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FBI dive team joins search for toddler

Federal investigators to remain in Toledo for several days

  • CTY-search17p-divers-in-water

    A pair of divers, bottom right, enter the Maumee River in Toledo to conduct another search for Elaina Steinfurth.

    The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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  • search-baby

    FBI personnel and a Coast Guard boat conduct another search in the Maumee River on Monday for Elaina Steinfurth, who has been missing for two weeks.

    THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY
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search-baby

FBI personnel and a Coast Guard boat conduct another search in the Maumee River on Monday for Elaina Steinfurth, who has been missing for two weeks.

THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY
Enlarge | Buy This Image

Federal agents with special diving training are in Toledo this week assisting local officials as they continue to search for a missing toddler.

The dive team, from FBI field offices in Washington and Los Angeles, spent about seven hours in the Maumee River on Monday and were expected to return today. They are scheduled to stay in Toledo for several days, officials said.

Special Agent Vicki Anderson would not comment on specifics about the case or the dive team's involvement, but said there was “information that has indicated our need to go to the river to rule out anything.”

The toddler, 18-month-old Elaina Steinfurth, has been missing since June 2. In court records, police allege that the girl’s mother, Angela Steinfurth, knew her daughter was injured on or around that date, but failed to get the medical attention for the girl.

Mrs. Steinfurth has said she does not know Elaina’s location.

She remains in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $250,000 bond on a child-endangering charge. No other charges have been filed.

Mrs. Steinfurth was being held in a single-person cell at the jail, but over the weekend was moved into the general population.

One source said after the mother’s move that at least three inmates were taken to the downtown Safety Building to be interviewed about the case by detectives.

CTY-search17p-divers-in-water

A pair of divers, bottom right, enter the Maumee River in Toledo to conduct another search for Elaina Steinfurth.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
Enlarge | Buy This Image

A $10,000 reward, offered by Toledo police and the FBI, is being offered to anyone who provides credible information leading to Elaina’s whereabouts.

Toledo police Capt. Brad Weis said investigators continue to follow up on “all credible leads.”

Mrs. Steinfurth’s stepfather, Richard Schiewe of East Toledo, watched police and agents come and go from the Maumee River on Monday afternoon.

He said he would be on standby at the river to watch every day until they stop searching.

“I just want to see her,” he said, suggesting that he wanted to be nearby if authorities find the girl.

Mr. Schiewe does not believe his granddaughter is still alive, and that her body will be found in the river.

“This is about my granddaughter,” he said. “Wherever she is.”

Contact Taylor Dungjen at:

tdungjen@theblade.com,

419-724-6054, or on

Twitter @taylordungjen.

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