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Baby Elaina case: Police confirm infant remains found

11:25 AM, Sep 6, 2013   |    comments
Elaina Steinfurth-18-month-old Elaina Steinfurth was first reported missing on June 2.
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TOLEDO, Ohio -- Toledo police confirmed that "infant human remains" were discovered inside a box related to the case of missing baby Elaina Steinfurth. An autopsy was conducted Friday to positively identify the remains.

During a 12-minute news conference, Toledo Police Chief Derrick Diggs said that "we wanted to find a body...we wanted to find that baby, which we did. We want to bring justice for Elaina." Police declined to provide details of the case as the investigation continues.

The box was discovered Thursday in a garage at 704 Federal. Police say the box was found on a shelf located behind other boxes filled with trash in the rafters. Chief Diggs called the case "high profile" generating a great deal of emotion. "We're pulling all our resources together to solve this case."

18-month-old Elaina Steinfurth was first reported missing on June 2. Ten days later, her mother, Angela, was arrested and charged with obstructing justice. On July 22, Ms. Steinfurth's ex-boyfriend, Steven King, was also arrested and charged with obstruction. The garage where the remains were found is on property where Mr. King lived.

Police say the garage at was searched previously. Due to the condition of the property, search dogs were not allowed to go in. They added due to the condition of the property, it was a difficult location to search.

Chief Diggs, asked whether the body should have been found sooner, said that "we didn't drop the ball...we found what we believe may be baby Elaina."

Prosecutor Julia Bates says providing speculation into specifics of the case would be "silly and foolish" and not serve the public interest.

Police refused to say whether a tip from Mr. King led them to the box in the garage. King faced a judge Thursday morning for a pre-trial, with a trial date set for September 16. Just hours after that court appearance, sources at the jail say he was taken to the TPD Safety Building for another round of questioning.

Ms. Steinfurth was scheduled to be in court Wednesday morning, but her pre-trial was moved to September 25. Her stepfather, Richard Schiewe, told 13abc on Friday that he met with Ms. Steinfurth in the Lucas County jail on Friday. He added that he was in the garage after Elaina was reported missing and that the box was not there.

Family and friends say they're ready for the ordeal to be over and to finally know what happened to little Elaina. Elaina's father, T. J., told 13abc that he remains hopeful but "that at the same time, you have to be realistic."

The Ohio Bureau of Investigation will be working through the weekend to assist with the identification of the remains.

A vigil for Elaina was planned for 7:00pm Friday at the corner of Federal and Leonard, not far from Elaina's home.


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