Remembering Baby Elaina: Vigil Monday marks anniversary of missi - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Remembering Baby Elaina: Vigil Monday marks anniversary of missing report

Elaina Steinfurth Elaina Steinfurth
Steven King Steven King
Angela Steinfurth Angela Steinfurth
T.J. Steinfurth Jr. T.J. Steinfurth Jr.
Police spent day searching the Maumee River for baby Elaina, but later found her body in a garage on Federal Street. Police spent day searching the Maumee River for baby Elaina, but later found her body in a garage on Federal Street.
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

The family of Elaina Steinfurth will hold a vigil to remember her on Monday, June 2. Monday marks a full year since the girl's father, Terry Steinfurth Jr., came to pick her up from Angela Steinfurth. Angela told Stephen his youngest daughter was not in the home, and later reported the girl missing.

The report set off a search which lasted months but eventually ended exactly where it began - 704 Federal Street.

Toledo Fire and Rescue dive crews searched the Maumee River for days after police say the girl's mother and her ex-boyfriend, Steven King, fed them misinformation. Both Angela Steinfurth and King were eventually arrested on obstruction of justice charges.

The investigation dragged on for months with what seemed to the public to be little progress. Then on September 5, Toledoans got the news they were simultaneously expecting and dreading. Elaina Steinfurth was dead, her body found in the rafters of Steven King's Federal Street garage.

MORE: Read the history of the Baby Elaina Case.

Police say it was King who finally broke, telling them where to find the little girl. Steven told police that he had placed his hand over the little girl's face, suffocating her after an initial injury.

Although she originally said she heard Elaina crying and then a thud when Steven was putting her to bed, Angela later recanted and said she was in the bedroom and saw Steven throw Elaina on the floor.

The next morning, Angela said Elaina was dead and Steven said he would "take care of her."

On December 3, 2013, Angela Steinfurth and King accepted separate plea agreements. King pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice charges in the case. King was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

Angela Steinfurth, Elaina's mother, entered an Alford plea to a charge of murder. Steinfurth was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 18 years. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt. A defendant entering an Alford plea agrees to be found guilty, but does not admit he or she committed the crime.

It has been a tough year for Richard Schiewe. His 18-month-old granddaughter was found dead and his daughter sent to prison in connection with her death. He says he is left with a broken heart but when in public, he is often greeted with criticism.

"They call me the baby killer because of my daughter. If they knew the whole story they might understand but they hear what they want to hear, they believe what they want to believe," said Schiewe.

Schiewe talks with Angela Steinfurth once a week.

"She's doing the best she can be doing right now. I know it's hard for her," said Schiewe.

The week leading up to the anniversary of Elaina's passing has been hard on the family who now only has photographs. Elaina would have been 2 and a half years old.

"We got all the pictures, a bunch of her toys downstairs. I look out at the swimming pool and remember her being in it a year ago," said Schiewe.

Elaina's family will hold a vigil on Federal Street Monday evening at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend. 

The area on Federal basically became a home-base and meeting spot for the dozens of volunteers who spent time looking for Elaina. The family says they hope the vigil raises awareness about child abuse.

"This was a baby and it should have never happened. I know this isn't the first one and it probably won't be the last one but we just want people to know things like this do happen and you know child abuse has to be stopped," said Dan Clay.

Read more on the case, watch stories from the search, view raw interviews and much more here:

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