Police interview children, possibly inmates in toddler's disappearance
Wed, 19 Jun 2013 05:23:15 GMT —
Day 17 of searching for an 18-month-old East Toledo girl, missing since June 2nd, ended on Tuesday with no new information on her whereabouts.
Even so, WNWO has uncovered new details on the case from interviews done on HLN shows and during our own exclusive interview with a man who is a friend of both Elaina Steinfurth's mother and father.
Since last week, the story has been featured on cable shows for Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell which both air on CNN's sister station, HLN.
On Tuesday evening, during an interview with host Jane Velez-Mitchell, Toledo Police Spokesman Sgt. Joe Heffernan confirmed that investigators have brought in an outside specialist to conduct interviews with Elaina's 4-year-old sister and other children that were in the area when the toddler disappeared.
Heffernan also cautioned Velez-Mitchell's viewers to be skeptical of recent statements made by Angela Steinfurth, Elaina's mother, in which she claims to have been threatened by people tied to her baby's disappearance.
On Monday's Nancy Grace show, Richard Schiewe indicated that his step-daughter, Angela Steinfurth told him that she knew who took the baby but could not reveal who they were because she had been "threatened."
In response, Heffernan said, "If my child was injured, threatened or not, I am going to make sure the child gets proper medical attention. She obviously did not do that. That's why she's in jail, right now, for the child endangering. I think this is maybe a little bit of a red herring going in with this 'I was threatened' thing."
Tuesday, on Nancy Grace's show, another Toledo Police representative refused to comment on a tip that 3 inmates at the Lucas County jail were taken in for questioning in the case.
Toledo Capt. Brad Weis declined to confirm whether the informants, if they exist, were fellow inmates of Angela Steinfurth.
Baby Elaina's father, Terry "T.J." Steinfurth, also spoke to Nancy Grace on Tuesday and said that he has become frustrated with authorities because they are "withholding information" from him.
The same source who provided WNWO with exclusive surveillance footage of Elaina and her mother, the day before the toddler was reported missing, made an appearance on Nancy's Tuesday night show as well.
The man, who continues to be identified only as Frank, also told Nancy's audience about baby Elaina's injuries prior to her disappearance.
"[Elaina's mother] told me about the baby having a black eye, a bump on the head and just a little bit of dry blood around the nostril," Frank told WNWO on Monday.
During that same interview with WNWO, Frank said that at no point did he ever see Angela or T.J. hit their children or physically harm them.
At the end of Tuesday's Nancy Grace show a caller, who claimed to be a co-worker of Angela Steinfurth, said that Elaina's mother had gone to work on days that others were searching for her child.
Angela's step-father confirmed what the caller said and told Nancy's audience that he had personally driven Angela to training sessions at Angela's new job.
The dates the caller mentioned, June 5th and 11th, were both after baby Elaina went missing on June 2nd.