Toledo Police reveal little about search for missing girl

Mother of toddler held on $250K bond for child endangering charge

6/13/2013
BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Elaina Steinfurth
Elaina Steinfurth

Dozens of volunteers fanned out from Federal and Leonard streets today, again searching for any clues that might lead to a missing 18-month-old girl.

The search started just after noon, and the nearly 75 volunteers were expected to finish at about 4 p.m.

One group reported finding children's clothing – what looked to be a small sports shirt – in an East Toledo park. Police picked up the items, but there was no indication that it could be related to the case.

Elaina Steinfurth was reportedly last seen June 2 in a home in the 700 block of Federal.

A Toledo police news conference earlier today shed little – if any – new light on the search for a missing 18-month-old girl.

The girl's mother, Angela Steinfurth, 26, of 329 Valleywood Dr., was charged Wednesday night with child endangering.

She was arraigned in Toledo Municipal Court today and ordered to be held in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $250,000.

During the news conference at the downtown police Safety Building, police Capt. Wes Bombrys said the investigation is ongoing.

He said Mrs. Steinfurth told investigators Wednesday she knew the girl, Elaina Steinfurth, had been injured and that she did not seek medical attention.

“The condition of the baby and the severity of the injuries, I can't tell ya,” the captain said. “We don't know. The location of Elaina, we still don't know, and that's why we say it's still an ongoing investigation.”

The captain said the investigation is still a missing persons case and has not been reclassified as a homicide.

No other charges have been filed.

The captain declined to comment on who possibly injured the young girl or if Mrs. Steinfurth had any role in injuring the toddler.

Additional charges could be filed, he said.

“We've charged her at this point with what we believe is appropriate,” he said. "Additional charges? Possibly. May not. … Wherever our investigation leads us, we're going to continue searching for her.”

The captain would not comment on whether or not cadaver dogs, from Geauga County used in searching a van on Federal Street on Wednesday night, were still being used in the investigation.

Angela Steinfurth is with public defender James MacHarg at her arraignment on a child endangering charge in Toledo Municipal Court today. Her 18-month-old daughter Elaina has been missing for over a week.
Angela Steinfurth is with public defender James MacHarg at her arraignment on a child endangering charge in Toledo Municipal Court today. Her 18-month-old daughter Elaina has been missing for over a week.

Several houses on Federal, the street where Elaina was last seen June 2, were searched Wednesday night.

“Interrogation interviews” led Mrs. Steinfurth to say she knew about the injuries and also prompted the searches on the east side, the captain said.

He declined to say what investigators were looking for or if any evidence was recovered.

“I know you guys want something, but we had the affidavits sealed for a reason,” the captain said. “If that information gets out, it could be detrimental to finding Elaina and I don't think anybody in this room wants that to happen.”

Officials did tow a maroon van from the scene, which Mrs. Steinfurth's stepfather said belongs to her boyfriend, Steven King II.

Mr. King has been questioned by police, but has not been charged.

Police said they know where Mr. King is, but declined to say if he's a suspect or if he's still in Toledo.

Mrs. Steinfurth's family has said they believe he is somehow involved with the girl's disappearance.

The baby's father's family is planning a news conference today at 7:30 p.m.

A Facebook page dedicated to finding Elaina announced a search on the east side starting today at noon.

After Mrs. Steinfurth was arraigned today, her stepfather Richard Schiewe said he does not believe Elaina will be found alive.

"My daughter made a huge mistake and she's got to pay the consequences," he said.