Prosecutor sends message to defense in Elaina case - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Prosecutor sends message to defense in Elaina case

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A strong message has been sent from the prosecutors to defense attorneys in the investigation into Elaina Steinfurth's death.

The Lucas County Prosecutor's Office sent messages to attorneys for both Elaina's mother Angela Steinfurth and her ex-boyfriend Steven King, telling them that if plea negations are going to take place, they should happen soon.

In the note, the chief of the Special Units Division Robert Miller included a report by Dr. Steven Symes, an anthropology professor at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania. 

Details of the report were not available, but according to his biography, Dr. Symes is an expert in interpreting trauma to bones. He is also a leading authority on saw and knife mark analysis.

An autopsy performed by the Lucas County Coroner's Office found the 18-month-old Elaina suffered numerous broken bones as a result of "non-accidental trauma." Her body was found in a box inside an east Toledo garage near King's home, more than three months after she was reported missing.

Dr. Symes says he received Elaina's remains on Sept. 11, and spent about a week examining them. He says determining a cause of death is harder when three months have passed since the death occurred. He reconstructed the bones and examined the fractures to determine that they were consistent with abuse.

"Just to have another set of eyes sometimes," Symes said. "That's actually why Julie Saul and I work together sometimes.  We just like to have another opinion and a comment from somebody else looking at it completely blind, except from the evidence alone."

Nobody has been charged in Elaina's death at this time. Steinfurth and King have both been charged with obstruction of justice in connection to Elaina's disappearance. Prosecutors have said there no timetable for when or if they may file more charges.

We will continue to follow this story and bring you the very latest details. Stay updated in our Justice for Elaina section.

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