated with firearms — including “any firearms, ammunition, holsters, cleaning kits, or forms showing showing ownership and registration of any and all firearms.”

The search was approved by a Prince William magistrate and conducted because police were considering both child neglect and “allowing access to firearms by children” charges, the warrant states.

Nothing was seized in the search, however, according to the warrant.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert has said that the boy’s mother was supervising him to some degree, but investigators are seeking to learn whether she or other caretakers were neglectful.

Ebert said Monday that he expects the investigation to be wrapped up shortly. The truck the boy climbed into belonged to his mother’s companion — Ebert wasn’t sure whether it was her husband or boyfriend — and the handgun was his as well. He works as a security guard, Ebert said.


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