Timeline of events since baby Elaina went missing
Wed, 26 Jun 2013 21:33:37 GMT —
June 2nd: During the early afternoon, Terry â??TJâ?? Steinfurth, Jr. goes to a home on the 700 block of Federal Street where his estranged wife, Angela, is staying with her ex-boyfriend, Steven King.
Angela Steinfurth is supposed to have both of her children with her, each fathered by Steinfurth, including 18-month-old Elaina and 4-year-old Kylee.
According to TJ, when he arrived to take custody of the two girls, Angela allowed him to take Kylee but said that Elaina had just started a nap and she didnâ??t want to wake her.
TJ said that he asked Angela to get Elaina, once again, when King allegedly became enraged and â??wanted to fightâ??.
Steinfurth then left the home and took his 4-year-old daughter to the home of his father, Terry Steinfurth, Sr.
After dropping Kylee off, with his fatherâ??s wife, the Steinfurth men returned to Federal Street home where Angela and the children had stayed the night before.
Another verbal altercation ensued, this time between TJâ??s father and King.
After several more squabbles, Angela would agree to hand Elaina over and went into the house to get the toddler.
Following an unspecified amount of time, less than a half hour, Angela would emerge from the home and say that Elaina was not in the house and she didnâ??t know where the child was.
Terry Steinfurth, Sr., TJâ??s father, went into the home to search for himself and could not find the child.
Others in the house, including Kingâ??s mother Julie, say that they searched the neighborhood for the child but found nothing.
That evening Elaina was reported missing to Toledo Police.
The toddler was reportedly wearing orange shorts, with flowers on them, the last time she was seen.
June 3rd: Julie King, the mother of Angela Steinfurthâ??s ex-boyfriend, tells WNWO that Angela had only been staying at her home, the night of June 1st, because she claimed to have nowhere else to go.
Julie King said that she kicked Steinfurth out of her Federal Street home, the Monday before Elaina was reported missing, because King didnâ??t like the way Angela â??treated both her childrenâ??.
King added that she last saw Elaina the evening of June 1st and did not see her on June 2nd.
June 4th: The FBI joins the search for Baby Elaina scouring Kingâ??s home and going door to door in that neighborhood.
Investigators also search abandoned homes on the East side of Toledo but find no sign of the toddler.
Neighbors and family members of the missing 18-month-old begin distributing missing person flyers and search the neighborhood for clues on their own.
The first of several candle light vigils is held and over 100 people gather to pray for Elainaâ??s safe return.
Elainaâ??s mother, Angela, talks to WNWO at the vigil and says that the entire ordeal had become even more stressful, in recent days.
She says people are beginning to suspect that she was involved in Elainaâ??s disappearance.
â??If I had their support I wouldnâ??t feel the way I do, but not when people are pointing fingers at me when they donâ??t even know whatâ??s going on,â?? said Steinfurth. She continued, â??Iâ??ve been shaking for the last three days and I just want my baby home.â??
Angela is seeing crying as a prayer is led by a local pastor at the vigil.
â??I need all the support that I can get to bring her home. Anything to keep me comfortable and from losing my mind,â?? Angela told WNWO.
June 5th : Toledo Police ask the public for more tips in the case but say they have already done â??dozens of interviewsâ??.
Officials say among those interviewed are Elainaâ??s biological father, the motherâ??s ex-boyfriend Steven King and Elainaâ??s mother, Angela.
Volunteers searching the neighborhood for any sign of the child and say that they are leaving no stone unturned, even looking in trash cans.
Dozens of teddy bears, balloons and posters, all wishing for Elainaâ??s safe return begin to appear in the neighborhood where she was last seen.
Several local businesses donate food and other supplies to the victimâ??s family and those looking for the missing baby.
June 6th : Authorities are seen for the first time searching the Maumee River, near the High Level Bridge, and a wooded area nearby.
A dive team is seen in the water but it is unclear if searchers collect any evidence.
Angela Steinfurth claims to have found a diaper, in an area nearby, and says that it is the same size and brand Elaina wears.
June 7th: Toledo Police confirm that it was a â??credible tipâ?? that led to a search of the area around the High Level Bridge.
June 8th and 9th : Volunteers search the Marina District as well as Navarre and Pearson Parks for any clues in the case.
They do not report finding anything.
June 10th: Over the weekend, family and friends of Elainaâ??s father set up a make-shift command center at an abandoned East Toledo home.
The property is along the same street where 18-month-old Elaina is last seen.
A rift between the family members related to Terry Steinfurth, Jr. and those related to Angela Steinfurth starts to show.
Sources reveal that Steven King was given a polygraph stress test; the results are not immediately disclosed to the media
June 11th: Elainaâ??s disappearance is first mentioned in the national media when it is posted on the Facebook page of former prosecutor and HLN show host Nancy Grace.
Locally, volunteers and authorities continue to search for the toddler but do not find her.
June 12th : Elainaâ??s mother, Angela Steinfurth, is arrested and jailed for child endangerment around 10:30 p.m. under her maiden name, Angela Mories.
