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Friends said he would stare down at the floor and not speak when she brought him into a local pizzeria. They knew that he’d switched schools more than once and that she’d tried home schooling him. But while she occasionally expressed concern about his future during evenings at the bar, she never complained.

“I heard her as a parent. I always said that I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes. But I thought, ‘Wow. She holds it well,’” said Jon Tambascio, son of the pizzeria operator.

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Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Michael Melia, John Christoffersen and David Klepper in Newtown; Jim Fitzgerald in Katonah, N.Y.; and Frederic J. Frommer in Washington.