Penn Avenue fire search warrant seeks evidence of mom's location
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Minneapolis homicide investigators have served another search warrant at the Penn Avenue home where 3 children died in a fire earlier this month. Investigators have already concluded that the mother, Taneisha Stewart, was not home at the time of the fire, but so far no charges have been filed.
In the latest search of the home, investigators looked for any fire accelerants, alcohol bottles, cell phones and receipts or records that would confirm Taneisha Stewart’s location. Investigators also gathered interior and exterior photos of the house.
According to the search warrant, an anonymous source reported that Stewart “was not home prior to discovering the fire at her residence, but was at the 4th Street Saloon.” A fire investigator smelled alcohol on Stewart at the scene of the fire and said Stewart showed no signs of smoke exposure on her clothing or hair. Based on these observations, investigators believe Stewart was not at the house at the time of the fire.
6-year-old Latorious, 5-year-old Latora and 1-year-old Latorianna all died when the home on the 2700 block of Penn Avenue N. caught fire just before midnight on Oct. 3. The official cause of the fire remains undetermined.
Stewart told investigators she left the oven on for heat – something she did with no problems when living in Chicago.
In the weeks since the fire, the children were laid to rest. But Taneisha Stewart has not been seen publicly since the funeral. According to Minneapolis police, the investigation remains active and Stewart is free to go where she wishes.