Earlier in the day, Toledo Police and the FBI join forces to offer a $10,000 reward for information that leads to Elainaâ??s location.
Tipsters are encouraged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
Around 5 p.m. that day, a cadaver dog is brought to Toledo from Geauga County, to search a maroon van and two homes on Federal Street.
Authorities also search the homes, around them and the vehicle.
The homes are both owned by the family of Steven King, Angela Steinfurthâ??s ex-boyfriend.
One is the home where Baby Elaina was last seen, the other is a property the family uses for â??storageâ??.
Seven bags of â??evidenceâ?? are taken from both homes, but the contents of those bags are not disclosed.
The van, which also belongs to Kingâ??s family, is the vehicle Steven used to pick up Angela and her two children on June 1st.
The vehicle is seized by authorities, and taken away by a tow truck, but was later returned to the King family.
June 13th: Around 9 p.m., WNWO exclusively obtains surveillance video taken from the home of Angela Steinfurthâ??s former neighbor.
The source, who only wanted to be identified as â??Frankâ??, says that the video was shot the day before Elaina was reported missing.
The video shows a seemingly alert Elaina walking on Frankâ??s porch and being kissed and cradled by her mother.
Several hours before WNWO obtains the tape, Angela Steinfurth is arraigned on a single count of child endangerment and her bond is set at $250,000.
Elainaâ??s mother sobs as a judge renders a decision on her bond and Angela tells her attorney that she wants to go home.
During a press conference, Toledo Police say the child endangerment charge was filed because it was known to us that the baby was injured at one point. [Angela} was aware of it and did not seek medical attention for the baby.â??
Authorities maintain that Elainaâ??s disappearance is still being investigated as a missing person case.
Family members of Elaina hold a joint press conference at the East Toledo Family Center that evening.
Both sides admit that Angelaâ??s arrest has divided the family, still both pledge to work together to bring Elaina home.
During the meeting, with the media, both TJ and Angelaâ??s step-father, Richard Schiewe, do not overtly blame Elainaâ??s mother for her disappearance but say Angela made â??mistakesâ??.
Today is the first time Elainaâ??s case is featured on Nancy Graceâ??s primetime cable show, on HLN.
June 14th: WNWO learns that Angelaâ??s ex-boyfriend, Steven King, has gone into hiding after receiving threats online.
The threats, made on a Facebook page dedicated to the search for Elaina, said that harm would come upon Steven if he did not say where Baby Elaina was being held.
A photo of Steven, holding his son is posted on the page with the caption that Steven is wanted by the FBI.
The post is eventually taken down.
Police maintain that Steven King is not a suspect and say they have been able to track him down for additional interviews.
June 15th & 16th : A group of around 200 volunteers gather at the corner of Federal and Leonard, as part of a search party organized by the group Justice for Nevaeh.
The group scours East Toledo looking for any sign of Elaina who has now been missing for 2 weeks.
June 17th:WNWO obtains an exclusive interview with Frank, the same man who captured Elaina and her mother on a surveillance camera on June 1st.
Frank tells WNWO that Angela told him, several days after Elaina was reported missing that the 18-month-old woke up with a black eye, bump on the head and blood around the nostril on June 2nd.
Another HLN program, the Jane Velez-Mitchell show begins reporting on Elainaâ??s case.
The same evening, on Nancy Grace, a representative from Toledo Police confirms that Child Protective Services worked with the Steinfurth family in 2012.
The incident had no connection to the current situation and occurred when Angela and TJ started having difficulties in their marriage.
During the day, an FBI dive team searched the Maumee River.
June 18th: WNWO obtains exclusive video of the bedroom, inside the King home on Federal Street, where Elaina was allegedly last seen by her mother.
The video shows the room has been torn apart, by investigators, and according to Julie King had not been touched since the latest search.
King says that her home has been searched around 4 or 5 times by this point.
Stevenâ??s mother also tries to clear up rumors that her son might have been involved in Elainaâ??s disappearance.
Julie maintains that neither she, nor her son, had anything to do with Elainaâ??s disappearance.
In the evening, TJ Steinfurth appears on Nancy Grace with his father, Terry Steinfurth, Sr. and Richard Schiewe.
TJ says that he and his wife separated because he did not like the way she treated their children.
An hour earlier, Angelaâ??s step-sister Mary Schiewe tells Jane Velez-Mitchell that Angela told her a similar story to one given to â??Frankâ??.
Mary Schiewe said that Angela told her, a few days after the disappearance, that Baby Elaina woke up with a number of injuries on June 2nd and claimed that she didnâ??t know how the injuries happened.
Angelaâ??s step-sister added that Angela may not be cooperating with police because she was â??threatenedâ?? with harm if she revealed who took Elaina.
Toledo Police spokesman, Joe Heffernan, warns Velez-Mitchellâ??s viewers to be skeptical of Angelaâ??s allegations that sheâ??s being threatened.
Elaina father, TJ, says that he is becoming frustrated with the lack of information he is getting from authorities on the case.
