STEUBENVILLE - The handgun suspected of being used in the Thursday shooting death of Maria Cantwell, 38, of Irondale was not found during a search in Mahoning County on Friday.
Sheriff Fred Abdalla said a search warrant was executed at the Beloit home of two uncles of suspect Michael Mitchell, 38, of 998 county Road 50, Irondale. After looking through the house, a garage and a shed for about three hours, Abdalla said the search was stopped. He said the uncles said they would continue looking for the gun and were told not to touch it and to immediately call his department if it's found. Abdalla said the property was unkempt and the search was difficult.
"The gun could be anywhere in there," Abdalla said Saturday evening.
He, deputies and the U.S. Marshals Service conducted the search.
Mitchell was arrested at the Beloit home about 9:40 p.m. Thursday. Cantwell's body was found earlier Thursday on a bed in the home where she and Mitchell lived in Irondale. Cantwell had an apparent small-caliber bullet wound to the head.
Mitchell, in an interview by Abdalla at the county jail early Friday, claimed the shooting was an accident, the sheriff said.
Mitchell has been charged with murder and is set to be arraigned on the charge on Monday.
Goshen Township police found Mitchell's truck at the house in Beloit, according to Chad Simpson, deputy U.S. Marshal. Mitchell was arrested at the house without incident, Simpson said.