A missing key "is going to be a big part of our case moving forward," says a lawyer for two families who are suing Newtown, Conn., over the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. The Danbury News Times reports that the school district had said in court documents that each classroom was equipped with a red emergency folder; in a lockdown situation, a key found in that folder would lock the classroom door. The News Times previously reported the folders have been in the possession of state police, and attorney Donald Papcsy last month got the green light to review the folders from the two classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary School where teachers and students died. He inspected them on Friday and says one of them was empty.
An attorney for Newtown was present when that folder—which had been in substitute teacher Lauren Rousseau's classroom—was inspected, but he had no comment on what he saw. The Hartford Courant reported that Rousseau tried to shepherd the kids into the room's bathroom, but she, aide Rachel D'Avino, and 14 of the 15 children were killed by Adam Lanza. Noah Pozner was among the dead; his family, along with that of Jesse Lewis, are the ones suing the town for negligence. Though the Courant notes the superintendent and two teachers testified that Rousseau would have been aware of the emergency folder, the families' suit alleges in part that Rousseau "had neither a key to lock the door nor any knowledge of the ... safety and security protocols" that were in place.