June 19th: A neighbor of the King family tells WNWO that he saw Angela Steinfurth and Steven King leave the Federal Street home ,where they were staying with Elaina and Kylie, in the early morning hours of June 2nd.
He told WNWO that they were gone around 10-15 minutes.
The same day, the FBI pulls their dive teams out of the Maumee River saying theyâ??ve exhausted all leads there.
June 20th: Angela Steinfurth appears in court, again, but her pre-trial hearing is postponed until Monday the 24th at the request of Toledo Police.
Outside the courthouse, the Toledo Free Press captures TJ Steinfurth and Richard Schiewe get into a verbal altercation.
Both instruct the other to stay away because of restraining orders.
WNWO learns that both parties do have restraining orders against each other, but found that they had been issued several months before Elainaâ??s disappearance.
June 21st: The Toledo Free Press obtains an interview with the sister of a woman that says Angela Steinfurth confessed, to a fellow inmate, that she helped dispose of Elainaâ??s body.
Jobeth Adams, the sister of Steinfurthâ??s alleged cell-mate, said that her sister called from prison and told her about the confession.
Connie Elam, also accused of child endangerment, told Jobeth â??[Angela and Steven] wrapped [Elaina] up in a blanket, and took her down by the High-Level Bridge and [King] stood behind [Steinfurth] and she threw this baby in the river.â??
Elam also said that Steinfurth accused King of injuring Elaina badly enough that the child died before they dumped her body.
Jobeth Adamsâ?? husband reported the information to authorities.
Police say they will not comment on the tip but re-iterate that King is not a suspect.
June 22nd :Volunteers continue to search throughout Toledo, and on the Maumee River, for Elaina Steinfurth as her disappearance hits the three week mark.
Two vigils are held for Elaina, one put together by TJâ??s family and another at the home of Angelaâ??s former neighbor, Frank.
June 23rd:Daily searches continue in the hopes of finding Baby Elaina.
Volunteers gather at the corner of Federal and Leonard at 10 a.m. and then fan out across East Toledo.
The toddler has now been missing 22 days.
June 24th : Angela Steinfurth is brought back to court and is indicted by a Lucas County Grand Jury on a charge of Obstructing Justice.
The grand jury has not yet indicted her of child endangerment, for which she was originally arrested.
June 25th: WNWO interviews a gas station clerk that says she saw Elaina and Angela the morning the toddler was reported missing.
Up until this point it was believed that only Angela and Steven King saw the toddler on June 2nd.
The source, who did not want to go on camera, said that the child did not appear injured when she saw her.
She added that she was able to positively identify the pair because Angela once worked at that gas station.
The clerk says the duo came into the gas station between 8 am and 9:30 am, but claims the surveillance cameras were down at the time of their visit.
June 26th: Angela Steinfurth appears back in court for a bond hearing.
A request for supervised release is denied and her bond is set at $100,000.
A pre-trial hearing is set for July 24th.
June 27th: Angela Steinfurth remains behind bars but WNWO has learned that she, or a family member, could put up just $5,000 to get her out of jail until her hearing in July.
There's still no sign of her daughter, Elaina.
June 28th: The paternal side of Elaina's family sets up a PNC bank account, called "Bring Elaina Home", to ensure that community contributions go to the missing toddler's family.
The girlfriend of Elaina's father tells WNWO that they've heard of people, with no connection to them, asking for donations in Elaina's name.
She added that they are unsure what the money was being used for.
Those who would like to make a donation, that will be received by Elaina's family, can contribute at any PNC bank under the account name "Bring Elaina Home"
June 29th: The Toledo Blade reports that a fisherman's line catches strands of what "could be several strands of the [Elaina's] hair" from an area below the Anthony Wayne Bridge.A Toledo Fire Department official tells the newspaper that the find "was not strong enough to justify sending divers back into the murky water, where previous searches for the body of Elaina Steinfurth had come up empty."
June 30th: It's now been 4 weeks since Elaina Steinfurth was reported missing.Elaina's paternal grandfather tells WNWO that volunteers are continuing to look for Baby Elaina but says that his family is getting little information from police. Terry Steinfurth, Sr. said that he would like to hear from investigators every one to two days, even if they have no new information, but says that is not happening at this point. Elaina's family plans to hold two prayer vigils this upcoming week, one on Wednesday and on Sunday, at the corner of Federal and Leonard at 7 pm.
July 1st: Toledo Police confirm that the "hair" found by a fisherman, near the High Level Bridge, has been sent to a lab for testing.
Officials say that it will be a few days before they learn if the hair is human and a few weeks to learn if it belongs to Baby Elaina.
July 2nd: Volunteers comb the bottom of the Maumee River by themselves, using grappling hooks and rope, after another fisherman reports that he also found "hair" in the area near the High Level Bridge.
The latest tipster, however says he turned over the "hair" on June 23rd.
That would be almost a full week before another fisherman also found "hair" in the same area.
July 3rd: Dive teams return to search the Maumee River after police confirmed human hair was found by two fisherman, in recent weeks, near the High Level Bridge.
At the scene, investigators were observed putting a large object into a bag and taking it away from the scene. Officials have not said what they found.