- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 2, 2012

It has been nearly two weeks since a gunman burst into a Kettering home and gunned down a 17-year-old honor roll student in her bedroom, but investigators’ leads in the killing are still slim.

Prince George’s County police believe a man kicked in the door of the split-level home the night of Aug. 22 and made his way to Amber Stanley’s bedroom, where he shot her multiple times. As three others who were in the home at the time of the shooting escaped, the gunman also left, walking rather than running through the neighborhood as he fled.

Investigators were back at the scene of the killing Friday to search for additional evidence, combing through a wooded area a block over from the home in the 100 block of Chartsey Street.

At the intersection of Cambleton and Essenton drives, neighbors’ yards and storm drains were also searched Friday morning. Police officials stressed that they are still seeking clues in the case and are working around the clock to solve it.

“We’ve been working this case non stop since last Wednesday night,” said Capt. Joseph Hoffman, commander of the department’s homicide unit.

It was not known whether any new evidence was uncovered through the searches, but police continued to plead for tips that could expand their investigation into the case.

“This is a senseless tragedy,” Capt. Hoffman said. “We’re asking people for anything suspicious at all.”

Stanley, whose funeral was Friday, had just started her final year of high school at Charles H. Flowers High School the week she was killed. School officials described her as well-liked and scholarly and said she planned to become a doctor.

Stanley’s mother, older sister, and a 17-year-old foster girl also lived at the home, neighbors have said.

Police had gone to the home Aug. 17 for a report of an assault involving the foster girl. No arrests were made in that case, and police have declined to discuss details of the incident. However, officials with knowledge of the cases have said that investigators are looking into the reported assault for any possible link between that incident and Stanley’s killing.

Stanley’s mother, Irma Gaither, told The Washington Post that she also wondered whether the shooter might have been targeting the foster girl, who she said had since been removed from the home.