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Police lock out suburban Pittsburgh family after finding chemicals

A family in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh has been barred by authorities from entering their home after police said they found "a large amount of marijuana" and chemicals they originally believed may have been used to make bombs. Except for a brief, police-escorted visit to pick up some personal items, the family has not been inside their home since officers broke up a party there on April 28. No criminal charges have been filed against any of the residents of the home, who include a woman and three of her children.

Northern Regional police went to the home early on April 28 after receiving a call about suspected underage drinking at the house, which is in Pine. According to the search warrant later obtained by the officers, a search of the house uncovered the marijuana and several chemicals stored in a basement closet, such as ethyl ether, dicholoromethane and hydrogen peroxide.

Each of these chemicals has a domestic use, but police have ordered a professional cleanup of the home and said that the residents cannot go back inside until that is finished. They claim there is evidence of that someone was growing hallucinogenic mushrooms. The officers also searched for bomb-making materials or instructions after finding powder chemicals, but found no evidence of bombs.

No charges have been filed. The Northern Regional police chief said that an investigation is ongoing and did not rule out charges. It could be several days before the family is allowed to move back in.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Family barred from Pine home," Margaret Harding, April 30, 2012

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